We know the last week was stressful and do not want unnecessary stress to be added to members, who already have enough on their mind. Many members are asking if their electric bills will be high because of the cold weather and because of many stories being shared about home heating bills in the thousands.
We’ve worked hard over the years to keep costs stable. Our wholesale power provider is still gathering information for us on the costs of fuel during this event – because of that, the honest answer is we don’t know the exact cost impacts yet. It may be a few weeks before we can give you a complete answer. We can say that we do not expect a drastic spike like many other utilities are predicting for customers.
Here is what we know about the costs so far:
- The incredibly high bills you are seeing in news reports are for people who buy electricity from providers who are heavily involved in market pricing. Do not use those news reports as your gauge for what your bill might look like. That is not the situation for the cooperative. We purchase power through our wholesale power supplier and they own generation, or what is used to produce power. This means they do not have to make market purchases like some other participants do.
- We do expect some members to have higher use in the last week than they would have had during a normal week given the incredibly cold temperatures. That increased use can cause your bill to be higher. You can get information about your use on SmartHub and our MSRs can also discuss that with you.
- We will work with members who have any concerns on their bill.
As soon as we have more information on any costs that would impact members, we will pass it along to you. Additionally, if there is any cost impact our board will be meeting to discuss what the co-op can do to minimize that. We ask for your patience as we gather more information so we can fully answer your questions. As always, as a cooperative we work for our members and we will work with them.