It is a fact that things cost more today than they did yesterday, last year, or five years ago. The price of electricity has increased as well. However, when compared to things we buy every day, electricity cost increases typically are less. That means electricity remains a good value for the money. The average Paulding Putnam member consumes just over 1,250 kilowatt-hours a month; this equates to a little more than $5 per day for electricity. When we consider what electricity does for us, $5 a day seems like a good value.
As many of you know, Paulding Putnam has been working on a new Cost of Service Study (COSS) this past summer. A COSS is used to determine the actual cost to provide service to our homes and businesses. The study helps the board of trustees determine fair rates. As a not-for-profit utility, our rates are designed to recover all the operating expenses and provide future working capital, but not to provide profits to shareholders. However, there are three different types, or classes, of members: residential, commercial, and industrial. Each class uses electricity differently, and the rates must be developed differently to provide fairness to all members.
Though the COSS is not complete and has not been presented or approved by the board of trustees, I can say we will not be looking at a major rate increase for 2018. In fact, we are developing our 2018 budget with a very small increase in projected revenues. While the cooperative has some of the lowest rates in both Ohio and Indiana, we will be changing and revising some of the rates to better reflect our current cost to provide service. Overall, the increases should be minor. We will be providing detailed information on all rate changes in the coming months, so please watch the magazine and our social media posts for more information.
Considering all we ask it to do — from heating and cooling our homes to charging our electronic devices — electricity continues to provide us a great value.