No rate increase, $1.7M in capital credits for CEC customers

Published 1:22 am Friday, April 6, 2018

The more than 1,400 people who attended Covington Electric Cooperative’s 74th annual meeting Thursday heard good gospel music and good news.

The Kingsmen Quartet provided entertainment as cooperative members gathered to elect board members and hear a message from their CEO, president and general manager, Ed Short, who said members can expect stable power rates and $1.7 in capital credits this year.

“There is no rate increase projected for 2018,” Short said, “unless something really unusual comes along. And having said that, I need to tell you that PowerSouth’s efforts again helped with the stable rates of recent years. Covington Electric has not changed its rates since August 2009, Short said.

It was then that the coop took the first step toward cost-based rates. With full cost-based rates, the fixed costs associated with providing power to a member are collected in the facility charge ran than collecting some of the fixed cost through the kilowatt hour charge.

Short compares the model to a truck or car.

“The vehicle costs the same, regardless of whether you drive it every day or only once a week,” he said. “The variable is the amount of fuel you buy and the maintenance which varies depending on how much you drive the vehicle.

“In our case, the vehicle is the facility charge and the kWh is the fuel to run the vehicle,” he said.

“At this time, studies tell us that the facility charge should be in the $50 range, with some reduction in the energy charge,” he said. “This would indicate that usage in the 1,300 kwh per month range would see little or not change. Customers who use less than 1,300 kwh per month, would probably see some increase in their bill.”

Short said it is expected that CEC will see a wholesale power rate increase when the nuclear plant under construction in Georgia comes on line in 2020.

Short also announced the board has approved $1.7 million in capital credits to be paid to members. Credits of $15 or more will be paid by check and mailed; amounts less than $15 will be credited to active accounts.

This marks the 24th year CEC has paid capital credits, and brings the toal paid in the past nine years to $16.2 million.


Beware scammers

“The scammers are alive and well,” Short said. “If you get a phone call demanding payment for a power bill, ask questions and get a phone number if you can. Do not send money to such a caller.

“If someone comes to your house saying they are representing CEC, ask for identification,” he said. “If you are in doubt, lock the door and call us.”