1. What do all the numbers and charges mean on my bill? Click here to see an example of a bill and how to read it.
2. What is facility charge on my bill?
A facility charge is a monthly charge that Big Country Electric Cooperative (BCEC) members pay to help cover the basic cost of bringing electricity to their location. It covers some of the expenses the cooperative incurs regardless of how much electricity is sold. Because all cooperative members benefit from having reliable electric service available when they need it, the facility charge allows everyone to pay their share of the basic costs.
We evaluate what it actually costs BCEC to serve each member, giving consideration to the various types of electric service needed by our members - residential, commercial, industrial, farm, seasonal, or irrigation, etc., as cost and requirements vary depending on the type of service. Additionally, there are fixed costs associated with maintaining electric service to a location regardless of whether it consumes electricity or not. These fixed costs tend to be higher in rural areas such as ours, primarily because our population density is lower and there are fewer meters per mile. For example, BCEC averages 2.4 meters per mile; in more populated areas such as the Metroplex, some utilities may average 3 to 4 dozen meters per mile and can spread fixed costs out among more consumers.
BCEC serves a diverse membership. Some of our members use a lot of electricity all year long, and some may use electricity only one or two months per year. Whether you use a lot or a little, the cost of getting electric power to your location remains the same. And that is why your electric bill has two separate charges: the facility charge to cover basic costs, and the per kWh charge for the actual amount of electricity consumed.
We hope this brief explanation helps answer your questions about the facility charge portion of your electric bill. Please call us if you have any billing questions.
3. What is the Power Cost Adjustment charge and why does it change each month?
The Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) is the rate component on electric bills that is based on our average expected/budgeted purchased power cost of $0.06 per kWh – this is what we pay for the electricity we buy on your behalf. The exact cost varies somewhat from month to month, which is why we base our rate on the average just mentioned. BCEC’s rate is $0.099665 per kWh; the difference between that and the cost of purchased power – about $0.039665 per kWh - is what we operate on. While BCEC’s kWh rate has not changed, members may pay more as the PCA increases to manage higher-than-budgeted cost of purchased power. To minimize the impact of this charge on our members, the PCA is analyzed monthly and every attempt is made to “level” it, rather than to pass on possible extreme monthly fluctuations from our wholesale supplier, and to be more responsive to changes in fuel costs. BCEC will continue to monitor the cost of generating electricity and may adjust the PCA as necessary.
5. Do I have unclaimed Capital Credits? Click here to see!