by General Manager Steve Stroshane
I work in the energy industry, so I often think about the electricity I use at home and work. But for many of you, I know that electricity isn't top of mind. We all expect the lights to turn on when we flip the switch and the computer to power up each morning. The only time electricity gets much notice is when the power goes out or when the monthly bill arrives. Given how we depend on electricity to power our modern lifestyle, it's a great value, especially when compared to many other services and living expenses.
According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 2014-2019:
• The average cost of rent increased nearly 4%.
• The cost of medical care increased 3%.
• The cost of education increased 2.6%.
No rate increase for Polk-Burnett members since 2010
The price of electricity from Polk-Burnett has stayed the same for 10 years!
When you consider what electricity does for us, it's a tremendous value for our quality of life.
Understanding the daily availability charge
The daily availability charge covers your share of the cost to build and maintain power lines and the electric system that makes power available at your location. This charge is higher in rural areas because costs are shared by fewer members. With 40% of our members being seasonal, we are often asked, “why do I have to pay the availability charge all year long when I only use my property three months of the year?” The answer is whether you use 1 or 1000 kWh per month, the poles, wire and other equipment from the substation all the way to your meter have to be installed, maintained and safely operated all year round. We work hard to keep expenses down and improve efficiencies. I'm proud of our track record of providing the reliable service you expect and deserve as valued members of the co-op.
We're here to help you save energy and money
Rates may not have increased in a decade, but your bill may be higher because our lifestyles have changed. Consider how much hot water you use? How many TVs, routers and receivers are in your home? Do you use AC, humidifiers or space heaters? How about chargers for cell phones and tablets? We encourage you to learn how much energy you use in your home.
If you have questions about your account or are looking for ways to save, please give us a call or visit us online. As your trusted energy adviser, we can help you save energy and money, 800-421-0283, ext. 595.