Thursday, February 12, 2015

Heating Bills Up; Costs Explained

It's winter. It's cold. Electric bills hurt a family's budget. What else is there to do but complain? Sallisaw officials responded to those complaints about higher electric bills this week. Sallisaw City Manager Bill Baker said the city has received some complaints, but the city has not raised electric rates. The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) has. He explained, "The GRDA has a Power Cost Adjustment, or PCA. The PCA is different every month. That's the reason people are complaining right now. We are considering putting it (the PCA) on the bills as a separate item. It changes every month, but it's now buried in the bill. People don't understand it." The city has added a PCA explanation on its website, which explains, "The PCA is a calculation that makes minor adjustments to base energy rates to reflect the actual cost of fuel used in electric generation. The GRDA PCA calculation recovers the cost of power based on a rolling 12-month average. It is calculated to the nearest one-hundredth of a mill ($0.00001) per kWh." Baker added the city has to make money on the electric utility, which helps cover the costs of other utilities, such as water and sewer. If not, the costs of those other utilities would increase. Sallisaw is one of few communities that provides power to residents, which has historically kept power costs lower than in other communities which contract with outside suppliers.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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