More Residential Rate Options Available to Members
A modest increase in residential rates proposed by the United Power board of directors in November became effective in January. Members on the Standard Residential rate will see a 1.5% rate increase, which amounts to an average increase of $1.58 per month. Members on the residential Time of Day and Irrigation rates will see a 2% increase, or an average monthly increase of $3.23. While the increase became effective beginning with usage on January 1, 2020, members won’t see the increase on their bills until February statements are mailed out.
Changes to residential rates include a small increase to the demand component, which was introduced to members beginning in 2019, and a corresponding reduction in the energy charge. For example, in the Standard Residential rate, the demand charge increased by 50¢ per kW while the energy charge dropped from 10.15¢ per kWh to 9.95¢ per kWh. The separation of the demand and energy elements allows the cooperative to more accurately, and fairly, charge members for their usage and impact on the system.
In addition to the rate change, residential members now have more options with the addition of the new Peak Time of Day Rate. Members who opt into the new rate will pay a slightly higher demand charge than on the standard residential or time of day rates, but are only charged for demand during on-peak hours (2 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Saturday), providing more incentive and savings when members switch usage to off-peak hours.
“United Power is constantly looking into its rates and trying to find the best way to serve its members both individually and collectively,” said Dean Hubbuck, Director of Power Supply and Rates. “The addition of the Smart Choice and Peak Time of Day rates over the past two years has given members more options to find something that’s flexible and works for them.”
The new Peak Time of Day rate offers relief to members who utilize energy-intensive appliances that can cause spikes in demand overnight, such as electric thermal storage. With the new rate, members can charge their storage off-peak without worrying about demand. Electric vehicle owners who charge at night will also benefit from the new rate.
United Power will also be adding a new component to its billing statements that shows members exactly when they hit their peak demand. While this information is available through the Power Portal, it is not currently printed on bills. To find detailed information on United Power’s available residential rates for 2020, go to Residential Rates. There you can compare the demand and energy charges of each rate and choose one that works best for you.
The cooperative has also compiled a helpful list of resources to better understand the demand rate, including videos, printable materials and frequently asked questions. To view these resources and more, go to Understanding Demand.