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BrightRidge approves $1.3 million recovery credit on February power bills; joins TVA to donate $150,000 to Hand Up Fund
JOHNSON CITY – For a second year in a row, BrightRidge will give customers a $1.32 million Pandemic Recovery Credit that will save residential and small commercial customers as much as 10 percent on their February power bills, typically the heaviest usage month of the year.
“We are grateful for the economic recovery in our region,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “Nonetheless, we realize our customers are still working to get back to a pre-pandemic economic footing. The BrightRidge Board of Directors and staff believe this is yet another way we can continue to support our region moving ahead.”
BrightRidge has held electric rates flat for three years running, while leading several relief efforts, including providing targeted assistance to low-income customers and small businesses as well as across-the-board relief such as the Pandemic Recovery Credit.
In two years, BrightRidge has returned $2.6 million to customers through the Recovery credit. Customers should receive the credit on their February 2022 power bills. The balance of the Pandemic Recovery Credit not passed as savings to customers will go to assist the utility in offsetting inflation in material and operational costs.
“The credit is provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority directly to retail electricity distributors such as BrightRidge to offset higher costs and revenue losses due to the pandemic,” Dykes said. “Much as our customers have seen food, gasoline, building materials and other costs rise at home, certainly, BrightRidge has seen the impact of inflation as well.”
BrightRidge’s Board of Directors also voted Tuesday to provide $75,000 to match a $75,000 gift from the Tennessee Valley Authority to be contributed the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Fund. The Fund was created in 1989 and is powered by electric system customer contributions, with BrightRidge matching all customer contributions up to $70,000.
“We certainly thank TVA for stepping up for a second year in a row with this gift to the Hand Up Fund,” Dykes said. “From the onset of the pandemic, BrightRidge pledged to do all we could to help folks recover. And certainly, we are pleased to be well positioned along with TVA to continue supporting our community as the recovery continues.”
Since 2019, the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Fund has assisted more than 2,000 families who were struggling to pay their power bill. The late Rev. Dr. Heisse Johnson initiated the Fund in 1989 in partnership with BrightRidge, Atmos Energy, Good Samaritan Ministries, the Salvation Army, and other community agencies.
The program is administered by the United Way of the East Tennessee Highlands and distributed to those in need via a screening process administered through the Salvation Army, Good Samaritan Ministries, and the Jonesborough Water Department.
For more information on how to donate to the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Fund or to access assistance programs, please phone BrightRidge Customer Service at 423-952-5000 or initiate a customer support Live Chat conversation at www.BrightRidge.com.
BrightRidge is a publicly owned electric utility serving more than 81,000 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest retail electric company in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. It’s BrightRidge Broadband division offers nation-leading 10GB symmetrical fiber to the premise services as part of an ongoing buildout in its service area.