Frequently Asked Questions
Below are questions we often hear from members of BRMEMC.
- All BRMEMC electric rates, as defined in our currently effective rate schedules as approved by TVA, are made up of primarily two components; the fixed customer charge and the energy charge. The fixed customer charge is one way for us to recover our fixed costs such as; the cost of constructing our electric infrastructure, installing meters, reading the meters each month, billing the members, collecting payments each month, and paying taxes, insurance, etc. The customer charge helps BRMEMC keep the cost of constructing infrastructure and operating our business fair for all members.
- The second component of the rate is the energy charge (kilowatt-hour charge), which can be looked at as a variable cost recovery charge. Members who use larger amounts of energy pay for this variable cost through the energy charge portion of the rate.
- BRMEMC has different customer charge amounts assigned to different classes of members. For example, all residential members pay the same customer charge, while others in the commercial or industrial classes pay different amounts based on their individual class of service. Customer charges are determined through a “cost of service” study. BRMEMC adjusts its customer charge rates as needed based on information provided from that study which evaluates the fixed-cost expense required to serve each meter by class. Rates are authorized and detailed in TVA’s RS and GSA rate schedules. BRMEMC simply follows the approved rate design and charges each metered account the appropriate customer charge, based on the type of service.
- All electric utilities charge a fixed monthly charge although they may have a different name for this charge (i.e. Fixed Service Charge, Monthly Facilities Charge, etc.) and many other electric utilities don’t itemize this charge on the monthly bill.
Read more information about the Customer Charge here: BRMEMC Customer Charge Research
NRECA provides a great explanatory video for members to watch here.
If you have an unresolved issue or complaint regarding your electric service account, TVA may be able to help.
For more details see TVA's Complaint Resolution Process.
BRMEMC, and other cooperatives supplied by TVA, enjoy some of the lowest electric rates in the country. One of the reasons for this is the practice of reinvestment of all margins, or excess revenues, back into the electric system. This helps to minimize the need for borrowing of additional funds for capital expansion. Members who are accustomed to being served by non-TVA cooperatives question our practice of not returning margins to our membership. Oftentimes, these members have grown used to these payments, commonly referred to as “patronage capital” or “capital credits”. At some electric cooperatives across the nation capital credits may be paid back over time to the members or reinvested into the electric system to lower borrowing needs. However, because BRMEMC falls under the authority of the TVA Act of 1933 as well as TVA’s Wholesale Power Contract requirements, BRMEMC and other TVA Cooperatives are restricted in what they can do with excess revenue. Our contract with TVA requires BRMEMC to reinvest any and all margins back into our electric distribution system. In other words, the only way we can actually return margins back to our membership is in the form of reduced electric rates. TVA’s reasoning for this is simple – it is cheaper for the Cooperative to use internal funds than to borrow money for electric additions. This philosophy continually applies downward pressure to our electric rates, and minimizes the need to frequently borrow funds from various lenders, which obviously costs money. This concept has worked very well as BRMEMC’s residential rates remain lower than the national average.
The latest data is available at the following link: Georgia Public Service Commission Residential Rate Surveys.
TVA’s average retail rate is currently 35th lowest of the top 100 U.S. Utilities.
- Directors receive a monthly payment of $450.00 per diem as compensation for attendance at all regular meetings of the Board.
- $200 per diem for attending workshops, training programs, conferences, etc.
- Travel allowance at the current IRS rate.
No, BRMEMC board members are not provided health insurance or retirement benefits.
A nominating committee of at least (4) board members are appointed to search for candidates to recommend to the full Board for approval. The person elected by a majority vote of the full Board will fill the unexpired term of the vacated director.
Per BRMEMC By-laws Section 4.60 - The nominating committee has complete authority to nominate “as many nominees for any director to be elected from or with respect to any Directorate District as it deems desirable.”
To protect the privacy of our employees we do not disclose the compensation for our employees other than those in excess of $100,000 which are required by the IRS to be disclosed annually on the IRS Form 990.
Approximately 200 employees; give or take employees that have recently retired or left the Co-op.
Yes, we are using EPA approved chemical herbicides for vegetation management. Read more about herbicide use here: BRMEMC Herbicide Spraying Q and A.