Cherries

Proposed 2018 Rate Increase

September 28th, 2017

Written by: Tony Anderson

Tablet, pen, and financial documents

The Cherryland accounting team has completed a cost of service study and a 10-year financial forecast. Internally, staff has debated our options for a rate increase in light of the results. We have discussed them again with your board of directors. The next step is to talk to you, the members of Cherryland Electric Cooperative.

What kind of rate increase are we going to be talking about? The proposed increase is a change in the monthly availability charge for residential meters. My recommendation to the board is to move this charge from $15 per month to $18 per month. For general service accounts, I will be suggesting a $2 per month increase. This will go into effect in the first quarter of 2018.

Obviously, the percentage of this increase will be determined by the size of your monthly bill. Based on average usage, a three to four percent increase in the monthly bill will be seen by 75 percent of our residential members. Higher than average users will see less and lower than average users will see more.

Why $3? When we look at all the costs involved with making electricity available to you at the flip of a switch, we come up with an availability charge of more than $27 per month. I believe an incremental change is more palatable to our members than a huge $12 per month change. The $3 gets us the revenue our studies say we need to maintain a prudent financial condition for at least the next three years.

Also, if we were to go to the full $27, it would require a sizeable drop in the monthly energy charge to avoid generating excess revenues. A lower energy charge would greatly reduce the incentive to conserve energy. Due to state energy conservation mandates and a desire to maintain level wholesale power costs, I feel like it is better to keep energy charges at today’s level.

There will also be a revenue neutral change to your monthly bill. Today, you see an energy charge and a power supply cost recovery (PSCR) charge. The energy charge is fixed and does not vary from month to month. The PSCR charge is set monthly and has been used to balance our budgeted wholesale power supply costs with actual charges incurred each month.

While the PSCR allowed us to respond to variations in power supply costs, it hasn’t changed much over the last few years and thus, should really be rolled up into the permanent energy charge. Our short-term outlook for wholesale power looks very stable for the next couple years.

So, for now, we will simplify your bill by combining the energy charge and the present (and long used) PSCR charge into one line item on your bill. This will appear like we increased the energy charge, but in reality, you will be paying the same price as the PSCR line will go to zero for at least the next 12–24 months.

As you will see noted in the “Co-op News” section on page 4 of this magazine, there will be a 5:30 p.m. informational meeting regarding the proposed changes for all members at cooperative headquarters on October 12. On October 16, there will be another meeting at the cooperative at 9 a.m. If neither of these dates work for you, we are happy to come to your home, township, coffee shop or have a private conversation at our office at your convenience.

I look forward to the upcoming member meetings. Your calls and questions are welcome at any time as well. Rate increases are not fun for anyone, but if we all communicate, we can make the best of it and move your cooperative forward on solid financial ground.

Categories: AnnouncementsEnergy EfficiencyManager's ColumnMichigan Country LinesRates

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79 thoughts on “Proposed 2018 Rate Increase”

  1. Mike says:

    A flat increase of $3 effects people who are already using little power and trying to save energy much more then people who don’t.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I don’t believe that it does. When I look at the usage of many low income homes, I see energy usage that is higher than average. Raising the kwh charge will cost these people more than $3 in many cases. Even so, it still goes back to having rates that are closer to the cost of service. Cost of service based rates are fair to everyone regardless of income or usage patterns.

  2. Patrick Herman says:

    Why not just increase energy charge per unit, that way those that use more pay more. That would lead to more conservation by consumers.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      We want to have rates that are as fair as possible. We are a not for profit utility that strives to achieve rates close to the actual cost of service. Raising the energy charge alone is simply not fair. In reality, many of our low income homes use higher than an average home. Raising the kWh charge would affect them more adversely than other members (my opinion based on my knowledge of typical industry usage). Charging those that use more a higher price is not a fair system.

  3. Janine Montgomery says:

    Good afternoon,
    Thank you for the advance notice of the increase. Question for clarification – is there just ONE increase of $3.00 which you are explaining as a 3% increase for 75% of the members? OR is there a $3 increase AND a 3% increase. I would like to be sure I understand paragraphs 2 and 3 correctly. I am reading it as ONE increase of $3.00 which translates to about a 3% increase in the bill total depending on your bill size. Am I reading it correctly?

    Thank you.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      There is just one increase – a flat $3 per month. The common question we get on the phone is “What is the percentage increase?” Thus, we tried to answer that question up front. I apologize for any confusion.

  4. CARL HAMMOND says:

    Do what ever you think best.

  5. Ryan Nugent says:

    I completed understand that the cost of business will always increase and understand your needs to justify a rate hike. However why can’t a rate hike be put forth on over all kWhr consumption? I don’t understand why just being hooked to the grid incurs a larger penalty. Also most importantly it does not incentivize lowering my personal BTU consumption if I know I’m paying largely the same rate. Or I could be mis-interpreting the statement, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      “Cost of service” means just that – what does it cost to serve a given rate class at CEC? Our numbers determine that simply to have a system ready to use power, it is costing us $28 per month. Again, this is whether you use 1 kWh or a 1,000 kWh. Your availability charge is currently $15 per month. If we raised that to $28, we would generate far more revenue than we need at this time. Thus, we are recommending that a $3 per month charge is all that is necessary. I don’t think of it as a penalty. I think of it as a small step closer to the $28 that it actually costs to have a delivery system available. We could raise the availability charge higher and lower the kWh charge but this action would only reduce the incentive to conserve. I don’t want to reduce the present incecentive to conserve.

  6. Virginia Abate says:

    I live at Brookside Commons. I am a senior, single mom with a special needs adult child. We are poor. How much will this increase cost us, per month?

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      This increase will cost you $3 per month. It will not go into effect until the first or second quarter of 2018.

  7. Wendy Young says:

    I think $3. Is fair … anything over that is surplus with how many Cherryland customers total there are!!! That’s plenty of extra I’m sure!!!

  8. JJ Nemitz says:

    I believe this not a fair way of increasing revenue. Why are we being penalized for using less electricity? Those of us who care about the environment and conserving our resources are going to be charged more and higher amount for less usage. “Higher than average users will see less and lower than average users will see more.” What a great way to encourage conserving our resources! You are condoning wasteful behaviors of our resources! Yes, of course I am one of those individuals who uses 3-5 kw a day and I am aware of my resources and want to conserve them. Please find a better method to promote good stewardship, not bad practices. “Due to state energy conservation mandates and a desire to maintain level wholesale power costs, I feel like it is better to keep energy charges at today’s level.” Unfortunately, you make no sense! You are talking out of both sides of your mouth and smoke and mirrors here. You are charging more for customers that use less electricity and yet you want to conserve? Great way to confuse us all!
    In addition, I live on a TAP LINE street that has not been updated since the 1950-60’s . If it takes about 39 years to pay off electric poles, lines–my street is has paid for itself without ANY IMPROVEMENTS well beyond the 39 years.
    I know you will not reward those of us who are conservative and this will not change what you are going to do in any way. This is totally unfair and not a good practice.
    In the UK they have switches on outlets, so ghosting is minimal. You publish articles about saving electricity. Bob Villa just published 15 ways to cut your electric bill and NOW YOU ARE GOING TO CHARGE US MORE FOR USING LESS! Please reconsider this wasteful and poor role modeling and punishing user that are good stewards. How unfair!

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I don’t believe you are being penalized. Conservation was at the heart of this decision. You see, if we went to true cost of service rates, the availability charge would go to $28 per month and the energy charge would be somewhere around 9 cents. By leaving the kWh charge where it has been, we kept the incentive to conserve the same. As far as your neighborhood being paid for, there is a strong substation and protection system that has been upgraded to serve your neighborhood. You are not served solely by the equipment outside your window. There is a significant infrastructure in place to deliver the power to your home.

  9. Fran Griffin says:

    Sure hope Social Security for older people will get a descent raise this year. Propane up, healthcare premiums up, RX premiums up. Cost of lifesaving drugs over the tops. Now electricity……
    Sure doesn’t help:(

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I am sincerely sorry for the added burden. By the time this increase goes into effect in 2018, it will have been almost 7 years since the last previous general rate increase. I hope you can find some appreciation in that fact.

  10. Sharie Weber says:

    I’m paying way too much now in the availability charge per month because I have two meters. I have one for my house and one for my pole barn. I can barely afford that now. I have mostly gas appliances and I don’t use that much electricity but for my small house and pole barn (what little I use in it) is way more than others with a bigger house it’s crazy. There has got to be other ways to increase the revenue without raising prices

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      You should ask an electrician to look at the cost of combining the house and pole barn services. We have many members with both that have just one meter. Obviously, every situation is different.

      Unfortunately, we have only one product to sell. There are no other revenue streams. We have the availability charge and the energy charge.

  11. gordie la pointe says:

    This seems fair if in fact you have not have a rate increase in 7 years. I only wish our local county and township boards were as frugal as they seem to be proposing a millage increase each and every year for one service or another. BATA, DVA, etc.

  12. Roy Aydelotte says:

    Sounds like a reasonable thing to do. Rates overall are some of the lowest we have seen after living in 14 areas across the lower 48.

  13. Ruth Lyon says:

    I will be selling my home in 2018. I agree with the raise. I appreciate what all of you do to keep us up and running.

  14. Dale Smith says:

    The increase seems reasonable and I understand the logic in passing along the costs this way instead of a lower consumption rate.

  15. John Wierenga says:

    I oppose an increase of the availability charge based on the observation (1) it does not promote conservation and (2) poses an undue burden on residential customers.

    An increase in the use rate is preferable and should be advanced if needed.

    I will pay extra for renewable energy! Global warming poses a certain, existential threat to mankind of unprecedented proportions. The science is clear and well founded.

    Renewable energy – congratulations on a job well done!!!!

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      On January 1, 2018, Cherryland will be 18% renewable and when you add in our nuclear portfolio at that time, we will be 56% carbon free. I am unable to find any other utility in Michigan that can match our carbon free numbers. I have not looked but I will bet there a few in the country that can match our carbon free number.

      I believe that raising the availability charge and leaving the energy charge at present levels does indeed promote conservation.

      You are well aware of our community solar program where all members are free to pay more for renewable energy.

  16. Niki Conraths says:

    Sounds good !

  17. Dave White says:

    We are retired and don’t get a raise in salary every year, yet our costs of living keep going up. Why don’t you and the other monopolies put your greed on the shelf and focus on cutting your costs instead of passing them on to us. Your top management should be fired if they can’t figure out how to lower your costs. That’s what would happen in most businesses.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I would politely ask that you consider a run of almost 7 years without an increase as a sign that we have attempted to cut costs for many years. There simply becomes a time when it can’t be done. If you apply your increase over the 7 year period, I am confident you will find that electricity has increased far below the rate of inflation.

      There are 900 electric cooperatives across 47 of the United States. In 2016, Cherryland was the best in the nation with a ratio of 630+ meters per employee. It is a sign of lean operations that any business would be proud of.

  18. Rick says:

    I have been living downstate near Lansing for 30 years and dealing with Consumers Powers, but have had temporary CEC service for over 15 in a three seasons cottage. I greatly appreciate the communication and explanation given by CEC leadership and the cost for doing business ultimately increases for all entities. Given the explanation and length of time since the last increase i believe you have laid out a fair and equitable increase plan. Continue to do the good work of providing the needed service; Consumers Energy should follow your lead.

  19. Jennifer Tremble says:

    Gradual is always more palatable. Frankly, we’ve been pretty blessed by all of the measures our cooperative has taken in the 19 years we’ve been members.

    Thank you for all your hard work to keep the lights on!

  20. Don Pahl says:

    Great way to express the need and solution for Cherryland financial stability. You kept it simply and understandable. Great job. Don

  21. CG says:

    I think this is fair.

  22. Art says:

    “Availability Charge” sounds like a fancy term to charge more money. It loosely translate into a fee I have to pay just to be allowed to purchase your service. Do I have the option of switching providers if I choose?

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      There is no option to switch providers. Cherryland rates for 700 kwh are 10% lower than Consumers Energy. The difference only gets larger as you use more energy.

  23. Harvey Yates says:

    Unfortunately, unlike most businesses, you have no competition, so you can raise your rates however much you want, whenever you want…

  24. Gary Atkinson says:

    There have been a lot of people who have been working very hard to lower the amount of energy that they use, and also investing in appliances that consume less energy as well. Yet those people will be paying a larger percentage of cost for the availability charge. Why not make the availability charge a percentage of the energy that you use. Buy doing this everybody will be paying the same percentage across the board. This is called being fair I believe.

    My other concern is that business customers are not getting an increase at all. They get a better rate than residential customers in the first place and then don’t have to share the increased burden of the availability charge?

    If the availability was a percentage of the energy used it would encourage more energy efficiency, and if it was shared with ALL customers the true cost would not be $27.00.

    Something to consider if you desire to actually serve ALL of your customers.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I can understand your logic but it does not get us closer to cost of service rates. The fact remains that there is a cost for having electricity available at the flip of a switch and there is a cost for the energy used. All members should pay the same rate for the availability of power. Under the state mandate energy conservation program, Cherryland reduced its sales by over 3 million kwhs in 2016 and will be very close to the same number in 2017. I could make a solid financial argument that the $3 increase would be less if we had the ability to sell more kwhs. Energy conservation is the right thing to do but it does have a price.

  25. Allan And Ruthanne Reiter says:

    I’m 80 my husband is 87 with dementia shot term memory Parkinson’s & I’m the sole care taker with a bad arm that I can not lift. we r barely able to pay all our bills this month we had to pay u three hundred dollars
    To catch up on the electric now we can’t buy much food. I don’t understand how much is my bill actually going to go up the more I read the more I still have no idea. Could someone at least tell me how much?
    We r on Social Security live in Kings court pretty soon the will have 80% of the SS the problem is everything goes up but the Social Security what in the word will happen to us?
    We have no family just the 2 of us. we r really scared we haven lived her & been customers for 17 years if we had to leave here it would kill us both we have a little dog that saves us with lots of love.
    sincerely,

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I am sincerely sorry for your situation. Your bill will go up just $3.00 per month. Your energy charge will remain the same. The increase will not go into effect until the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2018.

  26. Robert Welch says:

    This seems fine with me. Better to have several increases over the years, than to be socked with one big increase all at once, especially for those of us on Social Security, where the meager increase (if any) in Social Security is usually divided up over several places, such as lot rent in Kings Court, Medicare increases, etc.

  27. Rick Barck says:

    Has this proposal been already submitted to the MPSC? What, if anything, has been done to address the proposed increases through internal expense reductions, labor/benefit savings, or targeted cost or revenue increases (i.e. commercial vs. residential)?
    Next meeting date this subject to be addressed?

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Cherryland Electric Cooperative is a member regulated cooperative and not required to submit rate changes to the MPSC. We became member regulated in 2009. We operate Cherryland with just 55 employees. With a 35,000 meter system, Cherryland leads all 900 cooperatives across the U.S. in the meters per employee category. This is the best example of lean operation and efficiency that I can give you besides the fact that it has been almost 7 years since the last rate increase. Over this period of time, inflation has far exceeded a $3 per month increase.

      There is a public meeting to discuss this rate increase at 5:30 pm on October 12 at Cherryland headquarters. There is another opportunity at 9 am on October 16 at the office as well. After that, I am happy to meet with any group large or small at a location and time of their choosing.

  28. John & Mary Melvin says:

    Consider this. We reside at 4175 Euclid Avenue, Interlochen in June , July, and August. The price of our electricity is $335 a year. For nine of these months we are paying to have it come nnected to the home. There is no electricity going into the house because it is shut off at the control panel.Now you are proposing a $3/mo increase which is 20 percent more per month and 10 percent overall, making the low user at a disadvantage and rewarding the higher users as a percentage which is the contra to other utility providers

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I don’t believe Cherryland is contra to other providers. The other providers that I know all have an availability charge and an energy charge. There is simply a cost to having electricity available at the flip of a switch. Cherryland has never recovered this cost completely and this $3 per month increase doesn’t get us there.

      Many utilities across the country have a seasonal rate for homes like yours. They often charge an even higher availability charge and energy charge due to the low utilization of electricity by the home. Cherryland chooses to not differentiate between seasonal and year round residential. Cost based rate making simply requires allocating costs properly to the billing components of the respective rate classifications.

  29. VNB says:

    Sounds fair. Thank you for the in-depth explanation.

  30. Steve Perdue says:

    Knowing you Tony, this is based on good due diligence and in the best interests of all….I appreciate the strategic process you went through.
    Best, Steve

    1. Duane Kalember says:

      I guess that means,I as a user only 3 months of the year, I will pay and extra, 27.00 dollars for nothing, than another 3.00 per each monthly bill, while I am using, for a total in crease of 36.00 a year.

      1. Tony Anderson says:

        The $27 is not “for nothing”. What you are getting is a distribution system that is ready to serve you when return to the area. If we disconnected your account at the beginning of your stay and reconnected your account at the end, the service charges would far exceed the $27 increase.

  31. Kenneth McCall says:

    We’ve only been in Michigan a month and already a rate increase!!! I know everything has to go up in cost,but what can do?
    we’ve got to have power.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Call our office at 486-9200 at ask for Energy Use Advisor Tammy Squires. She can walk through your home free of charge and talk to you about energy saving measures.

  32. jerry raymor says:

    This is how inflation starts ……for fixed income persons this if ANOTHER drain on income.
    The forecasted estimate for 2018 SS increase is 2.1% …………your increase is over 20% increase.
    $2 doesn’t sound like much to rich folks ……………I just don’t see how you can justify it.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Cherryland takes on debt to rebuild your distribution system. Cherryland too has cost increases that add up over time. We need to meet our mortgage requirements and cover our expenses. This small increase will help us do that. I regret that it has an adverse affect on some. Our intention is to be as fair as possible to every member.

  33. Arlene Rawls says:

    its always something to justify charging more and more money to people who cannot afford this, I find that your reasons and for that matter combining rates on a page you say is for more clarity, but it’s not. It’s far more confusing looking at a bill that has combined charges on it to be able to separate those charges and make sense of the exact increase one is paying. Unfortunately I cannot attend either of the meetings, for I would surely protest the increase, this company already has one of the highest rates for electricity as it is in the state, so now you are making sure you are the highest? Gee thanks

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Your statement is completely not true. Cherryland rates are lower than Consumers Energy and will remain so after this increase goes into effect. TCLP is the only local utility with lower prices and it is because they have 35+ meters per mile to Cherryland’s 11 meters per mile. Cherryland is also lower than most if not all of the cooperatives in the state. This leaves just DTE for which I have no data. I respectfully request that you send me actual facts to back up your rate statement.

  34. James Hallemann says:

    My second home relies on Cherryland for its electricity, so obviously I’d prefer a usage increase over a flat rate monthly increase, as I’m not there all the time, but I feel that the directors have explained quite plainly the reasoning behind why they are proposing raising the rates in the manner that they are.

  35. Bob Carstens says:

    What relationship has the most recent energy cost increase with the cost of CEC purchasing electricity from an atomic energy source ? Will the cost of energy from an atomic energy source remain stable and not at any time exceed the cost over time of energy derived from wind, solar, and water driven sources ? I am just vaguely familiar with the fact that the latest atomic energy sources are less fraught with radiation related risks … but i am uncertain regarding the degree of or amount of radiation risks that remain with atomic energy source generators of electricity. It is my impression that some of the radioactive waste from previous atomic energy generators remains in place in Michigan.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Through our power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, Cherryland’s portfolio does have a strong nuclear component. However, Wolverine and Cherryland do not own any nuclear facilities. Wolverine simply has a power purchase agreement for a set price that is competitive with wind and solar over a 10 year period. This proposed rate increase has nothing to do with power supply. It is strictly to cover increases in operating costs for Cherryland’s distribution system.

  36. Roger says:

    Sorry I can’t make the public meetings–I already have commitments on those dates and times. Here’s what I’d like to say at the meetings.

    I have no objections to a rate increase, but this is totally the wrong direction to go. I don’t care a bit what is “fair” in comparing availability charges to usage charges. What I care about is the cause and effect of the fees. I’d rather see the availability fee go to zero and have all those costs covered through greater usage fees. That provides maximum incentive to conserve energy without penalizing low energy users for attaching to the grid.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      You are right that setting an availability charge to zero and having an abnormally high energy rate would maximize the incentive to conserve. It would also put the burden of operating the Cherryland distribution system on those that use large amounts of energy. It would also burden the low income individuals with unfair costs. While you may not care about fairness, it is something I feel strongly about. I will make sure the board has ample time to read through this blog.

      1. Roger says:

        Tony, I’m glad you acknowledge that reducing availability charges would place the burden more on those who use large amounts of energy. That’s exactly what I feel we should be doing! As for burdening low income customers, I don’t see your logic there. My 78 year old mother is one of those customers. I recently invested in new windows and a refrigerator for her. (She has electric heat.) By increasing her availability charges you’re reducing the usage savings I was hoping to help her with. I’ve also invested my time through a group in my church installing insulation to reduce heating cost for some of your low income members. Increasing availability charges reduces the impact of our efforts to help them. If you’re concerned about low income customers, increasing availability charges is not the way to help them.

        1. Tony Anderson says:

          I respectfully disagree. Cherryland is not reducing the usage savings at all. We are maintaining them at the present levels. You made the investment in new windows and refrigerator knowing the savings you had then. These savings will remain. I too have invested a fair amount of time improving low income homes with energy efficiency measures through work with Freedom Builders. Again, the impact of these measures has not been reduced because we have not reduced the energy rate charged. We know that many low income homes use a higher than average amount of electricity. If we raise the energy charge, I believe they will pay far more than $3 per month in increased costs. All that said, I also have a responsibility to be fair to ALL members. Moving towards better cost of service rates is fair to all members.

          1. Roger says:

            Just a point of clarification. When I said “reducing the usage savings” I was thinking of the future. When I work to make a home more efficient I’m anticipating reduced electricity costs in the future. When costs shift to availability charges it does reduce the relative savings I would have had compared to keeping them as usage charges. I know low income members with lower than average electricity usage. By shifting fees to availability your penalizing them and rewarding those with higher than average usage. (Again, I’m speaking of relative future expenses.) Low income electricity users need incentive to conserve also. The main point we disagree on is that I think incentivising conservation trumps fairness. Otherwise I’d agree with being fair. Thank you for your thoughtful responses.

  37. Liz says:

    My bill is already high this is not great for me or anyone who also does not agree with your company. Why can’t executives take a decrease in salaries? Just putting that out there!! Not happy!

  38. Oral Carper says:

    There are a multitude of reasons that could have been used to explain the need for an energy cost increase and I don’t mind paying for a responsible cost increase; but I for one do resent you telling me that the consumer would be irresponsible to the process of conserving energy if the rates did not change and that it is only the cooperatives responsibility to determine what is best for its irresponsible members.
    “A lower energy charge would greatly reduce the incentive to conserve energy. Due to state energy conservation mandates and a desire to maintain level wholesale power costs, I feel like it is better to keep energy charges at today’s level.”
    —- A lower energy charge would GREATLY REDUCE THE INCENTIVE TO CONSERVE ENERGY.– Seriously! I thought one of the purposes of the coop was always keep prices low; but hopefully that does not make us irresponsible.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Point taken but I would ask you to review other comments to this blog. There are a number who are concerned about the incentive to conserve energy. Price does seem to matter to them.

  39. JJNemitz says:

    I am concerned that this information has been promulgate when many residents are seasonal and have left the area.
    Secondly, this is a 10% increase per month in my electric bill as I work very hard at conservation of our essential resources. 10% for those who conserve is not promoting good stewardship and less for those who do not is rewarding non-conservation.
    Thirdly, I am concerned by the statement of “low income” households use more electricity. If you have data to confirm this and with meter identification, perhaps education could assist these households on how to conserve. As suggested, go to the households, offer audits, discuss ghosting, turning off lights and electronics when not in use. Education can go along way in reducing our costs.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      Cherryland serves 35,000 meters. I believe that less than 3,000 are seasonal. They all get the magazine that has our address and contact information. Cherryland employs an Energy Use Advisor and has for decades. This individual provides free of charge advice to all members as to how they can lower their monthly bill. We have long attempted to educate all members on how to conserve. Unfortunately, some are simply not receptive to the messages. I also believe that our ongoing education efforts have been helpful in keeping this increase to just $3 per month.

  40. Joe says:

    We strenuously disagree that people who are using less should pay more and those using more pay less. Calling that fair, doesn’t make it so.

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      It is all about what it actually costs to serve before energy is ever used. Our study shows that the availability charge should be $27 and we are at $15. Cherryland is simply moving one small step closer to actual cost of service based rates.

  41. Bernard Ware says:

    We lived in Holland MIch. for several years and our electric bills were 1/2 of what they are up here. Why?

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      I am not familiar with Holland. However, most cities have anywhere from 35 to 55 meters per mile of line. Cherryland Electric Cooperative has approximately 11.5 meters per mile. You give me 20 more meters on the same mile of line at our present availability charge of $15 and I can cut rates a long, long way.

  42. Linda Randel says:

    An earlier respondent asked why this was only for residential users, not commercial users, but you did not answer that part of his question. If this cost is intended to be fair for all who receive electricity, why is this constituency not sharing the cost?

    1. Tony Anderson says:

      When we did our cost of service financial analysis, it showed us that present charges to commercial users were actually meeting the costs of serving those rate classes today. The residential rate class availability charge at $15 per month is more than $12 below the actual cost of serving that rate class at the present time. Thus, I am suggesting to the board that Cherryland raise this charge by $3 per month.

  43. Thomas M Cherry says:

    How about “stopping” publishing the monthly magazine, (lots of waste of paper and mailings), also, $50 for published memories, $50 for favorite recipes, and the Bill Credit for photos. I realize that some of this are not a lot of savings, but every little change would help keeping our rates the same.

  44. JoeD says:

    Since we are a “member driven” cooperative, and there are two viable approaches to adjusting rates, why not simply put it to the members for a vote? 1 meter = 1 vote?

  45. Jeannine Ransom says:

    The $3 a month increase makes sense and seems fair to me. Especially in light of not having a rate increase for 7 years.

    I appreciate the GREAT work Cherryland Electric Coop does!

  46. Rick Nelson says:

    As a member and Electrical Engineer, over the last 18 or so years our State has promoted a energy policy the will in the end drive out efficient energy generation and replace it with less valued generation leading to increased cost to the supplier and increased cost to the end user with little or no environmental value.

    1. Richard says:

      I rarely comment on these but i do appreciate your explanation for your directives…

      As a high energy user it makes sense and is appreciated that we are brought into consideration..

      a price increase would substantially hurt my Crypto mining operation. as a “hobbiest”

  47. Steven Smiley says:

    I advise my Cherryland Electric Board to reject the proposed new rate policy and to follow with a motion at the next board meeting to have the management and staff of my company to begin immediate new rate policy studies with the following items to be studied. 1). analyze and recommend “time of day” or “time of use” rates to modernize the economic accounting of real time costs, provide incentives for electric load shifting, etc. 2) analyze and proposed expanded energy storage and demand control methodologies, such as were previously in place (but cancelled–for what reason I don’t know), 3) establish an electric vehicle “off peak” charging rate and promote and incentivize EV use, 4) re-establish the old “net metering” policy to approach the full value of solar to our cooperative members (and increase the net metering cap to 100 kW with no percentage of total energy limit (it’s now 1%), 5) advocate for large increases in cheap wind and solar electricity (to keep rates low) and a concurrent increase in energy sales to members with clean energy only. My cooperative, in my view, should double it’s electric distribution, knocking out LP gas, oil and natural gas, using more heat pumps, more storage, etc.
    The present proposed policy is punitive to small and low income customers, anti-solar, and is basically an old upside down approach to modern 21st Century rate reforms under consideration by public and cooperative utilities. Years of study by CEC trying to figure out how to increase fixed rates should not be a reason to bring these punitive measures to the table, establishing a bad rate structure that will last for a long time. The time for positive change in now, moving our cooperative forward, not backward.