August 12, 2020

Seymour residents express concern over high electric rates

Seymour residents express concern over high electric rates

SEYMOUR (KFDX/KJTL) — Some Seymour residents are expressing concern over their electric bills. Those residents say an increase in the electric rate has caused bills to skyrocket.

Some residents said electric bills have gone up more than $100. Resident Emily Ermis said electric bills in Seymour have been high for years.

Texas residents have the power to choose their own electric provider. Because the city of Seymour is a municipal-owned utility, they are the only electric provider in city limits. Ermis said that should not be the case.

“But what I don’t understand is that residents of other communities around us their cities they don’t generate their revenue through electricity so why is ours?” Ermis said.

Seymour department head of city economic development Lauren Bush said most municipalities make their revenue through water sales and property taxes but Seymour makes their revenue through electricity sales.

“We purchase electricity from another company and then we turn around and sell it to our community members,” Bush said. “And that’s how the city makes their money.”

Seymour city council voted to lower the power cost factor to 6 and a half cents from 8 and a half cents. However, after a decrease in revenue, the council increased the cost to the previous 8 and a half cents.

Some residents are concerned with the spike in cost, however, Ermis said high electric bills aren’t new in Seymour.

“It’s not a recent increase. It’s been this way for years,” Ermis said. “It’s always been high and I’m just now speaking out about it but it’s been high for a very long time.”

Bush said the temperature and energy consumption are to blame for high bills that happen every summer.

“I usually pull up their previous bill and tell them what their consumption was for June and then compare that to their consumption in July,” Bush said. “If you use 400 more kilowatts in July, that’s why your bill is that much higher.”

The city’s contract with its electric provider ends at the end of the year. When the city gets their next contract, city officials hope to reduce the electric rate once again.

“I’m gonna work side by side with each council member and we’re gonna do everything we can to work for you, for the community. And try to get this issue solved as soon as we can,” Seymour mayor Jon Hrncirik said.

Here’s more information on electric rates in Seymour.

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