What are the trade-offs in the different ways power is billed to consumers? Use the slider to adjust the balance between a fixed charge and energy (variable) charges and explore consequences.
What would your bill look like?
Move the arrow to one of the brackets in the slider to see:
- The impact on your average annual residential bill and cost per kilowatt-hour
- Winners and losers as the balance shifts between service access and energy charges
These are trade-offs the Board must consider when setting rates.
- Color Key
- Green: Positive Impact
- Black: Neutral Impact
- Red: Negative Impact
- Bills go up; cost per kilowatt hour at its highest
- Promotes use of higher carbon fossil fuels; clean electricity not competitive
- Consumers have more control over monthly bills by moderating energy usage
- High kWh cost encourages energy efficiency and conservation
- Year-round rate payers subsidize fixed costs for seasonal members, those who use fossil fuels and the lowest energy users
- Revenue stability for OPALCO at its lowest (weather dependent); energy charge adjustment (true up collection) potential at year end if revenue falls short
This is where the current rate structure balances energy and facilities costs.
This tool will help you explore some of the impacts that the Board must consider when setting rates.
- No matter how the rates are balanced, we must collect enough revenue to meet expenses.
- If the revenue is not collected in rates, members may have to pay a true-up charge at year-end; if too much revenue is collected, the same energy adjustment charge could provide a rebate to members at year-end.
- The goal is to collect just enough to meet the cost of service.
- Bills go down moderately
- Bill amount is more predictable; more consistent winter/summer
- Price signal encourages switching from higher carbon fossil fuels to clean electricity
- Less cost incentive for energy efficiency and conservation; greater reliance on programs (rebates, on-bill financing, etc.)
- Level playing field: most consumers pay the actual cost to deliver power
- Revenue stability for OPALCO increases; less affected by fluctuations in weather
- Bills go down; cost per kilowatt hour at its lowest
- Consumers have no control over monthly bills
- Greatest bill predictability year round
- No cost incentive for energy efficiency and conservation; must fund programs to encourage measures
- Strong price signal encourages switching from higher carbon fossil fuels to clean electricity
- Danger of reckless energy usage resulting in high demand charges and rising costs
- Seasonal members, those who use fossil fuels and the lowest energy users pay full cost to deliver power
- Revenue stability for OPALCO at its highest; weather fluctuation has no effect
The data used for this simplified tool is based on 2022 rates for residential usage only and defaults to an average residential usage of 1500 kWh/month. Energy users on the higher and lower extremes will see more dramatic differences in average bill amounts (enter actual usage to explore). The tool is meant to promote a high-level understanding of a very detailed and multi-faceted rate structure. For more detailed information or to meet with staff, please use the contact form below. Staff is also available to meet with groups to discuss rates.