Target 7: Southside Electric Cooperative increases demand rate, increasing price of electric for solar customers – WDBJ

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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – From gas prices to groceries, prices of products and services are on the rise. This includes skyrocketing electricity bills.

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), which serves customers mainly in Bedford County and Campbell County, recently implemented a new rate structure. The new model increased more than 600 customers’ bills, while it decreased other customer’s bills by the same amount.

Customer Dan Audette in Bedford County moved to solar power to save on bills, but the recent change in electric rates has left him paying more. His bills have tripled since last year, because SEC increased the demand charge by nearly 3,000%.

However, his energy usage has decreased.

In addition to the higher bills, Audette explained SEC is paying him less for overproducing energy from his solar panels.

”They’re paying me less for what I’m putting back out into the grid, and then charging me more for not using electricity,” Audette said. “It makes no sense, no sense whatsoever.”

The utility company told Target 7 in a statement the recent rate adjustments are designed to be revenue-neutral for the cooperative and be equitable for all customers. They did not make anyone available for an on camera interview.

Coming up in the full Target 7 report on Thursday night, we’ll break down the rate changes for customers and exactly how much more customers with solar panels may be paying.

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