BREC hopes to hold the lines on rates

Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative hopes to hold the line on its retail charges for at least the end of this calendar year. Charles Dalton, general manager at today’s Blue Ridge’s annual media luncheon, said, “If all goes well, the co-op is planning to finish 2013 without an increase in the per-kilowatt hour price our members pay for electricity. The last time we adjusted the energy component of our rates was in November of 2008,” he said. And Dalton added if there is to be an increase next year, he thinks it will be small, “two or three percent.” He said two factors are driving today’s costs of electricity: government laws and rules. Dalton decried Blue Ridge’s bottom line for 2012. The multi-county electric power retailer’s revenues fell about $4.5 million below its expenses. He called it deplorable, however, “Long term, it’s not a problem. Blue Ridge is very sound, very solvent…..We just did not have the sales.”