One of the many benefits of being a member of a not-for-profit electric cooperative is receiving power at cost. During the months of November and December, members of Clay Electric saw the cost of power for 1,000 kWh decrease to $113.30. This lower cost of power was due to an effort by the co-op to return savings from lower wholesale power costs that occurred earlier in 2015.
The funds were returned to members via lowered energy charges. Beginning this month (January), the co-op’s cost of power for 1,000 kWh will return to $117.90, which remains very competitively priced, and is $1.55 lower than the average cost for 1,000 kWh in 2015.
In other news, a recent rate study indicated the cooperative should increase its Customer Charge to approximately $28 per month, to recoup more of the fixed costs associated with building and maintaining a distribution system. It was decided to increase the Customer Charge by only $3 per month. The new monthly Customer Charge will be $20, beginning in February.
To help offset the impact of a higher Customer Charge, the co-op will offer a slightly lower energy charge beginning in February. The higher Customer Charge and lower energy charge will be revenue neutral for the co-op.
Since there has been some confusion among members about what a Customer Charge represents, it has been renamed as an Access Charge. It’s believed that Access Charge more accurately reflects the collection of fixed costs associated with all that goes into building and maintaining the co-op’s sizable distribution system.