Rate Adjustment FAQ
The last rate adjustment for Co-op members was in 2019. In early 2023, REC’s Board of Directors conducted a Cost of Service Study. Results showed a rate adjustment was needed primarily due to the increasing cost of providing service (costs including materials, supplies, etc.) and also the way our wholesale power provider (Bonneville Power Administration) charges us. The REC staff and board have put a considerable amount of research into an adjusted rate design that more fairly collects each member’s share of the total cost and gives members more control over their power bill.
New technologies are changing the way residential utility members consume energy. In response, many utilities across the country are changing the way they charge for residential power to include a component called “demand.” The peak demand charge is not actually a new charge, it has always been embedded in the energy rate. REC is simply separating the peak demand charge from the energy charge. As technologies continue to evolve, this will ensure that you are not supplementing someone else's energy requirements and all members are paying according to their energy needs.
A peak is simply a period of time when electricity usage is at its greatest. Members will have a daily peak, generally in the morning or evening. When a majority of members peak during the same time period, it creates a peak on REC's electric distribution system. Because electricity must be generated the moment it is needed, serving peaks can require resources that are more expensive since they are harder to plan for.
REC’s peak demand hours are from 7-9 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. When a member uses electricity during peak demand hours, our metering system will identify the largest amount of on-peak usage and report it as that day’s peak. At the end of the billing period, our software will look at all of the daily peaks and pinpoint the one highest value from the period, which is your monthly peak. The monthly peak, measured in KW, is then multiplied by the peak demand rate to generate that month’s peak charge.
Members who avoid the simultaneous use of large electrical appliances during peak hours will save money. As a member-owned electric cooperative, our goals are quite simple, to provide reliable low-cost power and to treat all members fairly. We hope that this rate structure will help our members use energy more wisely. The reality is, when we all use less energy during peak hours, we all save money.
During peak demand hours, try to "level your load" by spreading out the use of major appliances rather then running them all at the same time. Do laundry and other chores that require a greater amount of electricity outside of peak demand hours.
Members will see this change on their June 2023 billing statement.