The Town of Smithfield, once known for their high electric rates, will have one of the lowest electric rates in Eastern North Carolina after the town council voted unanimously Nov. 10th to lower rates for the second time this year.
Following a 5 percent across the board rate decrease in August, the council agreed to further cut rates by an average of 5.03 percent starting January 1st, 2016.
Some customers will see slightly more than the 5.03% decrease while others will see slightly less. For example, starting Jan. 1st residential customers will see a 6.52% decrease, small general service a 7.00% decrease, residential time of use 3.03% less, and commercial time of use 4.5%. Industrial users will see a cut in peak demand rates between 2.99 and 3.03%.
Since 2011, the Town has reduced residential electric rates by 19.5 percent. With the new January 1st rate, Smithfield’s residential power bill will be the second lowest among the 32 member agencies of the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) and only 2.39% higher than Duke Progress Energy.
Councilman Travis Scott hopes the lower rates will be an “economic engine” for the town to spark growth. Scott requested, and his fellow council members agreed, to hold a workshop early next year to further examine the electrical rate structure.