Electric rates in 4 towns to decrease

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The new year is set to bring new electric rates in four Wilson County towns after a switch from Duke Energy Progress to NTE Energy.

“This 9 percent rate cut will make Christmas a bit brighter for our citizens,” said Stantonsburg Mayor Bill Edmundson.

In addition to Stantonsburg, officials in Black Creek, Lucama and Sharpsburg recently approved terminating longstanding contracts with Duke in favor of power purchase agreements with NTE Energy. According to a news release, after evaluating proposals from several power suppliers, the four towns selected NTE and locked in “highly competitive pricing for the next two decades” that enables town officials to pass the savings to residents.

“Our decision to leave Duke Energy as our power provider and team up with NTE Energy, which owns a brand new state-of-the-art plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., is paying dividends,” the Black Creek town board wrote in a letter recently mailed to residents. “We are excited to announce that the end result of our town’s action will be a 9 percent electrical rate reduction beginning with this current bill.”

The new residential rates are: 11.1 cents per kilowatt-hour in Black Creek, 10.2 cents per kWh in Lucama, 10.8 cents per kWH in Sharpsburg and 10.2 cents per kWH in Stantonsburg. Some of the towns have a different rate depending on use as well as a base charge for customers.

In comparison, the residential rate for Wilson Energy customers is 9.8 cents per kWh while the rate for Duke’s roughly 1,600 Wilson County customers will be 10.6 cents per kWh starting on Jan. 1.

“At a time when electricity rates are rising across North Carolina, these communities are bucking the trend,” said Tracy Sullivan, Sharpsburg interim town administrator. “Our towns all have fewer than 1,500 customers each, but they’re large enough to combine their loads and buy electricity in the competitive wholesale power markets.”