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Sharpsburg cuts electric rates


Rocky Mount Telegram

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

SHARPSBURG —The holidays will be a little bit brighter for Sharpsburg residents with an announced reduction of their electric bills.

Sharpsburg and three other North Carolina towns will see a drop in their power bills due to agreements with NTE Energy. At a time when electricity rates are rising across the state, residents of Sharpsburg, Black Creek, Lucama and Stantonsburg learned their electric rates have been cut by 9 percent.

Because the communities’ power purchase agreements with NTE lock in highly-competitive pricing for the next two decades, Sharpsburg officials said, they are able to pass those wholesale savings onto their residents in the form of reduced electric rates.

The rate reduction couldn’t come at a better time, according to Sharpsburg officials and representatives of the other towns.

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

The savings were achieved by the towns terminating their longstanding contracts with Duke Energy in favor of cost-saving power purchase agreements with NTE Energy, said NTE spokeswoman Jennifer Logue.

The decision to leave Duke Energy as a power provider and team up with NTE Energy, which owns a new state-of-the-art plant in Kings Mountain, is paying dividends, the Black Creek Town Board wrote in a recent letter 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 letter states. "Hopefully, the 9 percent electrical rate cut will make Christmas a little brighter for us.”

Because North Carolina is a regulated state, retail customers served by Duke Energy do not reap the benefits of wholesale market competition. However, municipalities that own their electric distribution systems may buy power from whichever wholesale supplier they choose.

In January, after evaluating proposals from several power suppliers, Sharpsburg and the other three towns terminated their Duke contracts in favor of receiving power from NTE Energy’s energy facilities, which include the Kings Mountain plant; the Reidsville Energy Center currently under construction in Rockingham County; and the Anderson County Energy Center in South Carolina, which is in advanced development. Each of the natural gas-fired, combined-cycle plants has the capacity to power 450,000 homes.

NTE Energy provides communities and other wholesale customers with reliable, low-cost, environmentally responsible energy solutions. Through its affiliates, the NTE team develops electric generation and transmission facilities, executing all aspects of project development from initial market and site evaluations to permitting, financing, construction and operation, according to information provided by the utility company.