Monthly utility bills can be tough to read. You might wonder what certain charges mean and why you’re paying them. Here’s a breakdown of each charge.
Distribution charges are the co-op’s costs to deliver energy to your location.
Basic Monthly Service Charge
This is a flat monthly charge to pay the fixed costs of an electric distribution system, including poles, wires, substations, transformers, meters, tree trimming, pole testing, interest, depreciation, as well as the cost of repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. The Service Charge helps pay for electric reliability investments.
Distribution Energy Charge
The cost for minimum delivery system to provide electric service. This shows the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used during this billing period (typically 30 days), times our electric rate. You can lower this charge through energy efficiency measures, including our energy audits.
Why do I have to pay a flat monthly service charge even if I’m not using power?
As a member of PPEC, you make an investment in the co-op every time you pay your bill. This collective investment in the co-op benefits you and the community immediately and over time. We all need a reliable local energy grid, so we all share in the costs of building and maintaining it. This is the cost needed to provide service, divided among our 12,000+ members in both Ohio and Indiana.
The flat monthly service charge helps your co-op pay for the operation and maintenance of our overall electric system. This means making YOUR electricity reliable when YOU want it. This cost includes combating cybersecurity threats and building and maintaining poles, substations, and other equipment. All of this takes strategic planning and significant resources. It not only pays for the purchase and installation of that equipment, but the replacement, maintenance, and repair, so you can enjoy power available 99% of the time.
All members pay it to help recover some of the fixed costs of our electric grid, like having the electric facilities available to provide electric service even before the first electron is needed.
Think of the service charge like property taxes.
Property taxes help pay for road construction and maintenance, police and fire protection, and other such services. If you’re away from home for a month, do you get to waive property taxes for that month? No, you still owe property taxes even if you’re not at the property. That’s because the county/township/village still incurred the costs of making those roads and services available.
The service charge is necessary to keep our finances healthy, so we can continue to make investments in our distribution system and ensure power reliability for years to come.
This is not directly a PPEC charge; it reflects changes in the cost we have to pay for the generation and transmission of electricity. This includes the cost of fuels to generate electricity; high voltage transmission to move the electricity from the generating plant to our local substation; and peak demand costs when electric use is high for all members. You can lower this charge through energy efficiency measures, including our energy audits. You can also help us manage this charge by joining our load management program.
This is associated with the production of electricity and for moving the electricity from a generation facility to the distribution substation.
Participating Operation Round Up members opt to “round up” their electric bill to the next highest dollar, with those pennies going to our Operation Round Up trust fund. This spare change is allocated quarterly and donated to local charitable causes such as fire departments, food pantries, libraries, playgrounds, and more. NO administrative fees are taken. A separate board of PPEC members reviews applications and makes fund decisions. It’s truly our “neighbors helping neighbors” co-op philosophy in action.
We also include a snapshot of your electric usage history and the average temperature with each bill so you can compare the current month’s use to the last month and the same month of the year prior. We hope this will help members understand why their bills increased or decreased, as they can analyze what they did differently in their home each month (and see how weather impacts their bill.).
You can get more detailed electric use history, including your daily and hourly use history, by logging into your SmartHub account or mobile app.
Time of day rate is special rate for residential members. With TOD, the price per kilowatt-hour is dependent on the time of the day that you purchase it. It’s intended to give PPEC members a financial advantage when they shift their power usage to low demand (off-peak) hours.
Is It Right For You?
With the Time-Of-Day rate, the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is dependent on the time of the day that you purchase it. This rate is intended to give PPEC members a financial advantage when they shift their usage to low demand (off-peak) hours. The number shows the price per kilowatt-hour using the Time-Of-Use rate.
On-peak Energy $0.20382/kWh
Off-peak Energy $0.05757/kWh
The time that kilowatt-hours are purchased at the on-peak price is 2PM– 8 PM, Monday through Friday. During this time you will purchase kilowatt-hours at $.20382. Off-peak is all other times, including the entire weekend and holidays (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, & Christmas Day). This rate is $.05757/ kWh.
Why Is The Time-Of-Day Rate Important To You?
There are two reasons this rate is important. First of all, electricity costs more to produce during on-peak hours, consequently, PPEC pays more for electricity purchased during that time. The more usage we can get our members to shift to the morning, evenings and weekends (off-peak), the less we pay and that benefits everyone.
The second reason the Time-Of-Day rate is important is that most people who choose to go on this rate can save money. BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU USE ELECTRICITY. How much you change – by shifting your usage to off-peak hours – will directly affect how much you save on your electric bill.
How Will The Time-Of-Day Rate Affect You?
First, you need to determine what appliances and equipment in your house use the most electricity…in general, this would be things that heat or cool. Some high use items include electric water heaters, space heaters, air conditioners, electric clothes dryers, electric ranges, hot tubs/saunas, waterbeds, welders, and pool pumps. Being on the Time-Of-Day rate means you must decide what can be shifted to off-peak hours.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Your electric water heater can be shut off during on-peak hours by putting it on a timer.
- Wait until after 8 PM to use your dishwasher, clothes washer, or dryer.
- If you have an electric range, cook large meals on the weekend and just reheat them during the week.
*NOTE: YOU WILL ONLY SAVE MONEY IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SHIFT LOAD TO OFF-PEAK HOURS.
How Do You Sign Up For The Time of Day Rate?
Contact our office and ask about time of day rate. Our office number is 1-800-686-2357. Here are some other terms and conditions:
- This rate will apply until the member notifies PPEC and requests a change to a different rate.
If after the first twelve months you decide this rate does not work for you, contact our office. After terminating the Time of Day rate, a member will be ineligible to renew this rate for a minimum period of one year.
- Once PPEC receives notification you would like to switch to the time of day rate, your account will be switched to the time-of-day rate at the beginning of the next billing period.