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A SUPPLEMENT TO OKLAHOMA LIVING


®


LIVEWIRE JANUARY 2012 | VOLUME 63 ISSUE 1 | PUBLISHED FOR MEMBERS OF TRI-COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE


electric streetlights to light the way. Technology powers so many of the things we do today that it would be diffi cult to underestimate its importance to our daily lives.


of the year. That means in all likelihood that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) will have taken effect on January 1. I have grave concerns regarding this rule’s impact to the reliability and price of the electric service you receive.


The requirements of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule mean that our wholesale power suppliers will have to use more natural gas and less coal. The existing coal-fi red power plants used to generate a part of your electricity just aren’t meant to run this way. We won’t know how well the coal-based plants will hold up to being fi red up and down repeatedly rather than running continuously as they were built to run.


Another huge consideration regarding the EPA rule is that coal has not traditionally had the


price volatility that natural gas has had. While natural gas is reasonably priced today, that may not be the case in six months or a year. This is especially true if power plants across the country are using natural gas where they’ve traditionally used coal. That’s bound to have an impact on supply at some point.


While we write about the ways issues like this are going to affect you locally, these are not local issues. They are national issues that


are going to affect the pocketbooks and electric service reliability of Americans across the country. We are a very small player with a very small voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of being diligent and participating in politics and with others who are of a like mind.


Locally, I see electricity prices increasing signifi cantly as a result of the new EPA regulations going into effect. Our members will see those price changes in the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) charge on their bills.


At the same time, I believe we may face signifi cant reliability issues due to the new rule even as we continue to see increased demand on our system from oil and gas loads in the coming year.


Members frequently question why we have a separate charge for the power costs rather than rolling it into a single rate. The


simple answer is that we want to make bills as affordable as possible for our members. By splitting the Power Cost Adjustment factor from the retail rate paid for energy, we are able to present a bill that more accurately refl ects the actual cost the cooperative paid for that energy. If we were to build the Power Cost Adjustment into the retail rate, we would have to signifi cantly increase the rates to cover potential future costs.


2012 CEO Forecast: Uncertainty Ahead A


By Jack L. Perkins, Chief Executive Offi cer


s 2012 gets under way and many of you start following through on your New Year’s resolutions, think about the ways those resolutions will require electricity. Getting on the treadmill? You’ll need electricity to power that run. Taking an evening walk? Look to the


As I write this piece it’s mid-December. However, you will likely be reading this after the fi rst


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