A letter to members
A letter to our members from JWEMC
As the bills for the month of January have started coming due a lot of our members are noticing they are higher than they are used to. We understand how this can be a cause for concern, and we want our members to know we are here to help.
First, it is important to know, if you feel like you may have trouble making your payment on time, please call 256-552-2300 and talk to a customer service representative before the bill is past due. There are things they can do to help, and by working something out early, you can avoid adding extra charges to an already high bill.
Second, we would like to take this occasion to address rumors and accusations making their way through social media.
- Price Gouging - "Price gouging," is not something that Joe Wheeler EMC does. While the price per kWh does change from month to month due to production and fuel cost at TVA, the month to month difference over the past year has been a fraction of a penny. The highest being in $0.09503 in July. The January rate was actually lower, at $0.09366. These rates are posted on our website (HERE) weeks before they go into effect. Once they are posted, they do not change. These rates are set with oversight from TVA and between 75-80 percent of the bill you pay goes back to TVA to pay for the power we deliver to your homes and businesses.
- My power bill went up, but nothing else changed so JWEMC must be charging more - We understand, when your power bill comes, and it is suddenly a lot higher than it has been, the first inclination is to think there is a problem. After all, it's the same house, with the same heating/cooling system and lights as last month right? If you look back on this past January though, you will see that we had one of the worst cold spells in recent history. TVA reported that on Jan. 17, they delivered an all-time record amount of electricity. The temperature on that day was in the single digits. And it wasn't just for one day. There was an unprecedented number of days in January that the temps never got above freezing. All of this adds up to a LOT more electricity used – especially if you rely on electric heat pumps to warm your house. When the temperatures fall below 30 degrees, heat pumps have to use strip heat to keep up. This form of heating is power intensive and can cause your monthly usage to rise dramatically. So while it may seem like you did nothing different, your heat pump was working overtime to keep things feeling normal.
- Automated meters are inaccurate - Over the past decade, JWEMC has replaced all of the manually read electric meters with meters that are read automatically, over the powerlines. By removing the human element of meter reading, we can provide more accurate results that are updated every day. These automated meters are tested for accuracy when they come from the factory and monitored to assure you are only paying for the electricity you use. While no system is perfect, inaccurate readings are extremely rare. If you do suspect your meter is misreading your usage, we will come and check it. If there is a problem with the meter we will make it right, however, if we do not find an issue with our equipment, you will be charged for a service call.
While there are a lot of things being said out there, keep in mind, we are locally owned and operated by you, our members. We have nothing to hide and welcome your interest, your comments, and want to be here to answer your questions. Please, if you have an issue, give us a chance to help.