It’s never an easy thing to introduce a rate increase. However, in March Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) will increase rates slightly to recover the increasing costs of operations. We all know expenses continue to rise each year, and this impacts PPEC just like it impacts you at home or at your business.
We at the co-op take great pride in the fact this is our first increase in four years, and it will be less than 3 percent. The average residential member will see his/her bill increase about $3 per month. This slight increase shows the dedication of your board, management, and all employees to keep costs down and to keep our rates competitive.
The bottom line to all of us as ratepayers is that PPEC operates efficiently and costs are managed. When we look at the cost to operate PPEC, it is easy to see how efficient we are. It costs approximately 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for all operating costs, nearly half what other cooperatives of similar size to PPEC spend to operate their systems. In fact, nearly all electric cooperatives in Ohio have operating costs almost double PPEC’s costs. Our employees work hard every day to keep costs as low as possible, which, in turn, lowers your rates.
The other key question when talking about rates: Are our rates competitive? In an annual cooperative study of financial statistics, PPEC had some of the lowest rates in the state of Ohio. In fact, of the 25 electric cooperatives in Ohio, PPEC ranked third lowest in residential rates, second lowest in small commercial rates, and sixth lowest of 22 cooperatives for large commercial rates (source: Cooperative Finance Corporation Key Ratio Trend Analysis 2017). When compared to neighboring investor-owned utilities, these statistics are similar. PPEC has very competitive rates, and in most cases, ours are lower than neighboring utilities — cooperative or investor owned.
Rate increases are never pleasant. It is my hope all members understand that costs go up, but your cooperative manages these costs to limit rate increases and the impact on our members’ bills.
In the next couple months, you will be provided additional information on the new rates and how they will impact you directly. Please follow our website and social media for information. Our helpful staff is here to answer any questions you may have.
Please keep these facts in mind:
- We understand that rate increases are difficult for everyone.
- This is our first increase in four years, and the small three percent increase is well below the inflation rate.
- The cooperative board and all PPEC employees work hard to keep costs down.
- Your electric rates are some of the lowest when compared to neighboring utilities.