Does your billing statement look different?
If you are looking at your bill and wondering if something looks different, you are correct. Tri-County Electric Co-op has been working behind the scenes to bring to life something our members asked for: itemized billing.
Starting in October, members will see each billing component broken out in a different line item, including the Customer Charge, Energy Charge, Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF), outdoor lights, fees and taxes. These charges are not new and have been bundled in one item labeled "Electric Charge" on your bill.
To help you better understand your electric charges, we have this sample bill and answers to all your questions.
How to Read your Billing Statement
A indicates your Account Number, Statement ID, Board District and Bill date.
B shows your account information, including your name, service address and phone number. If this is not correct, please let us know.
C shows your meter number, dates of service, beginning and ending meter readings for the period, your rate and kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed.
D indicates your last bill and most recent payment made as a credit.
E indicates your current bill charges, broken down by billing component. You may see items for the monthly Customer Charge, Energy Charge, PCRF, outdoor lights, and applicable fees and taxes. Learn about each of these components below.
F shows your Account Balance, which is the total of current charges and anything owed from last month, current bill due date and if you are on Auto Pay. This also shows the disconnect date for the current bill amount only. A 5% late fee may be applied to balances not paid by the due date listed above in item E.
G shows your current and previous billing information and 13-month kilowatt usage history so you can watch trends and electric consumption. You can track daily electric use online through the member portal and TCEC Connect.
H is the payment stub to be filled out and returned with mail-in payments or in-person payments. Learn more about paperless billing.
Starting in October, billing statements now show each billing component as a different line item rather than one electric charge.
As power costs rose steadily this summer, members were asking for billing cost explanations and rate stabilization. Members asked for bill components to be broken out to better understand the bill. Additionally, the drastic swing in PCRF led to members asking for stabilized bills to better budget and manage costs.
Members may see the following items listed on their bill: Customer Charge, Energy Charge, PCRF, outdoor lights, and applicable fees and taxes. These charges are not new and have always been on member bills labeled as one Electric Charge.
This monthly service fee is an availability charge that covers a portion of the fixed costs of providing electric distribution service, including maintenance and operations. The remainder is recovered in the Energy Charge, which is a variable charge based on electric use consumed.
The monthly Customer Charge for residential members is $18.00 for single-phase service and $30.00 for three-phase service.
The Energy Charge includes power costs and distribution costs beyond what is collected in the monthly Customer Charge.
The rate for residential members is 14.425 cents/kWh consumed, which includes 12 cents of budgeted power costs. Only 2.425 cents stays with Tri-County Electric Co-op to cover operating expenses.
Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF) is a rate mechanism used to true-up the actual cost of wholesale generation and transmission services versus budgeted costs. PCRF is a pass-through component, meaning Tri-County Electric Co-op passes wholesale generation and transmission costs to our members at our cost without markup.
Members with outdoor lights are not charged for any kWh consumed by the light. However, power costs from the outdoor light are recovered through PCRF. Electric use consumed by the outdoor light is an estimated average based on the wattage of the bulb.
Members may see charges for taxes and fees. These charges are collected on behalf of the city based on contractual agreements between the city and the co-op. All money collected is passed through and does not stay with the co-op.
These charges are not new and have been collected on behalf of the city. Members may notice taxes and fees now due to the bill itemization.
Tri-County Electric Co-op is dedicated to educating members on energy management and empowering smart energy use. We regularly provide energy-saving tips on our Facebook page and have an energy efficiency webpage with more than 100 tips on saving energy.