Howard Electric will implement a 14% rate increase beginning on February 27, 2023. Members will see this increase on their April 1, 2023 bill which covers usage during February 27 to March 26th. This increase will be divided out between all three components of the bill, service availability charge, KW demand charge, and kWh usage charge.
What does a 14% increase look like for the average Howard Electric member? The average member will now pay $5.96 per day. This $5.96 will keep your house warm or cool depending on the season, keep your water hot and your groceries cold. It will also run your coffee pot in the morning, your washing machine and dryer, charge your cell phones and other electronics, and power countless other conveniences. When considering all these benefits, electricity is still a bargain.
Howard Electric is a non-profit business responsible for providing safe, reliable, affordable, and clean power to the member-owners. When rate increases are necessary it is to ensure that this goal can continue to be met.
Why are rates increasing?
Inflation in 2022 is the highest it has been since 1981, affecting nearly all goods and services. Material costs have increased from 5% to over 250% depending on the item. Fleet expenses have increased as well, it isn’t just the cost of the fuel, but the bucket trucks themselves have increased over 35%.
To improve service reliability to our members an aggressive right-of-way program of clearing approximately 100 miles of line each year and then spraying previously cut right-of-way was implemented in 2020. The cost of this essential program is not included in the current rate structure.
Howard Electric itself is seeing increased power costs. Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., our power provider, has not increased rates since 2017. Their costs to provide reliable baseload generation is increasing.
Energy efficiency rebates will remain in effect. Member-Owners who have questions on ways to reduce their energy consumption, rebates, or the rate increase can call 660-248-3311.