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CEO November Message - 2023

01 November 2023

How Does Inflation AffectYour Electric Bill?

Inflation impacts everything from the price of gasoline to the price of food. We can all identify items where costs have gone up significantly in the last two years. We would be hard-pressed to think of an item that costs the same as it did three years ago or even a few months ago. HCE tries hard to keep the costs down. The increases we see in power and materials are not something we have any control over.

Allow me to share some examples of the increase in costs HCE has experienced:

  • Single phase transformers increased 155% since 2019
  • Poles increased 165% since 2019
  • Underground Primary Cable increased 156% since 2019.

As you can see, the prices for items we need to keep electricity flowing to our members have increased drastically. This includes software needed for meters and our billing system. We try our best to keep costs low, but as inflation rises the costs from our power provider and vendor partners do as well. The result is an increase in cost of service we provide to our membership. It has become more difficult for the cooperative to absorb some of these cost increases.

We continue to serve our members, install new services, and complete upgrades throughout our service territory. The costs to operate your cooperative are at an all-time high. As management of your cooperative, we fight every day to keep costs under control and the board is looking to keep rates affordable and power reliable well into the future.

HCE’s last rate increase was in April 2016. If HCE must raise our rates, HCE will keep them as low as possible and still supply the best reliable power that we can. HCE has hired a company to analyze our rates and rate structure. We look forward to reviewing those results by the end of the year. HCE has discussed three-part rates for several months in this publication, which is another way to look at how HCE applies our rates to you, our members. As HCE goes forward, we will keep you informed. If HCE raises rates, it would not be until late spring or early summer of 2024. So, keep reading this magazine to keep informed and up to date on what is going on at HCE. As always, please stay safe and stay healthy!