On “Meter Fees” - We have received several inquiries from citizens regarding the meter fee on this month’s utility bills and would like to provide some clarification regarding this change.
The Town has always charged a "facilities fee", a.k.a. "meter fee." In the past, this fee was not broken out on the bills and was lumped into the usage charges. This led many residents to be frustrated when they attempted to work out their rates through simple division and came up with vastly different numbers. To make the bills more transparent and easier to understand, we decided to break this fee out as its own line item. Now, the billed usage for residential bills should always be 10.5 cents multiplied by the number of KWH used.
When Town staff met with ElectriCities representatives to discuss our rates, we learned (confirmed) that the rates in Landis were considerably above average, and that our facilities fee was below our cost to provide service. According to several recent studies conducted by ElectriCities, similar municipalities costs to maintain infrastructure for residential service ranged from $17 to $22 per home. At the time our rate was $15 per meter; the new rate structure increased the fee to a midpoint of $20, along with adopting a flat, reduced rate of 10.5 cents per KWH. The new rate/fee structure was designed to provide considerable savings for Town residents, while also adopting a more equitable solution for distributing the cost of service. It also brings Landis more in line with other power providers, such as the City of Lexington, whose facilities charge is also $20. Private power providers’ rates across North Carolina range from $14 (Duke) to $32 (Energy United).
It is important to note that the $969.000 in savings projected for Landis citizens in the coming year includes both the fee increase as well as the rate decrease; the savings residents will realize through the lower flat rate will substantially outweigh the $5/month increase in facilities/meter fees.
For example, let us consider a resident who uses 2,000 KWH each July. Last year, on the old summer basic electric rate, the bill would have been $15 (fee) + $142.50 (first 1,000 KWH at 14.25 cents each) + 137.50 (second 1,000 KWH at 13.75 cents each) for a total of $295, plus tax. This year, under the new rate structure, their bill would be $210 (2,000 KWH at 10.5 cents each) + $20 (fee) for a total of $230 - a savings of $65 for the month.
Similarly, a resident who uses half as much power, 1,000 KWH would have paid $15 + $142.50 = $157.50 for July 2018. Their bill would now be $105 + $20 = $125 a month, a savings of $32.50 for the month.
We hope this information clears up any misunderstandings and that each of you enjoy substantial savings under the Town’s new rate structure.