News reports about astronomical electricity bills have Prairie Land Electric members fearing how much the energy emergencies in February will increase their bill. While power purchase bills have not yet been assessed, Prairie Land is anticipating the costs to be exponential. No matter the amount, Prairie Land is committed to doing everything possible to reduce the immediate impact on members of the cooperative, as well as their wholesale cities.
CEO Kirk Girard pointed out the extraordinary, voluntary efforts that Prairie Land members made to conserve energy. This helped minimize the number and lengths of the energy emergency alerts and service interruption orders issued by the Southwest Power Pool. “This truly made a big difference, and we can’t thank our members enough for the sacrifices they were willing to make to preserve the integrity of the grid.”
Now that power demand and generation is back to expected levels, the next concern to address is the financial impact to Prairie Land, and in turn, the members and municipalities. As for now, members will not yet see February’s high power costs on the billing sent at the beginning of March, 2021.
“We won’t have our wholesale power bill until after the bills are mailed in March,” explained Girard. “There may very well be bills that are higher primarily due to higher usage during the extreme cold. This billing will not include any additional charges due to the extreme cold weather event.”
Prairie Land’s immediate priority is to work with the members to spread this cost over several months or even years. “Our members and Prairie Land are one and the same,” said Girard, “and we will find a way to reduce the immediate impact of this crisis on our members.”