What is the "Service Access Charge?"
This is the minimum charge to be connected to the distribution lines. Different types of service may pay different service access charges. We all need a reliable grid and we need to share in building and maintaining it. This is the purpose of the service access charge.
What is included in the flat "Service Access Charge?"
Every member pays a monthly flat charge that is designed to recover those costs that do not vary with the amount of electricity used. A portion of the cooperative's costs are the same for customers within a rate class whether they use 50 or 2000 kilowatt hours per month. The cooperative has made similar investments in poles, wires, transformers and meters for most customers within the same rate class, and incurs similar costs for reading meters, billing and consumer accounting. As a not-for-profit organization, we must recover our costs of doing business and maintain sufficient margins to reinvest in our electric distribution system. We all need a reliable energy grid, so we all share in the costs of building and maintaining it.
Why will my Service Access Charge be going up?
Prairie Land's 2021 Rate and Cost of Service Study, conducted by the independent rate consultant, showed that the cost to connect a residential service to our electric distribution grid is approximately $42.55/month. That's how much is invested by the cooperative just to establish service, even before a member uses a single kWh. Gradually increasing the Service Access Charge to $30/month in 2022, $35/month in 2023, and $40/month in 2024, as was approved by the Board of Trustees, lowers the energy charges and more accurately reflects the cost of providing electric service to this rate class. Paying a $30-$40 flat monthly fee translates into spending only $1.00-$1.33/day for having an essential service that powers every aspect of our daily lives.