Q. How much will my bill increase?
A. The monthly service charge will increase from $29.50 to $32.95. However, this will be offset by a reduction in the energy charges. Overall, including a general revenue increase, residential members will see an increase of about $3 per month.
Q. What is the monthly service charge?
A. The monthly service charge ensures your expectations for continuous power and outstanding customer service are met. It provides each member a fair and equal share of the cooperative’s operation by providing funds we invest to maintain the quality, reliability, and integrity of services that members have traditionally counted on and come to expect.
Expense items covered by this charge include:
- Trucks, wire, transformers, power poles, and labor needed to build and maintain the distribution system.
- Keeping pace with increased system investments to improve both capacity and reliability.
- Implementing new technologies to provide increased reliability and operational efficiencies, such as the outage management system and advanced metering.
- Liability insurance, interest, taxes, and emergency storm restoration.
Because all members benefit from having reliable electric service available when they want it, the monthly service charge ensures everyone pays their fair share of the basic costs — costs that exist whether or not a single kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power is used.
Q. How will the rate revision affect members who have renewable systems?
A. Members on residential net billing will see a monthly service charge increase from $46.50 to $52.95. The energy charge per kWh will increase from $.078010 to $.081252. So, if you have the average monthly use of 1,115 kWh per month, you will see an increase of around $3, which is just under a two percent increase. Our main objective is that all members pay their fair share for the benefits of being connected to the PPEC system, regardless of their individual energy choices.
Q. Why is PPEC’s monthly service charge higher than AEP’s?
A. PPEC serves, on average, eight members per mile of line, whereas municipal utilities and investor-owned utilities serve, on average, more than 30 members per mile. Additionally, PPEC’s sales are 60 percent residential, whereas the other utilities receive a much higher portion of their sales from commercial and industrial customers. All of this means that the other utilities receive five to 10 times more revenue per mile of line than we do, and, therefore, are much better positioned to spread their fixed costs. It costs over $30,000 to build one mile of single-phase line (or to rebuild one mile of old line) and $50,000 for one mile of three-phase line. It costs about $1.2 million to build a new substation. These costs simply cannot be recovered only through the kWh energy charge, but must also come from a monthly, flat service charge.
Q. When was the last rate increase?
A. The last cost-of-service study was performed in 2014, which resulted in an overall 3 percent increase. PPEC works diligently to control costs and keep our rates stable. However, the 2017 cost-of-service study resulted in the need to update our rate structures to ensure that each member pays their fair share.
Q. Who determines when a rate increase is necessary and how much the cost will increase?
A. PPEC’s board of trustees and executive staff continuously monitor the financial stability of the organization to determine if or when a rate increase is necessary. To establish the new rate structure, an independent, experienced firm is hired to review and recommend changes to our rates.
Q. What is the effective date of the new rates, and when will I see this reflected on my bill?
A. The new rates will be effective March 2018.
Q. How do PPEC rates compare with other area utilities?
A. Currently, PPEC has the lowest cooperative rates in the region, and we want our members to understand that when it comes to cost, every decision we make is with the members’ wallets in mind.
According to the recent Annual Statistical Report conducted by Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Paulding Putnam Electric has:
- The lowest rates in northwest Ohio.
- The second-lowest rates among Ohio electric cooperatives.
- The third-lowest rates compared to all other utilities in the state of Ohio.
- Rates comparable and competitive with Indiana Michigan Power.
Q. Will commercial and industrial rates increase?
A. Yes, the cost-of-service study is a comprehensive review of all rates to ensure that each member, regardless of his/her rate classification, pays his/her fair share. Each customer class should pay its fair share of costs without having one customer class subsidizing the other. Commercial and residential accounts’ monthly bills will vary depending on use, demand, and power factor.
Q. Are copies of the rate schedule available?
A. Yes, members may obtain a copy of the new rate schedule by visiting our website, www.PPEC.coop.
Q. I understand PPEC has a program to help those in need in the community. Are my rates being increased to support this program?
A. The Operation Round Up® program has helped those in need throughout our service territory. The funds to support this program are not included in the overall electric rates. In fact, this program is funded by the generosity of our members who contribute by allowing their electric bill to be rounded up to the next whole dollar each month.
Q. Each year, capital credits are returned to members. Can PPEC keep those monies instead of increasing rates?
A. PPEC is a not-for-profit electric cooperative. As such, the nature of the cooperative states that any net profits made by the co-op must be distributed to the membership in the form of capital credits refunds.
Q. What can I do to reduce my electricity costs? Can PPEC provide any assistance?
A. PPEC offers a number of options to help members manage their electric costs. These services include managing electric use and flexible payment options, such as budget billing. We also offer a new rate called the “Time-of-Day” rate, where you can receive a lower rate when using energy during off-peak times.
Members can find helpful information about conserving energy on the PPEC website, which includes:
- The energy conservation tips that may be found under the “Save Energy” menu tab.
- Various energy calculators, which you will find on our homepage.
- Home energy audits for $100.However, if changes are made based on the report, PPEC will reimburse the member the full $100 via an account credit.