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NOVEC Customers Pay Less for Electricity

Residents get relief in the form of a reduction in energy costs from the cooperative.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, the company that provides power to Centreville, said residents are paying less money for energy than others living in the United States.

Customers are reaping the benefits of a power cost adjustment (PCA) credit received this year. That credit is in addition to an across-the-board rate reduction in 2011, NOVEC officials said.

NOVEC enters into long and short-term contracts to buy power from multiple sources, according to a company press release.

The company was able to stabilize wholesale power costs by ending a contract with a long-time power supplier in 2008, said Stan Feuerberg, the president and CEO of NOVEC. 

“Costs had spiraled upward by 60 percent in six years and we wanted to drive them downward for our customer-owners,” Feuerberg said in a press release.

After costs were lowered, NOVEC sought a rate decrease and a fee modification in 2010. That request was approved last year by the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the co-op reduced residential rates by 4.5 percent and commercial rates by 8.5 percent.

The NOVEC decrease comes at a time when many people are paying more for power.

American residential consumers who receive power from investor-owned utilities paid on average $125 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in January 2012 while NOVEC customers paid $119.24, according to the release.

Energy experts say the cost of electricity is rising for two reasons. For one, consumers are using more power to run air conditioning units, large televisions, computers and electronic equipment.

Additionally, government standards require companies to replace old coal burning power plants with newer ones that cost more to operate because they must meet federally-mandated environmental regulations, NOVEC officials said.

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