Rocky Mount – Utility savings? Or smoke and mirrors?

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How much has the City of Rocky Mount allowed residential customers to share in the savings due to the recent reduction in electric and natural gas rates? Well, to answer that question you need to compare the rates, fees and which services you utilize in addition to some Xanax to figure out this convoluted system.  Heck, we are still not sure we’ve figured this out but here goes.

If you are strictly comparing the rates then the reduction is placing real money in the back pockets of utility users. Electric rates were reduced by 24% from $0.13154/kWh to $0.09975/kWh. Rates are tiered for gas so if you use 10 or fewer Therms per month your rate was reduced by 27% from $1.52709/therm to $1.11646/therm.  When you exceed 10 therms your rate was reduced from $1.32709/therm to $0.85183/therm or 36%.

That’s some real savings but don’t get too giddy because everything else increased except for sales tax, storm water, solid waste, recycling and a few fees. You had to know there was a catch somewhere!

Water rates increased by 8% overall unless you are a heavy user. By heavy user you probably have a serious leak or have a lush garden because you would have to use over 4,488,748 gallons of water to only realize a 3% increase.  Irrigation rates increased 5% and 6% respectively while sewer rates increased 8% and 3%.

The City of Rocky Mount really stuck it to residential customers on the fees for electricity and gas but left the other fees unchanged. Electric fees increased a whopping 86% ($14→$26.00).  Gas fees are even more complicated because it is based on the month.  So from April to September the fee increased by 56% ($9→$14) and from October to March the fee increased an unbelievable 278% ($9→$34).  The fee increases sure did not receive the same press as the rate reduction did.

What really matters is the overall reduction residential customers received. We compared a handful of residents utility bills and discovered people experienced savings from 3% to 12%. Click here to calculate your savings.

Again please don’t get to giddy because the Rocky Mount City Council increased our property taxes in June by 4.13% to help pay for the “proposed” event center which will ultimately be at least a 9.16% increase. Additionally, the Rocky Mount City Council will likely not miss the opportunity to increase the already $5 fee for every permitted vehicle within the city to $30.

Here is to the City of Rocky Mount increasing our expenses. We appreciate the “savings”.

 Click here if you would like to compare your residential utility bill post October 2015

(You must have Microsoft Excel to complete and to be used as reference only).

This is not an official calculator and should only be used to approximate the impact of rates and fees.  Contact the City of Rocky Mount for exact changes.

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