Over the past year, we’ve all felt the effects of increasing prices for everything from groceries to gasoline. While our team at Piedmont Electric Cooperative always works to keep our rates as low as possible, unfortunately, the costs of delivering electricity have also increased over time.
To help ensure that our co-op’s budget reflects the current costs of materials, fuel, labor, the price of power and our other expenses, we have an independent consultant conduct a cost of service study periodically based on financial metrics. A cost of service study is underway, and we want to keep you, our members, in the loop about what it means.
What is a Cost of Service Study?
During the study, the independent consultant will review our rates to ensure that what we charge will continue to provide enough revenue to cover our co-op’s expenses and meet our lenders’ margin requirements. If we can’t cover these expenses, we would have to cut back on essential services like maintenance to our system. This would ultimately lead to more outages.
The study also helps ensure that the rates we charge are correctly assigned to the source of our expenses. For example, it’s not fair for residential members to cover the costs of industrial members that require large amounts of service. So, the rate charged to residential members is different than that charged to industrial members so all members are billed fairly.
Will This Study Affect Rates?
We take pride in the fact that we haven’t had a rate increase since 2014 and this cost of service study doesn’t necessarily mean that our rates will increase now. The study may show that expenses for rate classes have grown and may need to be changed.
If that happens, any changes would take effect starting with your May 2023 bill and we would notify you about it ahead of time on our website and in the Carolina Country magazine.
We will keep you posted about the results of this study once it’s complete. In the meantime, learn how you can help us keep rates low by visiting pemc.coop/use-less-save-more or call 800.222.3107 to speak to one of our friendly member service representatives about how you can save energy and money.