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Terms On Your Bill

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Joined: Sep 11 2014
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    Posted: Sep 11 2014 at 2:54pm
In the discussion of the City of Coleman electrical system, there are a number of terms that must be understood to make sense of the situation.
First, look at your electric bill.  Your bill consists of several elements.  All of the charges are described on the city's web site and are available at city hall.  Two of them, however, are not shown on the bill.
1. NOT SHOWN on your bill is the Customer Charge (sometimes called a meter fee) - for a residential account the fee is $13.50 per month.
2. SHOWN is the energy charge.  This is the Kwh used X $0.07 per Kwh.  Note - most meters have a 'multiplier'.  If you read your meter and you note that your use for a month is '30', but you are billed for 2400 Kwh, your multiplier is 80.
3. NOT SHOWN is the 'power cost adjustment'.  Each month, according to the contract between the City and the wholesale electric provider, the city is charged for costs incurred by the provider that are  unforeseen expenses incurred by the provider (like the federal government shutting down their coal plants and forcing them to build new gas-fired plants).
These expenses are passed through to the consumer.  Until August of 2014, the power cost adjustment was fixed at $0.07 per Kwh, so that consumers in Coleman were paying 0.07 + 0.07, a total of $0.14 per Kwh, plus the customer charge.
However, the average cost of the charge to the city was greater than the $0.07 being passed through.  Also, the city manager discovered an ordinance, passed years ago, that required the city to pass through the exact adjustment each month.  So the city is now passing through whatever the charge is for that month.
The charge may vary from month to month.  August 2014 bills were calculated with a power cost adjustment of $0.089 per Kwh instead of the $0.07 fixed charge.
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