November 2023

Dustin Tripp

At the 84th Annual Meeting in August and again in this President’s Column in the September issue, your Cooperative began informing members of the need to increase retail rates this Fall back to the approximate same retail rate level as the year 2020.  This article is will provide more information regarding the retail rate change that you will see on your invoices.

In 2020, your Cooperative approved a retail rate decrease for every Cooperative member that began on January 1st, 2021.  This retail rate decrease was projected to save the average residential member approximately 8.8%.  At that time, the rate decrease was possible due to wholesale power cost credits and other deferrals.  Your electric Cooperative was able to extend these lower rates for over 2 ½ years.  However, the deferrals and credits that made the rate decrease possible have been exhausted.  In addition, we have all experienced the significant inflationary cost increases which is also occurring in the materials the Cooperative uses to build the distribution sytem.

The invoices you are receiving now will include a retail rate increase in the service availability charge and the energy charge that is approximately the same as the retail rates in 2020 prior to the rate decrease.  The actual amount of the rate change that a member will experience depends upon the amount of energy used each month.  Rate studies show that the average residential member on the standard residential rate (Rate A) or the all-electric rate (Rate AH) with average range consumptions will see an increase in the range of 8.5 to 9.0%.  These increases do not reflect the changes in the wholesale power cost adjustment charge that is adjusted monthly due to the actual wholesale power costs incurred.

Small business, irrigation, commercial and industrial accounts will also receive this rate increase.  The actual amount of increase that each member will receive depends upon the amount of demand utilized, energy consumed and the respective load factor for each account.

Every year, your Cooperative reviews the rates paid by our membership and compares that to the other 24 electric cooperatives around the state.  Your Cooperative’s electric rate consistently ranks among the lowest electric rates in the state and in 2023, your Cooperative ranked the No. 1 lowest average residential rate in the state.  Even with this new retail rate change, your Cooperative’s electric rate will still rank among the lowest in the state.

As a not-for-profit organization, your Cooperative does not strive to produce profits for shareholders and investors but must maintain a sound financial position for the membership. Your cooperative’s sole purpose is to provide you, as cooperative member-owners, with reliable and quality service at equitable rates.  We thank you for the opportunity to serve you and we want you to know that your Cooperative is owned by the people it serves and will continue to be an electric cooperative that is truly operated “for the people and by the people.”

See you next month and as always, “We’ll keep the lights on for you.”