The winter weather should have a bit less chill this year in the pocketbooks of most Chattanooga households.

Electric rates for the typical EPB customer are projected to be 2.1 percent less in January than they were a year ago. The average household in Chattanooga that heats with an electric furnace should pay about $3.06 less than it did last January, if weather conditions match what they were a year ago.

Although the fuel cost portion of the monthly power bill will increase from December to January as temperatures decline and usage rises, the increase is projected to be less this year, EPB spokesman John Pless said. The average bill for a household using the monthly average of just over 1,400 kilowatt hours of electricity will be $145.91 next month.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which supplies power to EPB and 154 other distributors across its seven-state region, has set January's fuel cost adjustment 14 percent below a year ago. TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said the federal utility is benefiting by abundant rains that have boosted hydroelectric generation from TVA's 29 power-producing dams. Lower TVA power sales also are cutting the need to buy or generate power from more expensive sources.

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