The Tullahoma Utilities Authority board of directors officially passed two rate increases for all TUA customers at its most recent board meeting.

The increases are the first in-house rate increases in more than a decade for both the electric and water systems, according to TUA President Brian Skelton. Before these increases were approved, TUA had only enacted TVA-initiated rate increases.

TUA electric customers will see a 2.6% increase on their total kilowatt hour usage starting Oct. 1, per Skelton. There is no increase to the monthly “customer charge,” Skelton said.

According to Skelton, the average 1,000 kWH customer would see a difference of $2.50 to $3 on their monthly bill.

Water customers will also see a change in their bills, effective July 1, per the board decision.

The monthly customer charge for customers in the city limits will increase from $5.50 per month to $7 per month.

Customers outside the city limits will also see their customer charge increase, from $8.25 per month to $10.50 per month.

So-called “county line” customers, who also live outside the city limits will see their monthly customer charge decrease, to match the rate for other customers outside the city limits, according to Skelton.

Additionally, multi-unit customers – those in apartment complexes – would see an increase in the monthly charge from $4.88 to $6 per month.

According to Skelton, the last time TUA raised its rates on its own was 11 years ago for electric customers and 13 years ago for water customers.

The need for the rate increases was explained to the board at its April meeting. Skelton told the board then that the costs of doing business, including equipment, material and personnel, have increased “significantly.” Additionally, TUA lost its largest electric customer, UTC Aerospace, in 2018, which reduced TUA revenue by more than $1 million annually.

The board passed the rate increases unanimously at its May 28 meeting.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.