We know that times are tough for many families right now. Higher interest rates and soaring prices for nearly all goods and services are taking their toll. While we’re paying more for just about everything these days, I want to assure you we’re doing all we can here at Bartholomew County REMC to minimize the impact of increasing electricity costs for our members.
By the end of 2022, our power costs from our wholesale power provider, Hoosier Energy, had increased by 17% due to fuel (coal & natural gas) prices, inflation and supply chain issues. You saw these cost pressures on your bill, listed as the “Wholesale Tracker,” which is a pass-through from Hoosier Energy to our members to cover the fluctuating cost of power we purchase on your behalf. However, with the URT (Utilities Receipt Tax) repeal in August and a special capital credit refund in September, BCREMC was able to offset the impact of the rising costs for our members.
Unfortunately, the trend of increasing wholesale power costs will continue through 2023. Coal prices are up nearly 300% since this time last year, and natural gas prices have increased more than 100% year-over-year. Because of the increased expense to produce power, Hoosier Energy is doubling the Wholesale Tracker for the first quarter of 2023, with another increase forecasted for second quarter.
Now, let’s get to some good news. I’m proud to report that BCREMC will once again give a special refund beginning on mid-January bills to help relieve some of the rising costs of electricity. This credit is a little different than a special capital credit refund, though. This year, we will refund some of our current margins monthly to offset the increase in the Wholesale Tracker.
The board is proud to report that BCREMC is in good financial standing to give back margins now, when members need it the most. The amount of credit you receive will be in direct proportion to the kWh that you use and will be listed as “BCREMC Wholesale Power Cost Relief” on your bill. See page 6 for further details about the refund.
We are pleased to offer some relief to our current members during this time of economic uncertainty. Bartholomew County REMC isn’t like other utilities – we’re a member-owned cooperative. That means our members are at the center of every business decision we make. We have a keen focus to continually find ways to help our members. Please know we are here, working for you and have your best interests in mind.