There are three basic charges that make up each residential electric bill.
Distribution Base Charge
The upkeep of our electrical system, such as lines, poles, meters and substations. It's everything it takes to bring electricity to you. Based on an average bill, this is the smallest portion of the bill. This portion is influenced by the operating costs of Butler Rural Electric Cooperative. The Distribution Base Chase is also influenced by the number of members the cooperative has per mile of line. The cooperative has an average of ten members per mile of line. This is significantly less than the large investor-owned utilities in our communities who have an average of 38 customers per mile of line, resulting in slightly higher operating costs. Even though we have less members per mile of line, the cooperative has always found innovative ways to have competitive rates, while still providing you with safe and reliable electric service.
Distribution Energy Charge
All other costs that are not recovered in the Distribution Base Charge, such as operational and regulatory costs.
Generation & Transmission Charge
The cost of coal, environmental enhancements at the generation facilities, fuel for trains, trucks and barges to bring the coal to the plant, and sending power over transmission lines to our distribution system. It’s the cost of power from Buckeye Power, our generation and transmission cooperative. The costs of generation and transmission have gone up consistently over the last several years. The costs not only relate to the maintenance for the power plant, but also to meet the Clean Air Act regulations enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Cardinal Plant, the generation power source for Ohio’s 24 electric cooperatives, has met compliance requirements that lower emissions at the coal-burning power plant. The costs for major construction at the power plant are passed on to the cooperatives and are reflected in the members’ Generation and Transmission rates. The cost of these upgrades were hundreds of millions of dollars. Generation and Transmission rates are expected to stabilize and the increases over the next few years are projected to be at or below inflation. Generation and Transmission rates are greatly influenced by the decisions of state and national legislators and EPA regulations. The rates are wholesale power costs, and because the cooperative is a not-for-profit, you are paying exactly what it costs for us to deliver power to your home.