Last month, West Oregon Electric Cooperative hosted a rate

information meeting in Vernonia to update members on

the pass-through of the Bonneville Power Administration’s

increase in power cost.

In the past, WOEC would couple the increase in its

operating cost with the BPA increase in power cost. I never

liked that idea because it hits members just in time for

winter, when we all use more energy. Unfortunately, BPA is

on a fiscal year beginning October 1, and that is the timing

we have to live with when passing through an increase in

power cost.

This year, I have asked the board to consider deferring

our operating rate increase —which is normally coupled

with the BPA increase—until the winter heating season

ends. After careful consideration of our financial position,

the board agreed to break this cycle. The downside is that

next spring, we will have this conversation again regarding a

rate increase to cover the increased cost of doing business.

West Oregon Electric is a cooperative. As such, we

operate at cost. If it cost 5 cents a kilowatt-hour to deliver

power to your meter, that is what we charge. If it costs 20

cents a kWh to deliver power to your meter, that is what we

have to charge.

In the April 2017 edition of Ruralite, we ran an

informative article that explains how WOEC operates as a

cooperative and not-for-profit business. To read the feature,

go to


Bob Perry

General Manager