utilities power lines

To qualify for ElectriCities' incentives, new commercial or industrial customers must use more than 300 kilowatts during at least three months out of a 12-month period.

CORNELIUS – ElectriCities can now offer incentives for new commercial or industrial customers that use high amounts of electricity each month.

On July 15 commissioners approved an economic development rider for the town-owned public power company to allow discounts of 30 percent the first year with decreasing deductions until the end of the 48-month contract.

“In certain cases we have areas in town where they have customer choice,” said Town Manager Andrew Grant. “They may not have to go with Duke Energy or ElectriCities or EnergyUnited. If there is customer choice, an economic rider such as this allows us to offer that kind of incentive.”

To qualify, new commercial or industrial customers must use more than 300 kilowatts during at least three months out of a 12-month period, and energy usage must equal at least a 50 percent load factor for at least one month a year.

Grant said there is already a potential customer in the unassigned territory on N.C. 115 that the town hopes the incentive will attract.

“In the past you could bring things like this back to the board and get us to react to it,” Mayor Woody Washam said. “But in an economic development negotiation like this, you have to be nimble and quick. This gives some authority out there to move forward with this.”

ElectriCities Electric Systems Manager Don Mitchell said offering the discounts wouldn’t negatively impact the system’s revenue because of the way the wholesale rate structure is set, but he encouraged the new program as a way to recruit new customers that typically see monthly bills of around $15,000 or more.

“The key thing to me is it allows our electric company to compete with the other competitors out there like EnergyUnited and Duke,” Washam said. “If we don’t do that, they are going to do it. And they are going to take opportunities to provide this service that we simply won’t get. They’ll bid it out, and they’ll go the other way. That’s been proven time and time again. ❑”

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