Q. How much are bills going down?
A. Beginning April 1, the average residential member, who uses about 1,100 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, will see a net savings of around $9.50 a month due to the rate decrease and the Wallet Watch Credit. Commercial members will receive the Wallet Watch Credit only beginning April 1.
All members will see an overall decrease in their bills if they use over 372 kWh.
Q. Why did the service charge go up?
A. Fees were restructured, which better reflects the actual cost of maintaining the poles, wires, meters, right-of-way and other things necessary to deliver electricity to your home or business. At the same time, other charges on your bill are going down. You will even see a Wallet Watch Credit line on your bill—just another way we are looking out for you!
Q. How can bills be going down, when the service charge has gone up?
A. Although the monthly service charge on residential bills is increasing (from $11.75 to $25), rates are dropping substantially. Members are also receiving a Wallet Watch Credit as a result of co-op efforts to better manage costs over the last several years. Bottom line, the average residential bill (member using 1,100 kWh) will go down by $9.50 per month.
Q. Why does it cost GreyStone as much to service a home that uses several thousand kWh monthly versus one that is using very little electricity?
When both homes have an active meter, both homes require meters and rights-of-way be maintained, power lines, poles and transformers be serviced, as well as other related costs.
Q. My bill went up!
A. Bottom line, power bills are going down for 99.999 percent of our members. The tiny percentage who will not see a decrease, but still receive a wallet watch credit, are those using very little electricity, but for whom we still provide electric service.
Q. I can’t tell how this affects my power bills.
A. A comparison calculator of old costs to new costs including both the residential rate reduction and the Wallet Watch Credit is available at greystonepower.com under the membership benefits, residential or commercial tabs. (We are still working on this, it is live now but we are making changes to make it easier for members to use.)
Q. Who decided to make this change?
A. The GreyStone Power Board of Directors approved the rate decrease, effective on bills beginning April 1.
Q. How long will this last?
A. As long as the cooperative can extend a Wallet Watch bill credit and still remain financially healthy.
Q. I heard GreyStone saved money by moving to a new billing system.
A. That is correct. GreyStone had an excellent billing system that worked very well for our members, but it was a large expense that was adding to costs. To reduce those costs, a decision was made two years ago to put a new billing system in place that will save GreyStone more than $15 million over the next 10 years. While there have been growing pains, the results contributed to the reduction of rates.
Q. What else made rates go down?
A. Several factors contributed to GreyStone Power being able to pass along a rate reduction, including a favorable renegotiation of a long-term wholesale power contract. This, along with several years of fiscal belt tightening, contributed to the effort.
Thousands of GreyStone members also helped reduce rates by making their voices heard on Capitol Hill over the last several years in the Take Action campaign. More GreyStone members took part in contacting their federal legislators, expressing their concerns about energy charges going up, than any cooperative in Georgia, and most in the U.S.
Q. Who regulates GreyStone Power?
A. GreyStone is an electric cooperative, owned by the people they serve, who are called members or member-owners. Those members elect the Board of Directors, who provide oversight for the utility.
The Georgia Public Service Commission provides rate comparisons for electric utilities across the state, and GreyStone Power continues to provide some of the lowest rates among providers in Georgia. See psc.state.ga.us.