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
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 www.westoregon.org.