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Oxford Utilities’ $23M Budget OK’d By Board of Aldermen

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the Oxford Utilities $23M+ budget for the Fiscal Year 2023 during its regular meeting.

In the proposed budget, presented by Superintendent Rob Neely, OED estimated total spending of $23,742,888, offset by expected revenues of $23,871,585.

The electric department’s largest expense is purchased power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. More than 75% — or about $18 million — of OU-ED’s revenues go toward paying TVA for energy.

“The greatest challenge when preparing an annual budget is projecting electric sales revenue and purchased power expense,” Neely said. “I spend a considerable amount of time preparing estimates for FY2023’s energy costs, which causes the expenses and income of OU-ED to rise and fall.”

The electric company’s operating expenses are projected to decrease slightly when compared to the projected FY2022 budget figures. FY2023 revenues are also projected to increase by approximately 3.7 percent.

OU-ED is nearing the completion of a multi-year LED Streetlight project in which it is replacing every street light with an equivalent LED fixture.

“This project is saving the city over $5,000 a month in energy charges and 33 percent in facility charges on its monthly bill,” Neely said.

In FY2022 TVA announced that there would be no wholesale rate increase for 2022 and that they anticipated flat rates for a period of 8 years. With that in mind, OU will not be requesting any local rate action for FY2023.

 “However, due to the rising cost of natural gas and other fuels used to generate TVA power, the fuel cost adjustment (FCA) fluctuates monthly and may increase or decrease our wholesale rate,” Neely said. “This FCA is a direct pass-through to our retail rate.”

As of April 30, 2022, OU-ED serves 10,125 electric customers with 8,138 residential, 1,675 small commercial businesses, 225 medium commercial businesses, one large commercial business, 19 streets and athletic customers and 67 lighting installations.

“This marks a 2.2 percent increase in electric customers over the calendar year,” Neely said.

The average residential electric usage was approximately 948 kWh per month this year, a 1.3% decrease compared to last year.

Oxford Utilities also serves 14,316 water customers, 12,472 sewer customers and provides billing and customer service to 13,969 sanitation customers. OU organizational structure consists of an Administrative Staff, Electric Division and Water/Sewer Division.

The fiscal year for OED runs July 1 to June 30.

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