No one likes rate increases. Your board realizes the financial pressure those of us in Southeastern Ohio experience, but also realizes our obligation to provide you with reliable electric service.
The service availability charge will be increasing by $1 per month. Service availability affects what the cooperative does locally - billing, tree-trimming, setting poles, and more. Our distribution costs continue to rise as our equipment costs have increased anywhere from 20 to 99% in just the past year. In addition, the lead time necessary to get supplies and equipment has grown exponentially - some of our trucks have a three-year lead time without knowing what the cost will be. Here are just a few examples of items that have had major price increases.
- 40-foot poles are up 21%
- 15 kVA pole mount transformers are up 37%
- 25 kVA pad mount transformers are up 44%
- Cutout arresters are up 51%
- 8 ft cross-arms are up 99%
Wholesale power costs and high voltage transmission costs are recovered separately through the generation and transmission component (GTC). The GTC, which recovers the costs of generating and transmitting power to a substation, to be used by cooperative members will increase by 3 mils or $3 per 1,000 kWh. Our GTC is rising at a rapid pace driven primarily from transmission of power to our substations and more recently the cost of fuel. What is driving fuel sources to increase in price are many of the same things we see affecting our everyday life. But one big reason is the regulatory pressure that adds cost to coal and natural gas. Much of the coal at the Cardinal Plant is contracted at approximately $40 per ton and the cost today on the spot market is over $150 per ton. The market is high now for coal and natural gas. There is a huge demand in Europe for coal which can bring over $300 per ton and the war in Ukraine is interrupting the natural gas supply from Russia.
This revision will be effective with the November 10th billing.
Costs are higher for all of us in all aspects of our lives, but that does not mean that we at Guernsey-Muskingum are not trying to be as efficient as possible. We are all in this together and will do our part to control what is “controllable.”
GMEC is committed to delivering electricity to you at the lowest possible cost and minimizing the impact of any rate increases. We regret the need to increase rates at this time; however, it is necessary to allow us to continue and improve our programs of maintaining reliable electric service to our membership.