January Message from the Manager
Keeping electric rates in check
At Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative, our rates are based on two main components – the actual cost of the wholesale power we buy from the company that generates electricity and the cost for us to get that power to you.
Burke-Divide Electric is a member of Basin Electric Power Cooperative. As our power provider, Basin Electric Power Cooperative sets wholesale power costs. As a cooperative, Basin Electric works hard to keep rates low while maintaining a stable supply of electricity.
Over the past year, Basin Electric faced some economic challenges that required them to increase the cost of wholesale power to its membership. Primary factors influencing the increase were low commodity prices across both the energy and agriculture sectors; diminished member sales and low market prices stemming from unusually mild weather and increased wind capacity; capital expenditures to support continued growth; and environmental regulation calling for installation of more emission-control technology.
At the time of the wholesale power cost increase, Burke-Divide Electric was financially strong and we were able to absorb the wholesale power cost increase.
The second component – the cost for us to get power to you – is all other operational costs, including the cost for poles and lines, the cost and maintenance of trucks and buildings, actual employee costs like wages and benefits, and the costs associated with maintaining records, such as the printing and mailing of bills.
We work hard every day to operate the Cooperative as efficiently as possible; however, as with any other business, the cooperative is still going to see our operating costs rise as the cost of doing business in general goes up.
The Board of Directors and management continually assess the Cooperative’s financial position to ensure the Cooperative remains financially strong. With that being said, we feel the current electric rates being charged to our membership will be sufficient to meet the needs of the Cooperative in 2017. If we find it necessary to increase electric rates to our membership, you can trust that the decision will be based on keeping the cooperative financially strong on behalf of all our members.
Until next time,