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Flathead Electric announces no rate revenue increase

by Daily Inter Lake
| May 4, 2021 12:00 AM

For a third consecutive year, there will be no increase in the total rate revenue collected from Flathead Electric Cooperative members, the co-op board said Monday.

The board did, however, approve a revenue-neutral change to the residential rate, which includes a decrease in the energy charge (kWh) and an increase in the demand charge (kW).

The way Flathead Electric is charged by its wholesale power provider, the Bonneville Power Administration, has changed over time, according to a press release. The co-op now pays a premium for power used during peak hours. This adjustment is designed to both improve the way the co-op collects revenues to cover costs, as well as to give members more control over their electric bills. Some residential members will see their bills decrease, since it costs the co-op less to provide power. Likewise, members with a higher demand during peak hours could see a slight increase in their bills. With this change, most residential members’ bills will decrease or increase by less than 2%, depending on how they use electricity, the press release noted.

The demand charge is based on the highest demand measured during the co-op’s peak hours in each member’s billing cycle. Peak hours occur Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. (no weekends or major federal holidays). The demand charge will be set at $0.88/kW for the coming year. Respectively, Flathead Electric’s energy charge (the amount billed for each kilowatt hour (kWh) consumed) will decrease by 2.2% for all three rate blocks. These changes will be reflected on residential electric bills issued on or after June 1, 2021.

In addition to collecting costs more equitably, the demand charge gives co-op members another opportunity to control their bill. Previously, using less energy was the only way to reduce bills. Now, shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever possible, and/or avoiding the simultaneous use of large appliances during peak hours will reduce demand and decrease residential bills.

For more information about residential demand, or to use FEC’s residential rate calculator visit www.flatheadelectric.com/demand.