Rate adjustments effective Jan. 1
The new rate schedule for Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative went into effect Jan. 1 and will be reflected on members’ February bills.
The difference between on-peak and off-peak electric generation charges will increase from 3.5 cents to 4
cents per kWh.
The on-peak and off-peak spread has increased one-half cent each year since 2013. However, it is expected the 4-cent difference should be able to be maintained, since the cooperative’s wholesale power supplier, Buckeye Power, has forecast their rates to remain stable for some time.
The basic service charge will increase from $32.25 to $34.25. This fee has been adjusted annually the past 10 years. To avoid “rate shock,” the board opted to raise the monthly service charge gradually each year in $2 increments, rather than moving directly to the full cost of having a service in place.
Members pay the basic service charge regardless of how much electricity is used each month. It offsets some of the fixed costs of providing electric service, such as the cost of poles, wires, transformers, and other necessary equipment. The increase in the monthly service charge allows the cooperative to keep pace with the ongoing maintenance and replacements to its 1,535 miles of distribution lines.
Late fee reduced to 9 percent
Effective Jan. 1, the late payment fee for electric bills received after the 24th of the month has been reduced 1 percent to 9 percent. The LMRE board of trustees plans to continue to reduce the fee by 1 percent each January until it reaches 6 percent.
The LMRE board of trustees wants to bring the fee in line with the average late payment fee among the 24 Ohio electric cooperatives. The board’s objective is to make sure the cooperative presents an incentive for members to pay their bills on time and to recover at least 50 percent of the administrative costs associated with collection of past due accounts.
It has been at least 20 years since this fee was adjusted. In those 20 years, the cost of wholesale power has doubled. Gradually reducing the percentage each year will lessen the impact it has on rates overall and help those members who may have difficulty paying their bill on time.