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Why Does the Type of Power We Provide Matter?


PAGE 2 | JANUARY 2012


Up to 75 percent of every dollar you pay your local electric cooperative goes directly for wholesale power costs. Bucket trucks, poles and wire, right-of-way trimming, payroll, and other operating expenses are covered by the rest.


Source: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association We are a not-for-profit organization owned by our members. We aren’t in this business to maximize margins and or profits; rather


we are trying to deliver safe, reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost allowed by good management practices. The Power Cost Adjustment is calculated based on the bills the cooperative receives from its wholesale power suppliers each month. While this charge is primarily fuel costs, it also accounts for all the other things a company like Xcel Energy requires to supply power to our cooperative. This includes wages for their employees, taxes, infrastructure, etc. The Power Cost Adjustment basically passes on the wholesale power charges to the member because the cooperative doesn’t include all of them in the rate.


Source: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


In 2010, 61 percent of the cooperative’s revenues went to wholesale power charges. That means of every dollar a member paid the cooperative, 61 cents directly to the cooperative’s wholesale power suppliers.


The cooperative’s retail rate, shown on the bill as an energy charge, takes the cooperative’s costs into consideration. Costs like the maintaining and improving the transmission and distribution infrastructure it takes to deliver power to the member’s door.


Knowing that costs will be a challenge in 2012, I encourage all of our members to conserve energy and be more efficient wherever


possible. Simple, common sense actions like caulking cracks and sealing leaks around windows and doors can make a big difference in a member’s electric bill.


There’s nothing Tri-County Electric can do to conserve for our members. We try to educate them about ways to save but in the


end, we don’t control the light switch and we don’t control the thermostat. It’s up to the member. As you work on those resolutions this month and we move into 2012, consider ways to save. Consider ways to


stay involved politically since decisions made on Capitol Hill are going to have a huge impact on us here at home. I resolve to stay abreast of the industry challenges we’re facing and keep you informed of what we’re doing to make a difference.


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