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NORTHWESTERN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.


May 2014 Winter’s wrath continues to impact electric bills


he lasting effects of 2013-2014 winter’s wrath are now also af- fecting the typical spring warm-


up. The impact the colder weather had on fuel costs is expected to continue for several months before prices and demand return to a lower level. With high natural gas prices, low storage levels and frigid temperatures expe- rienced in portions of the country, electric bills are expected to remain high at least through the next couple of months.


Natural gas prices have steadily increased since November 2013. In January, natural gas prices were at $4.77 per MMBtu. The weather dur- ing February was extreme for the first two weeks and the average cost of natural gas ended at $8.60 per MMBtu


for the month. Natural gas prices are currently averaging around $6.25 per MMBtu.


Oklahoma weather continued to amaze many in March with a tempera- ture variance of 78 degrees. On March 3, the temperature reached a morn- ing low of three degrees compared to a high of 81 degrees just a few days later on March 11. Overall, March was 26.8 percent colder than normal. Our power supplier, Western Farm- ers Electric Cooperative, is estimat- ing the actual cost of fuel for March to be around 46 mills (4.6 cents) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is up from 40 mills (4.00 cents) per kWh from the previous month.


What does this mean for North- western Electric members? Simply


put—higher electric bills. While our rate has not gone up, the fuel costs (or power cost adjustment) have continued to increase over the past few months because of rising natural gas prices and uncommonly cold weather. The power cost adjustment (PCA)


is a charge passed through from the generation company to cover the vari- able cost of fuel and purchased power. It reflects increases or decreases in the cost to produce the electricty Northwestern Electric purchases from Western Farmers to distribute to our members. (10992201)


Although temperatures are start- ing to warm up, please keep in mind it will take a couple of months before the power cost adjustment begins to stabilize and possibly decrease.


Calendar provides reminders to keep your home safe M


ay is Nation- al Electri- cal Safety


Month, a time when Northwestern Electric educates members on ways to stay safe at home and on the job. But safety awareness shouldn’t stop on May 31.


ESFI provides a Home Safety Cal- endar to help you remember when to perform routine main- tenance and safety checks around the house. Some things, like vacuuming coils and changing furnace or air conditioning filters, should be done every three months. Other items, like test- ing GFCI outlets and smoke alarms, need to happen monthly. Taking care of these safety items on the first of the month when you’re paying bills is a great time to knock a few things off the list. Then you don’t


have to worry about them for the rest of the month. ESFI created the calen- dar so you can put it on your refrigera- tor as daily reminder of simple steps to


take every month to keep your family safe”


Learn more about home electrical safety at http://virtualhome.esfi.org.


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