The rate philosophy at your cooperative is based on the idea of fairness; the cost causer is the cost payer. A substantial portion of Columbia Rural Electric Association’s (REA’s) power bill from the Bonneville Power Association (BPA) is based on system demand. Members with high usage place more demand on our distribution system and therefore increase our costs.
New Demand Charge
Members with high usage place more demand on our distribution system and therefore increase our costs. A member whose peak demand is low should not have to subsidize a member whose peak demand is high. Most other rate classes already include a demand charge.
Demand, measured in kilowatts (kW), is the speed at which a member uses a certain amount of electricity. An example of lower demand would be running your clothes dryer at 9 p.m. and your dishwasher afterwards at 10 p.m. This places less demand on the system than running both appliances at the same time.
This new charge only applies to members that exceed 10 kW in any given month. Our average member uses 7.4 kW a month, so most members will not see a kW demand charge. The demand is reset each month.
- The first 10 kW is provided at no charge
- The cost will start at $1 per kW over 10 kW
- For example, kW usage of 15 kW will add $5 to the member’s bill
- 15 kW minus 10 kW that is free equals 5 kW that is billable at $1
- This charge will start with the October usage that comes out in early November
Reducing Your Demand
There are easy ways for most members to reduce their kW demand on the system and we are happy to help work with you.
Your demand usage has been appearing on your bill for over a year with no charge applied. If you would like to see your usage history, it is available online and through our SmartHub app.