AN UPDATE ON YOUR SUMNER-COWLEY ELECTRIC BILL AND ENERGY COSTS
The information below was published on March 12, 2021:
Sumner-Cowley members will be receiving a bill for their February usage in the coming days. We are providing you with the following information with the hope that it will help you better understand your billing statement.
Two line items you always see on your bill are the Energy Charge and the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). The Energy Charge reflects the amount of kWh used multiplied by your rate. The PCA reflects the increases, and sometimes decreases, in the cooperative’s cost of purchased power from our provider. The fluctuation is largely determined by changes in the cost of fuel or other materials used in the generation of energy.
The PCA is tied directly to the number of kWh consumed by the member during a billing period. The PCA on the bill you will receive in March (February usage) will equal 4.144 cents per kWh. This is approximately 1.6 cents per kWh higher than the normal PCA charge, or an additional $16.00 per every 1000 kWh used.
The timeframe for the settlement process of the transmission and generation of power will cause the PCA will continue to fluctuate over the course of the next several months. The total cost of this situation has yet to be fully realized and accounted for.
Any increase to our members is regrettable but, given the magnitude of this situation, it is unavoidable. Sumner-Cowley’s management, employees and the Board of Directors are committed to transparency and will provide the membership with more information as it becomes available. We can and will make payment arrangements and will continue to use everything at our disposal to provide the type of support that our members deserve.
The information below was published on February 26, 2021:
Many members have reached out and asked if their upcoming electric bills will be high because of last week’s extreme cold weather. The past week has been stressful for all of us and we want to take this opportunity to help alleviate some of the concerns we have seen shared by our members.
We have 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 this, the honest answer is that we do not know the exact cost impact yet. That said, we do not expect an immediate and drastic spike like many other utilities are predicting for customers. You can expect the increased cost in purchased power to be spread across several billing cycles.
Here is what we know so far:
Sumner-Cowley purchases power through our wholesale power supplier who owns generation (what is used to produce power). Our wholesale power purchases a rich generation mix, including coal, natural gas, solar, hyrdo, wind and nuclear. This generation mix insulated us from the extreme costs that many of us have seen reported.
The recent energy crisis will not cause your kWh rate to change. A rate change can only be achieved after the completion of a rate study, public comment and must be approved by the Board of Directors.
Each month, Sumner-Cowley members see a separate line item on their bill called the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). The PCA reflects the increases, and sometimes decreases, in the cooperative’s cost of purchased power from our provider. The fluctuation is largely determined by changes in the cost of fuel or other materials used in the generation of electric energy. The PCA is tied directly to the number of kWhs consumed by the member during a billing period.
You will likely see an increase in your PCA due to the high costs of natural gas used in the production of electricity during the winter storm. However, our wholesale power provider has initiated a PCA cap to protect the end user from any drastic increase in their electric bill and allow the increased costs to be spread out over several billing cycles. The PCA cap rate will be determined on a monthly basis.
Given the incredibly cold temperatures, it is possible that your household used more electricity during the winter storm than you normally would have. This increased usage is another factor that can cause your bill to be higher. You can get information about your use on SmartHub or you can give us a call and we will be happy to discuss that with you.
Our members are our priority, and we will work with any member who has concerns on their bill.
As soon as we have more information, we will pass it along to you. Cooperative management and the Board of Directors are continuing to explore ways to minimize the impact on our members. We ask for your patience as we gather more information so we can fully answer your questions. As a cooperative, we work for our members. We will continue to advocate on your behalf and provide the support you deserve as a Sumner-Cowley member.