General Manager/CEO Dan L. Brown announces Cuivre River Electric Cooperative will ring in the New Year without a rate increase. The year 2014 will mark the fifth consecutive year the cooperative has held the line on electric rates which are set by Cuivre River’s member-elected board of directors.
Directors approved the cooperative’s 2014 budget in December without a rate adjustment in the forecast. A key reason: stable wholesale power rates for the coming year. “Wholesale costs account for 70 percent of our overall expenses,” says Brown. “They are a critical component of stable retail rates for families and businesses as our local economy recovers,” he adds.
Locally, the cooperative continues working to manage the remaining 30 percent of its operating costs to distribute energy to Cuivre River member-owners in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, southern Pike and eastern Montgomery counties. “We know that slow-growing family wages and business revenues face rising costs on many fronts,” Brown says. “We want to make certain our members receive great value from every penny they spend for electricity.”
At an average residential energy rate of 8¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Cuivre River’s rates are among the lowest in Missouri and throughout the country. Brown credits cooperative-owned power suppliers for their roles in keeping energy affordable, and credits employee efforts to strive for maximum efficiencies in day-to-day operations.
On the horizon Brown anticipates a wholesale cost increase in 2015, but expects it to be modest. In future years regulatory and environmental uncertainties loom large and will have an impact on Cuivre River’s member-owned power suppliers’ long-range financial forecasts.
Using the most affordable resources to provide wholesale power in 2013, 81 percent was produced by coal, 10 percent by wind, 6 percent by hydropower and 3 percent by natural gas.