JOIN TENNESSEE BUSINESS OWNERS AND TELL TVA
PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH
DON'T STIFLE IT
Dear TVA Board of Directors:
It’s not easy – or cheap – to run a business. As small business owners, we wake up everyday thinking about how we can improve the chances for our businesses to grow and be successful. We work hard to ensure that our business will continue to thrive and contribute to the continued growth and economic development of our local communities throughout Tennessee.
We are concerned that TVA is proposing changes to our rate structure that will mean more mandatory fees and higher monthly bills for small businesses, while continuing to show preferential treatment to a small handful of large industrial customers. The current proposal from TVA is both short sighted and illogical - a bad economic development strategy.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of economic development throughout the Tennessee Valley. There are over 580,000 small businesses in TN alone, employing 1.1 million, and functioning as the true “economic engine” of TN. In fact, Tennessee consistently ranks in the top 5, and frequently leads the nation, in small business job growth. Small businesses are Tennessee’s most effective job creators and drivers of the state’s economy.
With TVA's proposed changes, the average residential electricity customer could likely pay, in total, over $350/year before they even flip a switch ($29.24/month). This charge, which comes from what is called a mandatory or fixed fee, means that we are paying for energy consumption before we even open our doors for business every day. These mandatory fees limit small business owners opportunities for controlling their bills through energy efficiency and self generation investments.
And, while we don’t have full visibility on the amount of the mandatory fees for small businesses throughout the Valley due to lack of information from TVA, we have reason to believe that small businesses are seeing even higher mandatory fees than residential customers. Recent studies show that over the past five years TVA has shifted $1.4 billion in costs from industrial to residential customers, and this proposal will continue that trend. By their actions, TVA has shown that they are blind to the fact that small businesses are the economic backbone of this state. Instead, they offer preferential treatment to a small group of large industrial customers and pass those costs down to small businesses who are simply asking for fair treatment and a level playing field.
We strongly urge TVA leadership to go back to the drawing board and create a plan that helps small businesses throughout the Tennessee Valley unleash our economic potential, and allows us to compete fairly with our big business counterparts. TVA should be thoughtful, deliberate, and transparent, and develop a rate structure plan which recognizes the key economic impact that small businesses make throughout the Valley. TVA should promote our economic growth, not stifle it.
Tennessee Small Business Owners