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January 2023 | Volume 85 | Issue 1

Holiday Open House Lifts Spirits

Managers Report

Rising Power Costs Impact Revenue Forecasts

Dave Deihl PCEC General Manager

Dave Deihl, General Manager

From the General Manager

Over the last few months, our staff and board have put a tremendous amount of effort into preparing the budget for 2023 and beyond. A lot goes into the process of analyzing revenue projections and evaluating future expenses. The high inflationary environment makes this process even more difficult.

As part of this process, we work very closely with our generation partner, Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated (AECI), and our transmission partner, NW Electric Power Cooperative. Their rates dictate the cost of the electricity we ultimately distribute to you at the end of the line. Wholesale power costs are the single largest expense PCEC incurs and make up 60 percent of total expenses.

One of the many benefits of our three-tier cooperative system is that we purchase energy at cost for the power you receive. But as the cost to produce the energy increases, the bill to Platte-Clay rises.

We have learned that fuel cost increases have risen to the level that AECI will have to raise their rates this year. Our team and the Board evaluated the impacts of this increase to our co-op’s budget, and we’re expected to see negative operating margins going forward with our current rate structure.

We have learned that fuel cost increases have risen to the level that AECI will have to raise their rates this year. Our team and the Board evaluated the impacts of this increase to our co-op’s budget, and we’re expected to see negative operating margins going forward with our current rate structure.

Platte-Clay will need a 7.5% increase in overall revenue in order to maintain a balanced budget. Fortunately, we will be able to push back rate increases toward the end of this year. New rates won’t be implemented until your November bill.

Platte-Clay has not had a rate increase since 2016, which I am very proud of given the volatility in our world during the past 7 years. So, this is not something that any of us take lightly. We know that the cost of everything has gone up across the board and many families in our community are feeling the impacts.

Email PCEC General ManagerOur cooperative has done everything we can to keep costs as low as possible the last few years to prevent an increase. But, unfortunately, we can’t control the rising operational and energy costs. As a non-profit organization, we have no reason to charge more than we need to since any profits are returned to you in the form of capital credits. Your anticipated retirement for 2023 will not be impacted because they are based on prior actual year performance.

As always, we are a partner in helping you save energy and will continue to provide you with tools and resources to help manage your energy usage. None of us want to raise rates, but we all want a strong co-op to continue to be able to provide excellent reliability and service. That’s our commitment to you, and that’s what we’re going to do.

5 Ways To Save During Winter

Five Ways To Save During WinterMind the thermostat. If you have a traditional heating and cooling system, set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower. Consider a smart or programmable thermostat for additional savings.

Get cozy. Add layers of clothing for additional warmth, and snuggle up under your favorite heavyweight blanket.

Don’t block the heat. If your air vents or heating elements (like radiators) are blocked by furniture or rugs, your home isn’t being adequately heated.

Take advantage of sunlight. Open window coverings during the day to let natural sunlight in to warm your home. Close them at night to block the chilly night air.

Block air leaks. Seal windows and exterior doors with caulk and weather stripping to improve indoor comfort and decrease the amount of energy used to heat your home.

Preventing Home Electrical Fires

In The News

Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

Scholarships open to students pursuing degrees in the electric power industry

Calling All High School JuniorsDo you know a student interested in or currently pursuing a degree in the electric power industry? Each spring, PCEC awards three $1,000 scholarships to deserving local students.

There will be one winner chosen from each of our three service districts. The scholarship program focuses on students accepted or enrolled in a two or four year accredited college or trade school, and pursuing a career in the electric industry.

This industry is in high demand and there are a wide range of exciting career opportunities available, from engineers to lineman, that offer great compensation and job security.

Applicants are required to fill out a student profile and write a short answer about an attribute or achievement that sets them apart. The deadline for scholarship applications is March 3, 2023.

To apply for a scholarship, the applicant must be a PCEC member or family member and permanently reside within PCEC’s service area. The application is available online at PCEC.coop/Scholarship.

Fighting Hunger In The Northland

In December, PCEC donated $13,000 to area food pantries to help serve families in need.

Fighting Hunger In The Northland

Benefiting organizations were: Good Samaritan Center of Excelsior Springs, Lawson Food Pantry, Smithville Food Pantry, Maple Elementary School Pantry, Plattsburg Food Pantry, Platte County R-3 School District Treasure Chest Program, Weston Rotary Club, Kearney Food Pantry, Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City located in Tracy, Lathrop Food Pantry, Lathrop School Food Pantry, Cameron Food Pantry, and Community Food Network of Dearborn.

Platte-Clay Moments Title

Platte Clay Moments

Energy Efficiency Tip

Is your electric water heater insulated?

Water Heater IconDid you know insulating your electric water heater could reduce standby heat loss by 25% to 45%? This could save you 7% to 16% on annual water heating costs. Insulating your electric water heater is an easy, inexpensive project that can improve energy efficiency and save you money each month. The Department of Energy rates this project level as medium difficulty, meaning most homeowners can tackle this project on their own. You can purchase pre-cut jackets or blankets for about $20 at most home improvement stores. Visit energy.gov for project tips and additional considerations.

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The Northland Connection is published monthly by Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc., 1000 W. 92 Highway, Kearney, MO 64060. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Northland Connection, PO Box 100, Kearney, MO 64060 or mail@pcec.coop.

Platte-Clay is an equal opportunity employer.