Saturday, August 8

An Everyday Value

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Kevin Murphy, President, Southwest Tennessee EMC; Board President, TECA

Even though I work in the energy industry, I give very little thought to the energy I use. I expect the lights to turn on when I flip the switch, my phone to charge each night and the coffeemaker to work each morning. Chances are, you don’t think about it either.

Perhaps you give it some thought when the power goes out or when the monthly bill arrives, but on most days, electricity is abundant and reliable, and it’s just not something that crosses your mind.

I challenge you to stop for a moment and consider the many ways you use energy each day. Given our dependence on electricity, it is a remarkable value, especially when compared to other common services and expenses.

If you are old enough, think back to the cost of a gallon of gasoline 20 years ago. Consider the cost of groceries or a cup of your favorite specialty coffee from a few years back. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI), the average rent increase was nearly 4 percent from 2014 to 2019. The cost of medical care increased 3 percent during this time, and education was not too far behind at 2.6 percent.

So what about electricity? According to the CPI, electricity increased by less than half a percentage point: 0.4 percent. The cost of electricity has remained largely flat, unlike most other consumer goods.

Rates at Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are 17 percent below the national average.

The bottom line: Electricity is a tremendous value. Our team works hard to keep the lights on 99.96 percent of the time, and we do it at a cost that is well below the national average. I’m very proud of our track record.

You can count on us to continue making smart investments in our system to increase reliability, reduce costs and improve our consumer experience.

With that in mind, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives recognize that the past few months have been challenging for many of our consumers, and we’re here to help. If you have questions about your account or are looking for ways to save energy at home, please give us a call. Your cooperative’s sole purpose is to serve you and the needs of your community. That’s everyday value.

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