During most of the past twenty plus years Humboldt Electric could lay claim to being ranked #1 among the 160 TVA power distributors as to cost per kWh of electricity. Humboldt citizens paid less per kWh than any other town in the TVA System, and TVA was lower than most of the rest of the nation. Humboldt has been in a unique and enviable position for many years with utility rates. These low rates combined with good customer service have been a source of pride for the City of Humboldt.
Several factors contribute to Humboldt's low rates. One is a combination utility with electric, gas, water, and sewer under one roof. This lends itself to a more efficient operation and keeps administrative costs to a minimum. Other factors have been compactness of the system, number of customers per mile of line, an excellent industrial load (65% of system), and a well trained and dedicated work force. Also during this period the utility has been relatively debt free and since the utility is a consumer owned, not-for-profit operation, it could use earnings from reserve funds to subsidize rates. The general philosophy has been to keep the rates as low as possible and still maintain a sound business operation. The Board of Public Utilities and Management have consistently "looked ahead" and planned ahead to anticipate needs and act accordingly.
The overall philosophy has been conservative, but visionary, so that the most cost effective solutions can be implemented when the timing is right.