January 5, 2023 — A general service rate change for both residential and commercial members was approved by the board of directors at the December 2022 regular board meeting. The change will go into effect on March 1, 2023, and details are expected to be approved by the board on January 31. The approved rate change will result in an increase to the monthly Service Availability Charge (SAC) as well as the kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage rate.
The SAC is anticipated to increase by $6 on residential member bills and by varying amounts on commercial accounts. This fixed charge affecting all members equally contributes to the availability of service, maintenance, and reliability of the entire system.
“Due to significant increases in the cost of materials, raising the SAC is the fairest way for all members to meet the needs of the budget,” says Mark Bakk, LCP general manager. “The costs associated with maintenance of the system including materials, line maintenance, and right-of-way clearing should be borne by all members.”
In addition to adjusting the SAC, an increase in the per kWh energy rate is also necessary. This increase is mainly due to the elevated cost of natural gas which is driving up market energy prices around our region. This increase in the cost of energy purchases is expected to be paid by those who use the energy.
The general service energy rate will increase by .56 cents per kWh. A household using 800 kWh per month can expect to see an estimated $10 to $11 rise in cost on their monthly bill.
“We have experienced historical cost increases in virtually every aspect of our operations over the past two years; especially related to essential materials for our distribution system.” said Chief Financial Officer Tracy Peterson Wirtanen. “We do everything we can to control costs in an effort to maintain rates for our members.”