Electricity Rates are going up all over Texas. Unfortunately, some people are getting almost to a panic stage regarding power costs. Since Seymour operates a Municipally Owned Utility (MOU) for our electric distribution system, City staff members hear concerns frequently about the increasing costs of electricity. We are happy to answer questions about the bills.
Some facts that are frequently lost during discussions of electricity bills are:
- Rates are going up across the country, not just Seymour and not just Baylor County. Electricity costs are tied to fossil fuel costs and all petroleum based fuels have increased in cost in recent months. The increase in the cost of electric power affects everyone and the increase in the cost of petroleum-based products affects everyone.
- The City of Seymour actually lowered their retail rate by $.01 in December 2012, saving consumers $275.00 a year on average.
- The revenue that is made from the ‘mark up’ (as some people call it), is used to pay the bills of the City. The costs of paving roads, mowing lots, operating the swimming pools, maintenance of the city park, municipal golf course, and to support the police department, fire department, chamber of commerce, Baylor County Museum, Library, and conducting the Clean Up weeks twice a year and paying staff – all these things are paid for in part with money from the electric and water/sewer utilities. The revenue from the electric sales provides the money needed to meet the budget.
- Owning a MOU means that citizens in Seymour pay lower property taxes than they would pay in a city without a MOU. Seymour city residents paid .40598 tax rate on real property only for the city tax levy for Fiscal Year 2016. The residents in Henrietta, Texas paid a tax rate of .8250, Archer City paid .7550, and Megargel citizens paid .80259.
- The City employees pay the same utility rates as all other city customers for all city services.
- The City of Seymour uses a rate schedule instead of charging TDSP to their customers. The cost of power is reflected in the “Power Cost Factor” cost. As of June 2020, that power cost is 8.5¢. The rate schedule is based of consumption. This allows are citizens to better anticipate their billing per month. TDSP charges would be impossible to anticipate or estimate.