Electric and gas utilities across the Midwest saw a significant increase in energy use during a record-breaking cold snap in February. Individual member usage and 4 Rivers Electric Cooperative’s overall energy costs are expected to be significantly higher. Members should be prepared for increased monthly electric bills due to increased usage and higher wholesale power costs.
As a distribution cooperative, 4 Rivers purchases power for our members from Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (KEPCo), also a not-for-profit cooperative. Our trustees and staff are working together with KEPCo to understand the impact of wholesale costs on our cooperative, which will take months to fully determine.
Variables in wholesale power costs are reflected in the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) charge, which is assessed to members as a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge itemized separately on your bill from other charges. The more power you use, the more the PCA affects your bill. The PCA fluctuates based on the cost of fuel and purchased power. Some months, members may pay an additional charge for the PCA, while other months, the PCA may be a credit.
Each month, KEPCo determines their PCA based on the actual cost of fuel and purchased power from its owned generation and other suppliers. To mitigate price impacts to 4 Rivers and other members in the short term, KEPCo established a 3.3¢/kWh cap on the energy PCA for February bills to its members including 4 Rivers Electric. 4 Rivers cannot determine the exact PCA for our members until after we receive our power bill from KEPCo, which should be received March 9. Our member bills are scheduled to calculate on March 10 with the updated PCA in place.
4 Rivers is committed to mitigating the impact to members and will work with individual members to make sure payment options are in place and bills are manageable. We are committed to our mission to serve and care for our members, while providing safe, reliable, affordable energy to homes and businesses. We will continue to update our members as information becomes available.
Members can always log in to their account to check daily/monthly usage, call us at 620-364-2116 or 800-748-7395 to speak with a billing representative or reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.