Members at heart of consolidation talks

Posted on Feb 21 2018 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Dennis Weiss

As we rolled out the concept of consolidating Kankakee Valley REMC and Jasper County REMC, we received a number of phone calls from our members. Some of you asked us: “How will this affect my electric bill?”

One of our goals is to keep electric rates as stable as we can, for as long as we can. As I answer this question, it is important to understand each portion of your bill and what those costs entail.

First, your cooperative purchases its power from Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA) in Indianapolis. Like your REMC, WVPA is a not-for-profit cooperative. We buy the power from WVPA to sell to you. The majority of your payments cover that cost.

Your bill is made up of four components:

• The first component is the energy charge. This is the cost of the electricity you used for the month.

• Second is the facility charge. This covers the operating, maintenance and administrative costs to run the company. These functions are necessary for us to provide you with reliable power.

• The third is the power cost adjustment. This adjustment offsets any increase or decrease in the current cost of power from WVPA.

• The fourth component is the 7 percent Indiana sales tax.

We believe the consolidation will have the biggest impact on the facility charge and electric rates. By spreading these costs of our operations, maintenance, poles, substations, wires and administration over more members, we will be better able to control and maintain costs now and into the future. The same concept could pertain to our rates. Perhaps we will be able to purchase more power for less if we are a larger cooperative. As you can tell, we don’t have all the answers yet, but we DO have your bill in mind as we go through this process.

We understand this is not the only question you might have, and we are committed to providing you with answers when we have them. Be assured that throughout this process, our members continue to be our focus. In fact, we are calling the entire process “A Member Focused Conversation.”

As we analyze the data, all discussions during this process revolve around you, our member, and what is best for you. Our mission statement (below) also is a reminder that at the center of the consolidation is the ability to provide you, the member, with more service opportunities and savings.

The April Electric Consumer will have more information on the outcome of the financial analysis and the vote by the directors on whether to proceed with the next phase to possibly consolidate our two cooperatives.

Dennis Weiss