CEO Op-Ed: TCEC rates to change following cost of service study
By Zac Perkins
During my letter to members in the January LiveWire newsletter, I mentioned our cooperative would be conducting a cost of service study. The study has been completed and the results have been reviewed by TCEC’s Board of Trustees along with the management team. The results of the cost of service study indicate the need for an increase across most rate classes.
The primary drivers for the increase are:
- Winter Storm Jupiter, which crippled the eastern half of the cooperative’s territory. We had to repair more than 120 miles of downed line from the storm and estimate total storm costs will exceed $55 million.
- Rate increases from TCEC’s wholesale power supplier and a need to better align rates to recover costs as they are incurred by the cooperative.
- TCEC and its members, like much of Oklahoma, has been hit hard by the economic downturn in the oil and gas and agriculture industries.
- Several large business member bankruptcies the cooperative has endured over the last few years.
We plan to implement these changes in the rate as slowly as the cooperative can afford over the course of several years. This year’s increase for residential and general service members is $2.50 a month. The increase is approximately two percent of the average homeowner’s total bill. It will appear on May bills.
We value you as members and place a strong emphasis on providing you with exceptional service. These decisions are made with painstaking deliberation. The Board of Trustees and employees of TCEC work every day to achieve operating efficiencies to help keep your costs low. As your local, not-for-profit electric cooperative, our primary goal is to minimize the effects of any rate increase while maximizing service in a cost-effective, reliable manner.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the implementation of this rate adjustment, please call us at 580.652.2418. We will do our best to answer your questions and we look forward to working with you on ways that you may be able to reduce your monthly bill through energy efficiency and conservation improvements.
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Originally published: 3/27/17
Below is an image of the insert that will be in April bills explaining the changes. Click the image for a full size, printable version of the insert. One page is in English, the other page is in Spanish.