Billing Questions

Billing Questions



Common Questions Regarding Higher Bills

Why was my bill so much higher?

Over the last two months, the Middle Tennessee Electric service area has experienced sustained low temperatures, and as a result, many members increased their energy consumption. Heating and cooling account for more than half of a member's electric bill on average. Your HVAC unit is running longer during prolonged periods of cold weather because it struggles to keep up with the temperature.

What else could contribute to high bills?

Heat pumps are common in homes throughout the MTEMC service territory and are very efficient the majority of the year. However, during extremely low temperatures, heat pumps switch to auxiliary or emergency heat to help heat the home. When auxiliary or emergency heat is activated, it draws up to three times the amount of electricity. The past few months, heat pumps required auxiliary heat often, driving consumption higher for many members.

I've not changed my thermostat — why is my usage up?

Heating and air conditioning units (HVACs) account for 40-60% of your cooling costs. Your HVAC works to maintain your thermostat's set temperature no matter the weather outside. When it's 97 degrees outside, you may set your thermostat to 72 degrees to stay cool. This means your unit must overcome and maintain a 25-degree difference between your exterior and interior temperatures. The higher the outside temperature, the more your unit will run which is using a considerable amount of energy. Raising your thermostat 1 degree can save you 3-5% on your cooling costs. We recommend setting your thermostat at 75 degrees in the summer to maximize your savings while maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home.

If you use myMTEMC, you can see how your energy consumption rises as the temperature increases. Our app and web portal allow you to compare daily usage and even see hourly data which can show when your air conditioner ran during the day. Contact our energy services team to get more information about how to save more energy and decrease your monthly bill.

How do MTEMC's rates compare to other utilities?

MTEMC's rates are about 20% below the national average. Our full rate structure can be viewed here:

When was MTEMC's last rate increase, and is it higher than before?

Middle Tennessee Electric operates in a not-for-profit capacity and passes through rate increases set forth by our power supplier Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and 82 cents of every dollar collected by MTE is paid to TVA for the power used by our members. The remaining 18 cents is used to operate the cooperative. TVA's rates follow a seasonal pattern (winter, transition or summer) and the fuel cost associated with generating the electricity. Over the last couple of years, fuel costs have decreased keeping the overall rate MTE members pay, close to the same.

When we came together with Murfreesboro Electric, part of the regulatory process requires us to suspend all rate changes until 2022. Even before this requirement from TVA, MTE worked hard to control its costs and had not required a rate increase for our operations in over ten years. This means we operate and maintain more than 13,000 miles of electric line on about 18% of every dollar our members pay on their monthly bill. Your cooperative will continue to work with TVA encouraging rates to remain as low as possible for our members. 



Frequently Asked Questions

Does MTEMC offer paperless billing?

Yes. To sign up, register for myMTEMC to access your printed bill settings in your profile.

When will I receive my bill?

Bills are mailed out monthly in billing cycles. Meter reading route determines the date your bill is mailed and due.

How do I pay my bill?

We offer a number of payment options so you may choose what is convenient for you: 

  • Sign up to pay your bill automatically by bank draft at no charge.
  • Use the return envelope provided with your bill.
  • Make a payment by electronic check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover, or ATM/Debit cards over the phone by calling 1-877-777-0215 or online at
  • Drop it by our offices in Franklin, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna or Woodbury, where you can come inside or use the drive-through window during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, you may use the night depository boxes at the offices or at these other locations:



How to Read Your Bill

As a member-owner of MTEMC, you can now become an expert on your energy usage. Not only can your bill report how much energy you use each day, but it can tell you the daily cost, how outside temperature affects your homes energy usage, and how your current energy consumption compares to the year before. Your energy bill also includes customized messages specifically for you about your usage, monthly energy tips, and special savings opportunities.


Glossary of Billing Terms

Due Date

The date your payment can be received (by 4:30 p.m.) before you would incur a late fee. It is always 17 days from your Invoice Date. If the 17th day falls on a weekend or holiday, your due date slips automatically to the next business day.

Total Due

The amount you owe your electric cooperative.

Billing Period

The time period from previous meter reading to most recent meter reading, usually about 30 days.

Invoice Date

The day your bill was printed and mailed. Your due date will be 17 days after this date.

Previous Balance

The amount due from your previous bill.

Payment Recieved

The amount your cooperative received from you (as of the time the bill is printed) for last month?s bill.

Balance Forward

Equals Previous Balance minus Payment Received.

Current Changes

Includes monthly Customer Charge, energy consumption charges for the current month and program charges for SharingChange, SharingChange+ and Green Power Switch.


Typically credits you might be receiving.

Miscellaneous Charges

Loan charges, meter set fees, etc.

Message to Member

Monthly information from the cooperative to members. Be sure to take a look every month!

Consumption History

A snapshot of your energy consumption over the last 13 months.

Meter Information

Describes the rate classification for a particular meter. Most members fall in the residential rate classification. See the Residential or Business sections of this website for more rate information.

KwH Usage

Total of kilowatt-hours consumed during the month. A kilowatt-hour is equal to 1,000 watts of power used for one hour, or the equivalent of ten 100-watt light bulbs used for one hour.

Basic Service

While basic charges for power usage largely go straight to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to pay for electricity, the Basic Charge helps offset costs incurred by the cooperative itself. Day-to-day, unavoidable fixed costs such as those costs associated with meter reading (including equipment, employee and vehicle costs), bill rendering (including purchase, operation and maintenance of billing computer systems), bill delivery (bill printing and mailing) and the distribution electrical grid facilities are offset with the Basic Service Charge. MTEMC has always collected a Basic Service Charge, as do all other electric utilities.


This charge is measured in kilowatt hours and represents the amount of energy consumed for the given billing period. MTEMC now includes TVA?s Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) in the consumption charge. FCA is a mechanism to help TVA deal with volatile fuel costs and can be adjusted up or down monthly depending on global shifts in fuel costs, such as coal and natural gas, which are both used in the production of electricity. A member?s consumption is impacted by weather, appliance use, and the overall energy efficiency of your home or business. MTEMC has a variety of programs available to assist our members in reducing consumption if they are interested. Visit for more information or contact us at 877-777-9020.


Member bills are rounded up to the next whole dollar amount and the change is set aside to benefit community causes.

After Due Date

The amount you should pay if you are paying after your due date?it includes a late fee.

Regulatory Law

MTEMC must abide by certain regulations governing utility practices, including enforcing timely bill payment on the part of its members. MTEMC's members are responsible to the cooperative and the rest of its members to do their part in paying bills on time.

Payment Coupon

Detach this portion of the bill to return with payment. Be certain the MTEMC address shows in the window.