How did you determine how much to raise rates?
LREC worked with The Prime Group, a nationally recognized rate consultant, to fully analyze all of the co-op’s expenses and allocate costs appropriately across the various rate classes. The goal is to ensure our rates produce revenue sufficient to maintain the co-op’s strong financial condition and to make sure that each rate class is being charged a “fair and equitable” rate.
Why do you have to raise rates?
Your board of directors and the management team at LREC take their responsibility as fiscal stewards very seriously and strive to keep rates as low as possible. Your co-op was able to offset over $3 million in wholesale power costs over the past 4 years. However, continued increases in wholesale power and other operating costs make it necessary to raise rates.
When will the rate change take effect?
The rate change will take effect on January 1st, 2017.
How is this rate increase good for Lake Region Electric members?
Lake Region is a member-owned cooperative. By making sure that the cooperative is in a strong financial position we are able to continually improve our electric distribution system reliability. A strong financial standing enables us to continue to receive favorable finance rates for long-term commitments and maintain our overall service at high levels.
How will this raise in rates impact me?
For the average residential member the rate increase will be small. Although the Facility Charge will be going up $3 per month, the kWh charge will be coming down from the old first 1,000 kWh blocks, in both summer and winter. The overall LREC increase is 4.3% but based on usage, it will be more for some and less for others.
When was the last time that you raised rates?
Rates were last raised in 2013; dual fuel rates have not been increased since 2008.
Who can I speak with related to budget billing or energy assistance?
Please call in to Lake Region’s Customer Service team and they will be more than happy to set you up on a budget billing program, or provide you with contacts for energy assistance programs.
What are you doing to keep rates low?
The board of directors and the management team at Lake Region closely manage all of our controllable expenses; labor, equipment, training, etc., to make sure that we remain careful stewards for the membership’s business. Certain costs are outside of our control, such as the cost for power. However, even with power costs Lake Region offers programs for energy efficiency via our LED program, energy efficient heating programs, dual fuel programs, solar, and a host of other solutions to assist our members in reducing electricity usage.
Is this rate increase associated with the new substation to serve the Casino?
The new substation and load from the proposed Casino did not impact this rate increase. In fact, when the Casino becomes operational, the revenue generated from those operations will have a positive impact on our overall rates and help us keep our overall rates lower due to their contribution.
How can I reduce my electrical bill?
Watching your electrical usage and taking advantage of new energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting are two means to reduce your electrical usage and therefore your bill. Please refer to our website or give us a call about Energy Service programs that may benefit you.