Reliability vs. affordablility

Posted on Sep 05 2022 in LaGrange County REMC
Mark Leu

Operating an electric cooperative requires that we focus on delivering on both reliability and affordability — two ideals that can often be diametrically opposed. When you flip a switch, you expect the lights to turn on. When a storm rolls through the area, you expect the electrical grid to be robust enough to withstand all but the most extreme events. And in the event there is damage to the grid, you expect your cooperative to respond quickly to get repairs made and the power restored.  

You expect that kind of reliability because you send us a payment every month on the promise we will deliver top-tier service.  And that is where reliability and affordability start to butt heads. 

In order to deliver reliability, we must continually make investments in the electrical grid and the technology that runs it and we must continue to invest in a highly trained and qualified staff that can operate our complex electrical network.  

As a non-profit, member-owned electrical cooperative, we are keenly aware of our job as stewards of the valuable resources that you give us and we work each day to extract every last bit of value we can from those resources. However, as I wrote about in this column a couple of months ago, with all of the pressures we are facing with increasing costs, we will be implementing a rate increase of about 7% in October.

This rate increase is needed to continue to deliver the reliable power you have come to expect.

For our residential rate, you will see an increase of $5 per month to our Minimum Service Charge bringing it up to $40, along with an increase of about half a cent to our energy rate.  If you use 1,000 kWh in a month, you will see your bill increase by about $10 to $148.81. There will be similar increases to our other rates, the details of which can be found on our website in the “Rates & Policies” section.

The best way to minimize the impacts of this rate increase is to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Members are encouraged to take advantage of our energy efficiency programs. Contact Energy Advisor Jake Taylor to schedule a free energy audit of your home.  

There are also energy calculators and energy-saving tips available at Rebates are offered for the installation of efficient heat pump water heaters and air source or geothermal heat pumps. If you have questions about supplementing your home with solar energy or another renewable energy system, we can help with that, too.  

Rest assured, LaGrange County REMC directors and staff are continually evaluating our day-to-day operations and look for opportunities to improve and gain efficiencies. We are committed to finding that perfect balance between reliability and affordability that ensures you are getting the best value for your investment in your electric cooperative.