As of April 4th, Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s member-owners will not pay the coal-ash fee for the remainder of the year. This comes after more than three years of the cost appearing on member-owner’s bills following the 2014 Duke Energy coal ash spill where a broken pipe flooded the Dan River with coal ash waste.
In the last three years, the co-op has reduced the initial percentage member-owners paid from 0.544 percent in November 2018 to 0.08 percent this year. While the complete clean-up for the spill per the NC Public Utilities Commission has been extended until 2032, the fee removal results from the co-op's wholesale power coast allocation credit.
Cathy Davison, the co-op’s chief financial officer, stated “The co-op’s wholesale power cost allocation credit is an accumulation of the decreased amount of power the co-op purchased over the forecasted amount. For the last two years, the co-op's strategic focus on reducing the amount of electricity we have to purchase through various initiatives allows us to pass along those savings to our member-owners."
The co-op will provide the credit back to the member-owners for the entire year.
When asked if she foresees the fee returning, Davison stated that she “does not foresee it returning for many years down the road, as long as the NC Public Utilities Commission does not change the coal ash clean up requirements again. Roanoke Electric Cooperative is doing everything we can to relieve our member-owners from having to pay the coal-ash fee related to Duke Energy's coal ash clean-up.”