In providing you with electric service, our largest expense is the cost of the wholesale power we buy from the Bonneville Power Administration. Purchased power and transmission services accounted for 68% of our total operating expenses last year. Even small changes in wholesale power costs can have a big impact on the co-op’s financial position.
BPA recently announced the rates we will pay during BPA’s next two-year rate period, which begins this October. Thankfully, our wholesale rates for purchased power will remain flat. Our rates for transmission services will increase by about 5%, but these charges are a smaller portion of our total BPA bill.
Our goal is to provide you with affordable, reliable service, and to charge rates that are based on the cost of serving each class of members: homes, small commercial operations, large commercial operations, farms and irrigation service. During the next few months, we will review our rates with this goal in mind. We don’t anticipate needing to raise rates in 2020, but we may make minor adjustments to how our rates are structured to ensure each class of member is charged based on the cost to serve them.
One final note: As harvest kicks into high gear and kids return to school, our line crews are still out and about working hard to maintain the distribution system that serves you. They are trimming and removing trees growing near our lines so winter snow and ice are less of a problem. As you travel around our beautiful valley, please drive slowly and keep an eye out for farm trucks, utility workers, and school kids heading back into the classrooms. Thank you for driving carefully through our work zones, and for obeying our flaggers and traffic signs.
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous fall season.