Pioneer Rate Adjustment to Take Effect January 1
The Pioneer Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees, based on recommendation from management, has approved a 2.3% distribution rate increase for residential members, which will begin effective January 1, 2024. Depending on your billing cycle, members will start to see the rate adjustment beginning on electric bills received between mid-January and early February.
The cooperative has maintained a stable electric distribution rate for eight years, with the most recent increase occurring in 2016. That’s a testament to practical decision-making by our board and management team.
We were able to avoid a previously anticipated rate increase in 2020 due to purchasing delays caused by supply chain issues, consolidating employee positions upon retirements, and strong financial management. However, due to challenges posed by inflation and equipment lead times, this adjustment is necessary to offset the escalating costs attributed to materials and other operational expenses.
The upcoming rate adjustment is reflective of the results of a comprehensive cost-of-service evaluation, which provided detailed information on what it costs to make service available.
Members will see the increase divided between the monthly availability charge and the kWh charge. Specifics of the adjustment will be included in the December issue of Ohio Cooperative Living magazine.
Our cooperative members, as part of a not-for-profit electric cooperative, can rest assured that these adjustments are driven by the actual costs associated with delivering electricity to their homes. This financial approach ensures any revenue is reinvested in our current and former members. We ensure this by returning excess margins, called capital credits, to our members on an annual basis. Pioneer has returned more than $61 million in capital credits to its members since 1981.
Other accounts, including large power, general service, commercial, and industrial, will see a rate adjustment, as well. In the next few weeks, these members will receive a letter explaining how the increase will affect them.
At Pioneer, we approach rate adjustments with due diligence, recognizing the impact these changes have on our members. We are committed to maintaining the affordability of your bills while also ensuring the reliability you have come to depend on.
Recognizing the challenges that rising energy costs can pose, Pioneer offers various options to assist our members. These include budget billing, home energy audits, and incentives for energy-efficient home improvements. Please do not hesitate to contact us to see if any of these options could benefit you.
What is the Availability Charge?
The Availability Charge is a fixed cost that includes expenses related to the maintenance and upkeep of our electric infrastructure, including lines, poles, meters, substations, and the labor required for construction and maintenance activities. The cost of delivering electricity to a residence exists regardless of the quantity of electricity consumed so that electricity is available when it’s needed. The Availability Charge ensures that each member proportionately contributes to these essential, fixed costs of their not-for-profit electric cooperative.
What is the Distribution Charge?
The Distribution Charge encompasses costs that are not included in the Availability Charge. This component of the billing structure is within the control of the consumer, who can influence it by managing electricity consumption.