Rate Changes Pass
On Sept. 27, 2016, two rate proposals were presented to the Wheatland Electric Board. The study for the rate changes was completed by C.H. Guernsey & Associates. As announced in the September issue of Kansas Country Living, the board meeting was open to all members during the rate changes discussion and vote.
In the presentation, it was demonstrated that neither of the proposed changes will a ect existing members unless they choose to participate. One change is an Optional General Service High Load Factor Rate Rider where qualifying members who are billed under the General Service tariff may receive deductions in their monthly billing. The other is the Grid Access Charge, which will affect members who choose to install distributed generation on or after Jan. 1, 2017.
After questions, the Board discussed the matter thoroughly and decided it was in the best interests of the cooperative and its members to adopt the rate changes. The changes will go into e ect Jan. 1, 2017.
Optional General Service High Load Factor Rate Rider
For members with high load factors, the rider will provide a credit that will reduce their monthly bills. This rider will only be applicable to Wheatland’s standard General Service tariff.
The rider is beneficial to both General Service members and Wheatland members as a whole. Individual members may see a reduction in monthly billing—but only if they maintain a high load factor. Wheatland’s other members may benefit as high load factors generally result in lower average cost of power, which flows through to all members by way of the monthly Energy Cost Adjustment.
No member will pay more under the optional rider than their current General Service rate, and each member may opt to participate as long as all rider requirements are met. Wheatland may temporarily see a small reduction in margins but does not anticipate any cost shifting between rate classes or failure to meet its financial goals.
Grid Access Charge
The Grid Access Charge will add a monthly charge to allow Wheatland to recover the cost of providing distributed generation members electric service. All existing net metering and renewable members will be grandfathered under their existing tariffs.
Currently, Wheatland recovers a portion of its fixed costs for providing service (tree trimming, line maintenance, etc.) from the monthly service availability charge. But, when members move to a net metering rate, cost recovery is reduced because the member purchases less energy. Wheatland firmly supports providing each net metering member with a benefit related to reduced power costs that are based on reductions in Wheatland’s cost of power. However, when a member fails to pay his or her share of Wheatland’s fixed cost of providing service unrelated to generation or power, ultimately those
costs are shifted to the rest of the Wheatland membership.
Since all existing members will continue to be billed under their existing rates, this proposed change will have no eect on Wheatland’s revenue.
The Wheatland Board and management recognize that any change to rates is very important to the members. The co-op has evaluated this issue for some time and decided the rate changes were necessary for responsible operation. Contact me anytime to visit about questions, concerns or suggestions.