Meter charge increases for load management programs
ECE’s recent cost-of-service study revealed the need for an increase to the meter charge for members whose space heating, cooling and water heating systems are controlled under the co-op’s load management programs.
The costs of the specialized equipment used for controlling and metering these programs are not being fully recovered with the existing meter charge. The charge will go from $1 to $2 per meter, effective for bills due in April. The load management energy rates (kWh) will stay the same.
There are 8,500 members enrolled in the storage water heating program and 2,300 in storage space heating. They enjoy a low 5.3 cents per kWh charge for using energy during off-peak hours, when the cost to ECE is lower.
ECE’s load management programs remain competitive with propane. A family of four pays an average of $20 per month to heat their water in the storage water heating program. With storage space heating, members’ average fuel cost is equivalent to buying propane at $1.10 per gallon.
“Members who work with ECE for their heating needs may be able to purchase high quality equipment with no-interest financing,” said Justin Jahnz, Manager, Energy Services and Strategic Projects. “They have our energy experts at their disposal. They can call and ask questions any time at no charge. We’re not trying to sell them a piece of equipment just because it’s electric. We want to bring value to them.”
Having members enrolled in load management provides value to the co-op as well.
“By selling energy during our night-time lull, we’re maximizing the use of the power grid and keeping the cost of energy lower for all members,” Jahnz said. “There is, and will continue to be, a value to the co-op in controlling loads, regardless of what happens with technology.”