Town of Belhaven releases electric rate comparisons

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BELHAVEN — The Belhaven Board of Aldermen presented a comparison study of its electric utilities rates at Monday night’s meeting.

The town’s rates were compared to the rates in Washington, Greenville and Tideland EMC customers.

Belhaven’s residential customers pay an average of approximately 10.5 percent more compared to the average rates of the other three electric systems, according to the report from town Manager Woody Jarvis.

The rates for businesses almost match the rates of the other three systems, with small, single-phase businesses paying an average of just 0.02 percent more, small, multi-phase businesses paying 0.68 percent more and medium to large businesses paying just 0.9 percent more.

“These (rates) change and I also want to make a point that we don’t make electricity in Belhaven,” Jarvis said. “We are all buying electricity from somebody.”

He said a representative from ElectriCities, the town’s electricity provider, is also in the process of visiting area businesses to see how they could be more efficient and thus see rate decreases.

Residential customers are paying an average of $152 a month since the Town of Belhaven elected to lower electric rates by 8 percent. Before the decrease, residents paid an average of $165.

Despite Belhaven’s electric rates remaining high in comparison to other locations, Mayor Adam O’Neal said it should be taken into consideration that Belhaven has a smaller group of people paying into the system.

He said he thinks it’s positive to see that the town of about 1,800 people paying into the system only has an average bill $30 higher than customers in a system like Greenville’s, where there are more than 89,000 people.

“For us to be just a few dollars more…for us to be within 10.5 percent of these folks on residential, is an awesome job,” O’Neal said.

The extent of each system’s infrastructure was not discussed in the report.

Jarvis said he hopes the report will answer any questions about the state of the town’s electric rates. The same report was also distributed as part of a political mailer for the month of September.

“It kind of is what it is,” he said. “Let people know where we are and where we’ve been.”