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Message from the Manager July 2018

Fair Pricing: Shift to $ave

As a “not-for-profit” cooperative, it is our mission to serve our membership with programs such as helping to pay for Home Energy Audits, and to sell at prices so everyone pays their fair share. Our goal is to reduce cross-support between large and small users, solar and non-solar users, and electric vehicle (EV) & non-electric vehicle users. Therefore, we are changing from a two-part rate to a multi-part time-of-use rate to be phased in over the next five or fewer years.

Reducing On-Peak use (i.e. weekdays 2 to 6 p.m.) will save shared costs. For instance, if a diesel engine block heater is plugged in during On-Peak the cost is higher, but the member using it is not charged more, which means all members share the costs related to one heater. Electric vehicles add even greater On-Peak costs. It would help all of us if EVs are charged Off-Peak.

The Service Availability, shown below in blue sections, are for a portion of minimal electric service and reliability costs such as maintenance of right-of-way and outage recovery. Three of the four line items on your electric bill appear to be “New”, yet members have always been charged for all four costs included in the Energy Charge.

Recent research, known as the “Consumer Pulse” study, found that a large majority of consumer’s desire two programs: 1) use more renewable energy, and 2) help them take control of home energy use to save money.

  • Our power supplier KAMO Power and Associated Electric are second in the U.S. for most wind power purchased among Co-op users and has signed an agreement to purchase even more wind power.
  • With our new Fair Pricing: Shift to $ave program, members with consistent On-Peak use will continue paying the same amount and may even see some savings! For a less consistent user, they may choose to shift use within the On-Peak times by limiting to one large appliance during each On-Peak hour or shift use to Off-Peak hours. Simultaneous use of appliances such as a washer, dryer, oven or extreme air conditioning within each On-Peak hour lead to higher cost.

“Power” is like average speed on a speedometer for an hour, and “Energy” is like mileage over a month. Electric meters measure the power (kW) needed to run everything during each hour, and the energy (kWh) over the month everything is used. In the example below, the average monthly bill per meter is $130. This won’t change, but remember only a few meters system wide are exactly average. The cost for a specific member will be based on measured use. As rates are phased-in, the kWh rate will decrease, and the max hour of use kW charge(s) will be added to the bill. The electricity will be “on-sale” during 85% of each month including weekends.

Reducing total shared Co-op costs will benefit the membership by allowing individual members to pay only their fair share while considering if they need or want to Shift to $ave. Therefore, we plan to begin implementing the Fair Pricing time-of-use program in the fall of 2018 or 2019 to assist individual members with long-term purchase decisions like water heaters and electric vehicles.