Rutherford EMC's Response to New Voices

Here are the facts:

  • Of the 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina, REMC’s rates are the 4th lowest.
  • Of all 106 electric service providers in North Carolina, REMC’s rates rank in the lowest quartile (24 of 106).
  • It is true that REMC’s average rate per kilowatt-hour is slightly higher than the statewide average. But only 5.46% higher, not 13.4 percent in 2011, as this group claims. Plus, that statewide average is misleading, because most customers in North Carolina are served by Duke Energy. Duke’s rates are lower than average because of the company’s huge size. REMC members benefit from a higher level of service and personal attention.
  • REMC’s slightly higher average rates reflect the extra costs and demands that cold weather, ice and snow place on our system.
  • Also, REMC and other electric co-ops serve far fewer customers per mile of line than do municipal systems and large utilities such as Duke. A municipal system, for example, might have 60 customers per mile of line. Rutherford EMC has fewer than 10 customers per mile. The municipals’ greater density means a larger customer base over which to spread the costs of service.

A Hidden Agenda?

Is “New Voices” just the same old wolf in sheep’s clothing?

  • There is a striking similarity between its news release and attacks on REMC that were circulated last year. Those attacks came from a group closely allied with opponents of Rutherford EMC’s plans to construct a new transmission line. The line is needed to ensure reliable service for about 5,000 people in the Dysartsville area of Burke County. If the line is not built, these customers could lose power during winter storms.
  • The opponents, working through a company named 130 of Chatham, LLC, are allied with Tim Sweeney, a very large landowner who lives in Cary, N.C. Mr. Sweeney and 130 of Chatham refuse to allow REMC to use less than one-half of one percent of a 5,000-acre tract he owns for the new route.
  • REMC members and the community deserve a straight answer from the so-called “New Voices” group: Is it receiving any support and assistance – financial contributions, public-relations consulting, legal advice or otherwise – from the 130 of Chatham group? REMC members and the community also deserve the facts about rates.

Click here to read the full press release.