Over the past year, we’ve all been feeling the impacts of higher prices whether at the grocery store or the gas pump. As a not-for-profit electric utility, we do everything in our power to keep our rates low, only passing along rate increases when it’s absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, there are several factors at play that have led to higher energy prices recently. Our goal is to help you better understand what impacts your electricity rates and offer programs to help offset the higher costs.
Factors That Have the Biggest Impact on Rates
- Increase in natural gas prices: The price of natural gas increased last year, which is putting upward pressure on
our rates since our wholesale power providers use natural gas to generate much of the electric power we sell. We believe that a balanced energy portfolio is the best approach to providing affordable, reliable power to our members. In 2022, natural gas accounted for about 33 percent of our energy portfolio, and natural gas prices were 65.8 percent higher in 2022 than in 2021.*
- Wholesale power costs: As an electric cooperative, we purchase our power from Duke, our wholesale power supplier. Duke Energy is also feeling the impact of inflation as well as higher equipment and fuel costs which are reflected in the price of the wholesale power we purchase.
- Inflation: Rising costs due to inflation have also had an impact on your electricity rates. For example, higher gasoline and diesel prices have made it more expensive to operate our service fleet.
- Higher equipment costs: The cost of equipment like transformers, wires and related material is higher and supply chain issues are leading to price increases as well. For example, 15 kVA transformers are 53 percent more expensive than two years ago while equipment like underground wire has increased 66 percent in the same timeframe.
While we’re currently in a rising cost environment, we’re proud that our rates remain lower than the state and national averages. Our commitment to you is that we’ll always continue to provide reliable electricity while doing whatever we can to keep rates as low as possible.