By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
which serves Dade for electric service, is a for-profit, investor-owned
subsidiary of the Southern Company. By contrast, seven neighboring Georgia
counties are served by North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, while
counties across the Alabama border are served by Sand Mountain Electric
Both these latter are member-owned
cooperatives, a business model with roots in the 1930s, when the Rural
Electrification Act (REA) and the Tennessee Valley Association (TVA) were
created to bring light to rural America.
Electric membership co-ops are run not for profit but to benefit their
companies, however, these co-ops incur costs to generate and distribute power,
and like other companies they pass those along to their customers. And what the
Sentinel found in comparing rates among the three companies is that in this
case, Georgia Power, the for-profit, came out the best deal for consumers.
Pending a rate
hike later this year, Georgia Power’s summer rate is 5.3312 cents per kilowatt,
plus the add-ons enumerated in the accompanying article. North Georgia Electric
posts its base rate as 8.822, plus a $15 customer charge. Sand Mountain
Electric’s rate, dived out from a consumer bill, came to .1189364, or almost 12
cents a kilowatt.
That works out,
for a hypothetical 500-kilowatt usage, that North Georgia Electric would charge
$44.11 plus the $15 service charge, or $59.11, plus sales and franchise tax;
Sand Mountain Electric, 59.46, plus Alabama license and gross receipts taxes;
and Georgia Power, even with environmental and nuclear construction tariff,
31.24 (base $26.66 plus ECCR $2.67 and NCCR $2.01), plus franchise and sales
counties served by North Georgia Electric are Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd,
Gordon, Murray, Walker, and Whitfield.