IREA avoids high rate hikes

As reported in the July Watts & Volts newsletter and email, IREA’s Board of Directors recently approved changes to the association’s rates and regulations that will go into effect Sept. 1.

Key changes include elimination of the load factor adjustment (LFA), replacement of the temporary monthly power cost adjustment (PCA) with a quarterly wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA), introduction of a three-part residential rate, and changes to rates that will result in an average cost increase of about 2.25%.

This is remarkable considering that we have not had a general rate increase since 2013, even though the cost of living has increased more than 15% in that time.

Meanwhile, as you may have seen in the news or noticed on your other utility bills, all other large utilities in Colorado are imposing significant rate increases on their customers:

• Public Service Colorado (Xcel) plans to increase electric rates for its 1.6 million residential and commercial customers by 13%.

• Black Hills Energy introduced rate increases of between 6% and 7% for most of its electricity and/or gas customers in Colorado.

• Colorado Springs Utilities has raised residential rates 8% and commercial rates 10.6% through at least April 2022.
IREA’s 2.25% increase, in contrast, amounts to an additional $2.46 in cost for the average residential member.

“Our ability to avoid large rate increases results from two factors,” said IREA CEO Jeff Baudier. “First, we are experiencing extraordinary growth in our membership, which brings in additional revenue to offset inflation. Second, we are not created to drive shareholder profits, like an investor-owned utility, or meet ever-growing governmental budgets, like a municipal utility. Our ability to go multiple years without significant rate increases is just one advantage of an electric co-op over the other utility models.”

We encourage members to visit our dedicated Rate Redesign page for additional info about rates and regulations, including FAQs and explanations of the new three-part rate and other changes.