Slight increase in service availability charge deferred
In March 2018 Rural Electric Cooperative increased the service availability charge from $14 to $17 each month to help recover the cost of delivering electricity to your home and business. Last year during the announcement of the increase in the service availability charge, it was also discussed after a year there would be an additional slight increase. Recently the Board of Trustees met, and because of the efficiency of our employees, equipment and finances the increase is going to be deferred at this time.
A cost of service study was conducted by C.H. Guernsey and REC to determine the cost of service of providing electricity to our members. From that study it was determined our service availability charge should be $46.41 a month, but REC is only collecting $17 a month. The service availability charge helps recover the cost of providing and maintaining items such as poles, meters, meter loops and transformers. For REC, it doesn’t matter if a member uses one kilowatt hour per month or 1,000 kWhs, the same amount of infrastructure and materials are needed to provide electricity. REC recoups the investment and maintenance of providing electricity through the service availability charge. Even after the increase last March, Rural Electric has one of the lowest service availability charges in our state.
The Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the Cooperatives' finances and decide when the slight increase in the service availability charge will be needed. Maintaining dependable service at the most affordable price possible remains the cornerstone of REC’s business. To accomplish this goal, we must protect the integrity and financial stability of our organization which is why the Board of Trustees felt the deferment would even be possible at this time.
Our members should know when the Board of Trustees meet, they are always thinking about how any changes are going to impact our member-consumers. With this in mind, they know the value our members place on energy extends beyond just price. It is the right combination of price, quality of service, reliability and being a responsible partner in meeting the needs of our members today and in the future.
Our employees and Board of Trustees work to serve our members and look for ways to better assist them. While we know the cost of equipment will continue to increase, Rural Electric will work as conservatively as possible to keep our rates low.