Pioneer announces changes to rates

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, December 17, 2009

At their November meeting, the Trustees of Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. announced changes in the Cooperative’s rate structure.

“We’ve recently concluded a cost of service study here at the cooperative, and we’re changing our rate structure to be in line results of that study,” said Pioneer Executive Vice-President Steve Harmon. “The changes we’re making will increase the access charge and lower the kilowatt hour charges. The average consumer will see a slight decrease in their bill.”

The changes go into effect in January.

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Pioneer’s access charge pays for the costs of maintaining the poles and lines to members’ homes and businesses, as well as the cost of much of the labor associated with running the cooperative.

The kilowatt hour charge is based on the amount of electricity used by the consumers. As the wholesale rate for power charged to the cooperative has decreased, those savings are being passed along to the members.

“This is the second kilowatt hour decrease we’ve been able to pass along to our members in the past 3 months,” Harmon said. “Our present projections predict that we’ll be able to hold these rates steady for the foreseeable future.”

In addition to the rate and access charge changes, the costs for line extensions and new services have increased. “We haven’t adjusted our line extension charges in several years, although those costs have increased during that time,” according to Harmon.

Pioneer is a member owned electric distribution system that serves customers in the rural areas of nine counties in south central Alabama, with offices in Greenville and Selma.