An Important Message About Your Electric Bill From Your Cooperative’s Chairman & CEO
Dear Consolidated Cooperative Member,
Beginning in January 2019, you will see an increase in your electric bill—the first increase to your distribution charges since 2014.
• Energy charges will increase by $0.006 per kWh
• Flat monthly charge (also known as the service fee) will increase by $11.00 per month
Every year, your not-for-profit cooperative analyzes its costs for providing you service and how its rates recover them. After carefully reviewing the results from this year’s analysis – done with the help of an independent consultant – along with financial projections for the next few years, the cooperative’s management and board of trustees recognized the need to increase your rates in 2019 to ensure safe, reliable delivery of the high-quality service you have come to expect. Read more…
The more you know!
Q & A (This is a running Q&A and Consolidated will update weekly)
Why are you not sharing the amount of the increase now?
It is always our intention to be transparent with our membership. As soon as our trustees made the decision to implement the rate increase based on a thorough cost analysis, we wanted to communicate this information to you. We do not yet know the exact rate of the increase, but we will communicate it with you as soon as we have it—within the next few weeks.
Would it be helpful to stop sending members the monthly magazine, in order to save money.
Our monthly magazine costs members just over $4 per year and it is our main avenue of communicating to our members.
Does the issuance of low interest loans (Revolving Loan Fund) through the cooperative for new businesses have an impact on rates?
Consolidated Cooperative does not use member money. It is money obtained from a USDA grant.
Didn’t we have an increase in 2014 in the service fee of $30.00 per month and the consumption tax?
The service fee and consumption tax have always been elements included in the bill. Prior to November of 2017, these items were included with other charges in the “Distribution Services” line of the bill. The fee and tax amounts were not increased at that time, just brought out as separate line items on the bill.
Is Consolidated implementing the rate increase to help build the cooperative’s fiber internet network?
There is speculation that Consolidated’s recent rate increase is needed to fund the new, residential fiber internet service.
This is not true.
Electric rates are not impacted by the fiber build out. The business plan is that by introducing fiber internet service to the community, member rates will ultimately be lower!
Certainly, because Consolidated Fiber is part of Consolidated Cooperative, the creditworthiness of Consolidated Cooperative has been beneficial to Consolidated Fiber’s receiving funding. However, beyond that, finances of electric, fiber, and gas are independent of each other.
The most significant factor impacting your rates is vegetation management. Consolidated has 1,280 miles of aerial power lines to keep clear of trees and vegetation so that your power remains on. Managing trees and other vegetation is an ongoing challenge logistically and financially, especially given the destruction caused by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetle.
Other factors include an increase in inflation (risen almost 8% in five years) and daily expenses the co-op incurs to maintain an efficient and safe-and-secure grid. The last time the co-op implemented a rate increase was in 2014.
The information Consolidated distributed about the rate increase does not mesh with what I have calculated on my own using the sample numbers in your chart. Why don’t your figures accurately reflect what you are telling your members?
You are right to call us out on this. We apologize. Our sole purpose for existing is to make life better and easier for our members. We regret that we missed the mark when communicating the numbers. Your cooperative will do better next time. We promise.
The figures in the brochure you likely read, or perhaps you saw the figures on the trifold mailed to your home (we have updated the figures on co-op’s website), DID NOT include the approximately $100 in Generation and Transmission (G&T) charges, based on 1,350 kWh of residential use. Please note that G&T represents what we pay for the power delivered to our substations. What we pay, you pay.
If you have questions about the rate increase, please contact one of our offices listed below.
5255 State Route 95
P.O. Box 111
Mount Gilead, OH 43338
Phone: (419) 947-3055
Fax: (419) 947-3082
4993 State Route 521
Delaware, OH 43015-8766
Phone: (740) 363-2641
Fax: (740) 369-1804
Toll Free: (800) 421-5863
email: Send us an email