Manager's Report - December 2014
Your Holiday Refund is on its Way!
I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas season. It can be a wonderful time for families, but it can also be a time of sadness for those who have lost loved ones this past year. I hope you will join me in trying to be an encouragement for those individuals.
Great News–Holiday Refund is on it’s Way!
We have some great news for you as a member of Butler REC. As a cooperative our objective is to run as efficiently as possible and only charge enough to operate and keep our mortgage obligations. So I am happy to tell you that you will be seeing a holiday refund on the bill you receive later this month. It should be one of the largest holiday refunds that we have given in Butler REC’s history.
Several factors have made this refund possible. First, many of you conserved during the 5 to 8 p.m. peak times and that helped lower the cooperative’s power cost. Those of you who participated saw immediate bill reductions, but it also helped our power cost overall. Those savings combined with Kansas Electric Power Cooperative (KEPCo), our power supplier, refinancing some of their debt at better terms, created more margins than we needed this year.
We also had a very good year with our propane division even though we executed several changes during the year to help propane customers save during what was one of the most volatile propane pricing years in history. When propane prices reached close to $5 per gallon, we waved the standard minimum gallon requirements in an attempt to help our customers get by until prices came down to a more reasonable level.
This fall we came out with prepay contracts well below what most of the competitors offered. We had an overwhelming number of you switch to our prepaid contracts for this winter.
So Merry Christmas and happy New Year from Butler REC, Regional Energy and Regional Media. We hope this holiday refund will help make your families holidays a little brighter.
Cost of Service Study
As you heard last month, it has been almost five years since our last rate adjustment and we are looking at a cost of service study. We are not planning on a rate increase for residential and most commercial members, but we are looking at a small increase in the customer and demand charge with a corresponding decrease in the kWh charge. In other words, this won’t change the power costs of the average member in these classes. This will help make your electric bill less susceptible to extremely hot summers or cold winters.
2015 Budget & Work Plans
The co-op staff and Board of Trustees are currently working on the 2015 Budget and Work Plans. Items of importance that we are discussing include peaking generators, which could help our wholesale power cost and renewable generation including community solar and roof top projects. In addition, we are considering a residential insulation program that may help lower your power bill more than the cost of financing the insulation over time and, of course, the possibility of expanded right-of-way maintenance to help with reliability and blinking problems.
In closing, from all of us here at Butler REC have a great holiday season and a wonderful new year.
Robert "Dale" Short