MEC plans to lower electric bills

Published 5:37 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

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There’s some good news for local customers of the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC). Your bills will start dropping later this month. According to a statement from the company, the typical MEC customer will see a savings of $7.98, or $95.76 in yearly savings.

“We are pleased to share notice of this price decrease. Over the past year, consumers across Virginia and nationwide have experienced inflationary increases, feeling pain at the gas pump and while filling a grocery cart … everything has just gone up, and unfortunately, energy costs were not spared the radical price increases of 2022,” said MEC President and CEO John C. Lee Jr. “However, the upcoming decrease is a reflection of energy prices easing in the region and highlights the exemplary management practices implemented by our wholesale power partner, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), who is passing reductions along to us. In turn, we are passing the savings on to our members.”

So what’s causing the change? 

According to ODEC, energy prices in the mid-Atlantic tend to follow natural gas prices as this region relies heavily on natural gas for electricity. As natural gas prices have dropped from the higher numbers in 2022, ODEC officials say they’re able to lower electric rates for the 11 cooperative members this summer. ODEC is the wholly owned generation and transmission subsidiary of MEC and 10 other electric cooperatives across Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

“Over the past few years, markets have driven generation fuels to historically high levels, but ODEC’s hedging policies have protected us against the major brunt of such impact,” said MEC board chairman David Jones. “The bottom line is that we leverage our partnerships to strengthen the Cooperative’s financial position and keep our rates as low as possible.” 

Both John Lee and David Jones represent MEC on the ODEC board of directors and are among its 22-member board. Over the past three years Lee has served as Chairman of the ODEC Board.

“At MEC, we recognize that soaring costs on everything has been challenging for our Members,” Lee said. “We work diligently, as does ODEC, in managing and mitigating the costs over which we have control to make affordable electricity a reality. It is important to note that MEC and ODEC pass along rate decreases when prices decrease, and additionally return profits.”