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Empire Electric Association customers should expect increased rates next year

The company’s board members approved the change to minimize subsidization and keep up with rising costs
Empire Electric Association, 801 N. Broadway.

Empire Electric Association customers should expect increased rates beginning February 2024, when the company updates the Power Cost Adjustment charge for each rate class.

According to a news release, EEA rates will be updated to mirror wholesale rate changes and reduce subsidization.

The company’s rate design policy calls for equitable rates that minimize subsidization and generate margins while meeting lender obligations and financial goals to provide safe and reliable services.

EEA added the “time of use demand” rate structure in September 2021 in order to pursue fair rates and a sustainable future.

The rates approved for 2024 continue to follow TOUD to ensure equity growth.

In 2013, EEA initiated the procedure to align revenue collection with how it incurs costs to set up for a sustainable future. The change helped reduce subsidization in each rate class from members who use varying amounts of energy.

The last base rate increase occurred six years ago when the Grid Access Charge rose because of rising costs.

TOUD supplies members with better price signals through varying peak energy pricing. This brought rate fairness to new levels with distribution demand charges that help recover some incurred operating and maintenance costs.

A member’s highest 15-minute kWh usage in a billing period measures the distribution demand. The company said that charging for the monthly demand by each member is more fair than combining the costs into the energy charge.

EEA also increased the all-energy residential and general service single phase GAC to reclaim additional operation and maintenance costs in the monthly fixed charge. This added to minimizing other in-class subsidizations by high and lower load factor members. Load factors signify how much energy a member purchases in relation to their demand – high load members buy large quantities and low load members buy little energy compared to their demand.

Additionally, EEA incorporated changes required by its wholesale power provider, Tri-State Generation. Tri-State reduced its peak period from noon and 10 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. EEA will match these hours to gauge the smaller peak window and customers may pay more or less.

Every February, EEA charges will continue to be adjusted to balance the forecast purchased power costs to actual costs.

Rate comparison tools and the new tariffs can be found on EEA’s website. Usage can be found through the SmartHub account webpage or from monthly bill statements.