Local Power Company Prepares Customers For Higher Bills Coming This Winter

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In a Facebook statement issued by Mark A. Boyd, the General Manger of Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative, Inc. on Tuesday, he warned customers about higher bills expected for customers this winter as rising wholesale power costs continue to rise.

“Higher power costs and winter usage is the worst combination we can have. Our system consists of roughly 76% residential members and the highest usage we see year in and year out occurs during the coldest times of the year. It’s just a function of conventional, electric, strip heat. As always, we encourage you to take whatever practical steps you can to conserve energy from heating your home. Setting your thermostat to a reasonable temperature is a good place to start. Don’t believe the old adage that leaving your thermostat at the same setting all the time is the most efficient way to operate your home. If you need your home to be at 70 when you’re there but you work 8-10 hours a day outside the home, consider lowering the setting. The recovery time to get back to 70 is much less expensive than trying to maintain that temperature while you’re away. Space heaters are not good substitutes for running central heat. Three space heaters is the equivalent of running your central heat from an energy standpoint but the efficiency is significantly less. If you have questions about saving energy please visit the “Save Energy” tab on our website, www.bcec.com or give us a call.
Besides all the wholesale power cost issues, we are also seeing the same supply chain shortages and price increases that everyone else is seeing. Lead times on most of our items are ever expanding and it’s forcing us into having to buy now rather than face shortages later. Most raw material costs have gone up and some by as much as 30-50% making everything we buy more expensive whether it’s a meter base, a transformer or even a treated wooden pole.

I know this is not the message you want to hear from your Cooperative and it is certainly not one we want to deliver. However, I would much rather tell you before it happens than explain it to you after the fact. I am not a pessimist but I am a realist. I believe it is better to prepare for what we anticipate will happen rather than to hope it won’t. We will continue to work within the organization to control our operating costs and externally to control power costs to the extent we have influence. Since roughly 70% of the cost associated with your Cooperative is our wholesale power cost, you can see our influence is somewhat limited. Ultimately, it comes down to each of us and our usage habits. We all have to make good decisions understanding the cost associated. My job is to inform and encourage you but ultimately we cannot control what flows through your meter,” said Boyd.

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In a follow up from his release on the Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative, Inc. Facebook page, he gave customers a good idea at how much of an increase customers may be looking at this year. “I discussed with our Board yesterday the projected power cost for 2022 would have us carrying a base PCRF of 5.3 cents per kwh without any storm recovery. That is a full 1.3 cents/kwh higher than where we are right now. The average a residential member uses 1,200-1,500 kwh per month. 1,500 kwh x 1.3 cents is $19.50 additional. If you use 3,000 kwh the increase will be $39,” said Boyd.

If you are already seeing changes in your monthly budgets due to the increase in price from all areas including food, supplies, gas and more, this is just one more thing you may want to be aware of as the winter season continues to hit the Texarkana Area. Although many of our local Cooperatives are not seeing prices as high as others around the state of Texas, the rising costs will continue to impact us for several months, or even years to come.

For more information, or to stay prepared for more rising costs this winter, continue to follow TXKToday for tips and tricks in helping you keep your home safe, and your costs lower this season.

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