Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall River Electric schedules meetings over proposed rate increases

Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative has scheduled a series of meetings this week for interested owner-members regarding several rate increases proposed by its board of directors.

Owner-members of the co-op are invited to attend any one of three meetings scheduled for Ashton, Driggs, and West Yellowstone. The Ashton meeting is Thursday, Oct. 22, Driggs is Wednesday, Oct. 21 and West Yellowstone is set for tonight. Each meeting will be held at the respective offices of Fall River Electric and are set to begin at 7 p.m.

The rate increases are the result of Bonneville Power Administration’s increases to Fall River for both wholesale power and transmission costs. The BPA increases included 7.1 percent for wholesale power and 4.4 percent for transmission costs. Both went into effect Oct. 1.

No rate increase has been planned for Fall River residential members or irrigation accounts. According to Bryan Case, the CEO and general manager, “We have made significant efforts over the past few years to reduce our costs of operation, and the result of that effort is our board’s decision to absorb most of these BPA increases. Additionally, the board, at its regularly scheduled September meeting, proposed that there would not be any increase in residential rates or rates to our irrigation members.”

The recommendation from the board and management was to make slight increases to the co-op’s small general service accounts, large commercial accounts, and institute a monthly charge for idle services. Those proposals will be discussed at these upcoming member meetings.

As currently proposed, small general service members would see a 5 percent increase, which will average about $6.81 a month, while the large general service (commercial members) will see an increase of $1 a month. The board is also proposing a new monthly fee for “idle services” of $10 a month.

An idle service is defined as one which has power available but has been disconnected or is inactive, or the meter has been removed, or is not being billed for demand or a line and system maintenance fee.

Owner-members of the co-op are invited to attend any one of three meetings scheduled for Ashton, Driggs, and West Yellowstone. The Ashton meeting is Thursday, Oct. 22, Driggs is Wednesday, Oct. 21 and West Yellowstone is set for tonight. Each meeting will be held at the respective offices of Fall River Electric and are set to begin at 7 p.m.

Input from these meeting will be discussed at the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Oct. 26, at which time a final decision will be made regarding the proposed rate increases and its effective date. The final rate decision will be announced in the December issue of the cooperative’s monthly FLASHES newsletter and on its Web site, www.fallriverelectric.com and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FallRiverREC.

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