Archived Story

You asked: City of Franklin explains why it’s passing along fuel surcharge

Published 9:30am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Curious about something in Western Tidewater? Send your question to, and we’ll do our best to find the answer.

You asked: Virginia Dominion Power’s website states it hasn’t/will not raise power rates. Why is the city doing so?


FRANKLIN—During the Franklin city council meeting on April 22, Franklin Power & Light announced it would be passing along a fuel surcharge from Virginia Dominion Power to local customers, and that would be shown in the May bills.

As reported in The Tidewater News on April 26, that the charge is a direct pass through to customers directly from Virginia Dominion Power. The charge has been adjusted every year, and sometimes results in a reduction to rates.

The 2011 fuel rate charge was $0.017 per kilowatt hour, whereas in 2012 it went down to $0.009 per kilowatt hour, and now in 2013 has gone back up to $0.011.

“We are still not at the 2011 level,” Franklin Power & Light Director Mark Bly said.

On Monday, Bly told the newspaper the information in question wouldn’t be on the Dominion website, as it shows only retail rates, and the city deals with a wholesale power contract.

Franklin purchases its power on a wholesale basis as a member of the Virginia Municipal Electric Association, which also includes Manassas, Culpeper, Harrisonburg, Elkton, Wakefield and Blackstone.

Bly said the fuel surcharge is “for power that has already been used by our customers – so it is a direct pass through to the customer.” He said some companies that buy wholesale power put these charges in the base rate, but Franklin Power & Light does not.

He said the charge was basically a “true up” for the previous year. He said the term fuel means gas, coal nuclear and biomass or “how Dominion generates the power.”

“It is not a set charge,” said Bly, who added that changes are based on consumption from year to year.

  • moderate

    “Government investigators have found that JPMorgan Chase devised “manipulative schemes” that transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” and that one of its most senior executives gave “false and misleading statements” under oath.

    Suggest Removal

  • ChubRobin

    Soooo many people don’t know their OWN Kw usage each month! Look at YOUR variables?
    Heat: propane gas, electric heat pump, or electric baseboard?
    What temperature do you try to maintain in the cold weather? The further above 68° you go, the higher the cost.
    Appliances: Gas or electric stove, hot water, dryer?
    Sq footage of your house: The bigger, the more you use,
    Old home or newer home: Older homes have more air leaks, less wall insulation.
    How many in the family: More residents use more electricity (more TV’s & computers, more showers, larger meals, more rooms being heated.
    The list goes on and on – and it is NOT the City’s problem to fix your ignorance. If you are reading this, you should be savy enough to develope a plan to conserve SOME your energy usage rather than taxing our local government agencies with frivolous accusations.

    Suggest Removal

  • Second Opinion

    what is the average KW usage for a customer?

    Suggest Removal

    • chuck

      VDP estimates the average customer uses 1,000 Kw-hrs per month.

      Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks