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Local industry wants cheaper electricity

Danville Utility’s industrial customers are waiting to hear what will be done to bring their electricity costs in line with the competition — a plan that has been worked on since the Danville Utility Commission’s steering committee made its recommendations in April.

One of those recommendations included studying what the impact would be — to both customers and Danville Utilities — if industrial customers were allowed to choose their own power supplier.

The results of that study are due to be discussed with the Danville Utility Commission at its October meeting.

David Bennett, vice president of operations, CST and films at Intertape — Danville Utilities’ biggest customer — has been vocal about the impact rising rates have had on the company.

In April, Bennett said the unexpected increase in the price of electricity threw the plant’s budget out of balance by about $500,000. To correct that, the company had to shift some projects to other plants where electric costs are lower, causing layoffs at the Danville plant.

The company is still in that situation, waiting to find out what Danville Utilities will do to bring prices down.

“ We’re preparing our budget now for next year and we don’t know where it’s going to go,” Bennett said. “Danville is one of our larger plants and it needs comparative rates … some of our smaller plants have better rates.”

To put the amount of power that plant uses in perspective: the average home in Danville uses about 1,000 kilowatts of power every month while Intertape — between July 2013 and June 2014 — used close to five million kilowatts per month, slightly more than 56.9 million kilowatts for the year. Its electric bill for that year was almost $3.7 million.

Since 2014, Bennett said in April, costs for electricity have gone up about 10 percent.
Read full article at Go Dan River