Big Country Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors and management work hard to manage costs by studying trends and patterns related to electricity usage, economics and weather. In keeping with this diligence, the co-op recently engaged an independent utility expert to conduct a cost-of-service study to evaluate these factors and determine what it actually costs BCEC to serve each member, giving consideration to the various types of electric service needed by our members—residential, commercial, industrial, farm, seasonal or irrigation, etc.—as cost and requirements vary depending on the type of service.
As we announced at the annual meeting of the membership in April, revised rates will become effective for bills rendered on and after November 1 and will be implemented over three years to minimize the impact to you, passing along the necessary increase gradually. Information about the changes appears in the sidebar below and will also be included in your June Membergram newsletter.
The two primary revisions that will affect your bill are changes to the monthly facility charge and power cost adjustment calculation. Download this PDF to see a complete list of all the changes.
Power Cost Adjustment Calculation
The power cost adjustment is the rate component on electric bills that is based on the co-op’s average expected/budgeted purchased power cost of 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is what we pay for the electricity we buy on your behalf.
The exact cost varies somewhat from month to month, which is why we base our rate on the average mentioned above. BCEC’s rate is $0.099665 per kWh; the difference between that and the cost of purchased power—about $0.039665 per kWh—is what we operate on. While BCEC’s rate has not changed, members will pay more with reduction of the PCA bill credit amount. To minimize the impact of this charge on our members, the PCA is analyzed monthly and every attempt is made to “level” it and be more responsive to changes in fuel costs, rather than pass on possible extreme monthly fluctuations from our wholesale supplier. BCEC will continue to monitor the cost of generating electricity and may adjust the PCA in the future as necessary.
Letters will be mailed to members in August, well in advance of the upcoming changes, to give a realistic example of how you can expect your bill to change.
Big Country EC will host an informational meeting about the changes Thursday, September 5, at the co-op’s Roby office from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
We are taking these steps because of our unfailing commitment to be transparent with you, our members. The collective goals of your BCEC Board of Directors, who are themselves co-op members and bill payers just like you, and management are to meet your expectations with rates that balance the financial strength of your cooperative with safety, reliability, service quality and fairness. Our job as a not-for-profit electric cooperative is to make sure that our prices align with costs so rates are fair to all members, based on sound information and set at a level that allows us to provide reliable service to everyone while maintaining a strong financial position.
Please stay tuned in through the next few months, but know that we do welcome your call if you have questions.