The United Power board of directors proposed a modest increase in residential rates at their November 8th regulatory meeting. The rate increase will vary from 1.5–2% for residential members. Members on the standard residential rate will see a 1.5% rate increase beginning with their January 1st usage, which amounts to an average increase of $1.58 per month. Members on the residential time-of-day rate and irrigation rate will see a 2% increase – an average monthly increase of $3.23 per month.
An additional time-of-day rate was added in response to concerns raised by members utilizing the time-of-day rate. The additional time-of-day rate gives members who utilize specialized equipment and shift their consumption to off-peak periods another rate option. (See Rates Chart attachment below)
“As we move forward with the rate changes, it’s important that we listen to our members, and our newest rate is a response to their concerns,” stated Dean Hubbock, Director of Power Supply and Rates. “The new rates should have a minimal impact on members, and we now have several rates that members can consider when determining the best rate for their lifestyle.”
Last year, United Power instituted a new rate structure that allowed the cooperative to more fairly bill members for not only the power they use, but also for their impact on the electrical system delivering power. The new rate structure charges for energy and demand, breaking apart two costs that had been previously blended together. The new structure even allows members to have more control over the components of their bill that raise their costs. For example, in the residential rate, the demand charge increased by 50¢ per kW, while the energy charge drops from 10.15¢ per kWh to 9.95¢ per kWh.
“We understand that everyone has a different way they use power in their home, and by expanding our rate offerings, members can select a rate that best fits their usage patterns,” stated Hubbock.
In addition to the changes to the residential rates, the board proposed a couple additional changes. Irrigation rates will see a 2% monthly increase for 2020 – an increase of about $1.79 per month. Small and large commercial customers and large industrial primary customers will see an overall 2% monthly decrease in 2020.
“The small reduction for commercial customers was warranted according to our most recent cost-of-service study,” stated Hubbock. “We will be conducting another full study in 2020, and that will help us continue to refine the rates we charge members in different rate classes.”
The new rates will go into effect for usage beginning January 1, 2020, so members will not see the increase on their bills until their February billing. Members can learn more about how to control their demand and lower their overall electric costs by visiting the Understanding Demand page. There are many helpful resources and videos to help you understand how the two components of your power are billed and how to control these costs.