Offsetting winter bills by passing through power supply credits
Stephanie Horst, General Manager
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, is a popular Dean Martin Christmas time song that clearly earned its airtime on December 22, 2022 when a low of -18 °F temperature and wind chills of -48 °F greeted us that morning. This day created an all-time load peak for East River Electric and in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Generation in the SPP footprint was all running and thankfully was sufficient to meet the load needs.
With these cold temperatures, electric bills will be impacted if you have electric heat. I personally experienced that with my electric in-floor heat that was finished being installed and started on December 7. By the way, December is not the time to start in-floor heat; the concrete basically is a great big popsicle and to heat that up, the system will run nonstop, and boy did it. Although my electric bill was high, I am thankful for the B-Y Electric heat rate. It is a stable rate that isn’t dependent on commodity prices like propane and natural gas. I will keep you posted on my experience with my in-floor electric heat as my project concludes.
At the December 21, 2022 Board Meeting, the Board approved passing on a bill credit that B-Y Electric received from Basin Electric to our members. This credit was applied to the January 1, 2023 electric bills which helped keep the bills lower in spite of the higher heating usage. The Board also approved the 2023 budget. No rate increase will be needed in 2023 to cover the budgeted expenses. I am proud to work with a great group of employees and directors whose daily decisions contribute to the success of B-Y Electric while keeping money in our members’ pockets in this time of volatility.
Later in this newsletter, employees were recognized for their milestone years of service at B-Y Electric. I look back on the six years that I have been here and am astonished with the volume of change and challenges we have faced. We had an employee exodus with retirements, several FEMA storms including the 2017 May Day ice storm and the 2022 May Derecho, IT and cyber security implementation, facility security upgrades, new technology implementation, increased load growth, and navigating through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Of course, there were many others, but these major ones would have crippled us if we didn’t have the dedicated employees that we have. They have been asked for more and more and when needed to shift at a moment’s notice, each and every time they rise to the occasion. To be blessed with such a great team, feels like winning the championship every day!
The forecast shows another cold snap with snow is on the way. Our ditches are full, and any new snow and wind will make travel dangerous, even short trips. Be prepared. Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicles. My seven-mile work commute includes bringing snow boots, coveralls, two blankets, water, granola bars, a power bank, and Hot Hands. What do you travel with when Baby, it’s cold outside?