Are you looking for information on a term that you read on your electric bill? You are in the right place. You will find a glossary of terms below.
What is PCA and why am I just seeing it now?
The Power Cost Adjustment is a separate line item on your billing statement that reflects the increases/decreases in the co-op's cost of wholesale power purchased from Dairyland Power Coop (DPC). The fluctuation in PCA is largely caused by the cost of fuel for generation.
PCA has been listed, as needed, on the bill statements for many years. This credit or charge has never been this large, so many members didn’t notice it. We fully recognize that this historically high fluctuation was unanticipated.
The cost of power is now nearly 70% of our total annual expenses. (for every $1 we spend, 70 cents goes straight to DPC for purchasing the power we distribute to our members.)
DPC is seeing higher costs to generate power because natural gas and coal prices are high; both natural gas and coal are used as fuel to generate electricity. In addition, many coal plants are in conservation mode due to inadequate coal supplies caused by rail shipping.
Transmission lines that move energy from where it is generated (Power Plants) to where it is needed (members’ home/farm) are congested. This raises energy market prices.
In the fall and spring, electricity needed by members is lower and power plants use this time to conduct much-needed maintenance before the winter and summer peak seasons. These necessary and scheduled outages for maintenance lower the amount of power available, which increases prices in the energy market.
Will this happen again?
We do not know how long this will last, or if it will happen again, but we are working to reduce other operating expenses.
DEC is a not-for-profit organization and we can only collect the actual cost of power through rates. We return any profits (margins) to the members each year through capital credit allocations and retirements and not to investors or shareholders.
What Can You do as a Member?
- By keeping local energy use lower, the amount of energy we purchase is lower, which reduces costs. You can do things like:
- Increase the temperature in your home by two degrees to use less air conditioning.
- Close the shades strategically during the brightest parts of the day and on the south-facing windows to buffer some of the heat from the sun.
- Open windows at night to allow cool air inside.
- Change your light bulbs to LEDs.
Visit our website (https://www.dunnenergy.com/energy-sense) for more energy-saving resources.
Why did I get a Capital Credit check this month?
The Capital Credit retirement was a result of prior years’ margin’s being more favorable than budgets. The amount was determined prior to the latest spike in power costs.
If you are in need of assistance with your electric bill, please call the agencies below:
Energy Services 800-506-5596
Foundation for Rural Housing 608-238-3448
Salvation Army 715-235-2920