by Zac Perkins, CEO
Several factors have recently influenced the amount you pay for electricity. Average temperatures this fall were higher than last year. Therefore, many people used more electricity for cooling than usual in the previous months.
Please keep in mind that I’m writing this in late October for publication in December. We originally released much of what you will read here in an article posted to local media outlets, our website and our social media channels in mid-October.
The cooperative’s power supply costs have also increased along with the roughly 200% increase in natural gas prices compared to last year. The change in energy costs caused the amount charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the power cost adjustment line item on electric bills to increase to $0.025 per kWh.
Several line items reflect power costs on your electric bill. They are:
- Service availability charge – A fixed fee that recovers a portion of the infrastructure costs required to deliver power.
- Energy charge – A charge billed at a fixed rate per kWh based on the amount of electricity you use.
- Power cost adjustment – Also based on the amount of electricity used, this charge is variable based on generation and transmission expenses.
- February 2021 Weather Event Rider — A 10-year rate rider billed at $0.003 per kWh used to recoup costs from Winter Storm Uri.
If you would like to learn more about factors influencing your electric bill, you can visit https://tcec.coop/bill.
The baseload power generation for TCEC’s power supplier, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, is natural gas. Year to date, the increased volatility and inflation in natural gas prices has resulted in over 30% more cost to generate electricity than in recent years. As the generation power supply mix becomes more reliant upon dispatchable and intermittent sources, the likelihood of price volatility increases. Because of this, some costs become more difficult to predict.
TCEC strives to contain controlled costs. TCEC delivers safe, reliable electricity at the lowest cost possible. Since 2016, TCEC’s controlled costs have decreased by 30.33%. Improved system reliability has reduced the need for overtime labor hours and costly repairs. Closely managing the cooperative’s staffing needs to keep headcount low and the organization efficient has also helped reduce costs. TCEC has reduced costs cumulatively by $43 million since 2016 to keep electricity prices as stable as possible.
Members can take many low-to-no-cost measures to lower their energy use and save on their electric bills. Please visit www.tcec.coop/save for free tips and publications that can help you take those steps.
If you believe that your energy use is higher than usual despite taking energy-saving steps, you can request an energy analysis by filling out the online form at www.tcec.coop under “Service” at the bottom of the “Save” page. If you have questions regarding your electric service, call TCEC at 580-652-2418 or email email@example.com.