High Wholesale Fuel Prices Will Continue to Impact Utilities
Thank you for your energy conservation efforts this past week. Your conservation efforts as well as short-term electric interruptions, averted long-term damage to the electric system and widespread blackouts. February’s temperatures led to history making conditions across the electric grid. The cause was due to a shortage of natural gas, high electricity demand, transmission overload, and low wind energy production.
Unfortunately, with the record breaking cold comes record breaking wholesale fuel prices. We are now faced with the effects of the high energy supply commodity prices. While we will not know the full impacts to Lane-Scott’s power bill for the month of February until the beginning of March, we are expecting it to be at least 4 times your normal, monthly average. Our team is working on a plan on how best to handle the situation to make it as manageable as possible for the cooperative and for you, our members.
We urge you to CONTINUE conserving energy through the month of February to help reduce your cost of electricity. To give you an idea of the impact not just to you, but anyone with a utility bill; prior to the recent cold weather, electric providers had access to natural gas ranging from $2.75/mmBtu (one million British Thermal Units) to $4.15/mmBTU. From February 13-18, the price ranged from $339/Btu to $999/mmBtu. Unfortunately, this means higher upcoming electricity bills for everyone. Please know, these prices are “pass through” prices, meaning we pass them along to members without making a profit or any additional money on the increased price of fuel and generation.
Here’s an explanation of electrical bill charges: Bills consist of 3 parts in addition to the taxes and franchise fees. 1. The electricity usage, actual kilowatt hours (kwh) used at that meter. 2. The Energy Cost Adjustment (ECA) which is the cost of power and will fluctuate to cover market cost 3. The customer charge, which is a flat monthly rate determined to generally cover the fixed expenses associated with having electricity service, regardless of how much electricity is used. The charge being affected by this energy crisis is the ECA. So, while you may have experienced an outage for a few hours, the remaining 21 or 45 or 69 plus hours that you had electricity was generated at a much, much higher, market price. Non-residential members will also have a Demand charge which measures the capacity of energy they demanded from the power grid.
Many members take advantage of our ability to draft their bank accounts or apply the billings to their credit cards. Please review that ability of your account to accept a billing that could be at least 4 times the normal amount.
We will continue to communicate with you directly once we have the full details and a plan on how best to mitigate the situation. We will contact you directly through phone, direct mailing, e-mail (if you’ve signed up for SmartHub or have provided us with an e-mail address), and on our www.lanescott.coop website page.
For energy efficiency tips, visit our website at https://www.lanescott.coop/efficient-energy .
Your Lane-Scott Electric Team