Quick Fact: Cost of Service
Your power bill = the cost to deliver power
- Co-ops operate as a cost of service organization. The money OPALCO collects in bills goes primarily toward the cost of power, labor to deliver power and manage the system and capital projects. We budget for required expense and then plan rates to collect enough revenue to cover expense – plus a small margin. The margin is then returned to members in the form of capital credits (after 25 years).
- OPALCO buys power from Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative (PNGC). The power is generated by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). BPA has forecast 5-7% increases in the cost of power each year. Recent capital projects include:
- $15 million Submarine Cable
- Grid modernization for system automation & in preparation for integrating renewables
- Storm hardening – replacing old underground cables to reduce power outages
- The cost of power in rural communities is greater because there are fewer people per mile of powerline to share in the cost of service. As a cooperative and not-for-profit organization, we keep costs as low as possible and spread expense evenly and fairly across the membership.
- Weather creates fluctuations in energy usage and revenues collected. To protect members and the Co-op from large year-end true-ups, OPALCO implemented a Energy Charge Adjustment in 2019. Each month a surcharge (-) or credit (+) is applied to all member bills to true-up the actual cost of power sales.
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