During the public meeting on Nov. 17, 2022, the Western Cooperative Electric Board of Trustees unanimously approved a three-year rate adjustment plan.
The approved rates are effective Jan. 1, 2023, followed by additional adjustments in 2024 and 2025. Overall, the cost-of-service study revealed a 6% revenue increase was needed to maintain service levels and meet lender requirements. While we know these rate increases can create hardship, this was not our intent.
As a member-owned cooperative, we have the fiduciary responsibility to you, our members, to balance cost with risk and provide consistent service levels. Rate changes are never easy, and depending on your rate class and usage, these will affect members differently. However, during this entire process, we maintained
FOUR MAIN GOALS:
1 Collect the proper amount of revenue to operate effectively.
2 Realign rates to collect fixed costs through fixed charges.
3 Maintain a fair rate structure for all Western members.
4 Remain revenue neutral in 2024 and 2025.
I want to thank the board of trustees, Western employees, and members who showed up to our community meetings to provide feedback and comments. These past couple of years have been economically challenging for our members. Massive swings in energy markets, particularly natural gas, paired with some of the highest inflation rates in 40 years, accelerated the need for a rate restructuring. As we close the holiday season and turn the calendar to 2023, I would like to wish our members health, happiness, and a Happy New Year! Although these have been very challenging times, we will get through it together.