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Flint Energies Announces April 1 Rate Change for Some Members, Not Residential | Business

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Flint Energies Announces April 1 Rate Change for Some Members, Not Residential

While Flint Energies’ residential rate will remain steady at the current 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, the Board of Directors have taken action to make changes in several rate schedules, effective Apr. 1, 2011.

About 7100 members billed under the Small General Service rate (FSGS-20) which covers businesses under 20 kilowatts (kW) of demand will see a slight increase in their costs as the base charge moves from $20 to $22 per month, a Flint Energies news release says. Their energy charge will remain the same.

“However, Flint’s Residential Service Schedule FR-17 will continue as it is for 2011 with a base charge of $20 and an energy charge of 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour,” said Autry. “The wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) can move each month to cover the real cost of power generation fuels but we anticipate the WPCA to remain a credit for the near future.” Through the negative WPCA that was in place at Flint Energies throughout 2010, some $14.3 million remained with members who benefited from lower wholesale fuel costs.

In 2011, Flint also continues its LIHEAP (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program) discount that reduces the base charge by $10/month.

Churches will see a slight increase in their General Service Demand rate (Church FGS-20) as their demand discount reduces from 65% of total to 60% of total, said Autry. “The change in the demand cost for churches is based upon their contribution to Flint’s summer peak demand,” he added.

In other rate changes approved by the Board of Directors on Jan. 25, a few very large commercial customers had their rate slightly reduced based upon their high usage. Flint’s Lighting Service Schedule FLS-17 increases the costs of various lighting types by 25 cents to $1 per month to reflect costs to provide the specific type light. Covenant street lighting remains at $3.15 per month without changing.

Specific language, but not the rate, was changed in several smaller rate class schedules and Flint plans to visit with those accounts to explain the language change to them.

"These changes allow our cooperative to meet financial needs and continue to provide reliable electric service,” according to Flint Energies Chief Executive Officer Bob Ray. “We want to be upfront and straightforward with all of Flint’s members that we see rising rates throughout this decade. Our estimates now see wholesale power costs, which are largely outside our control, as increasing by some 28% over the next five years. We’ll do everything we can as we focus on controllable costs, but power generation will be more expensive.”

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, all members share in the increased costs of electric energy, even when those costs are beyond the control of the cooperative board and employees, Ray said. “This announcement is the centerpiece of Flint’s effort to be open and transparent with its members about higher costs, according to Ray.

“We work every day to achieve operating efficiencies as we face rising power supply costs,” said CEO Bob Ray. “As your local, not-for-profit electric cooperative, our primary goal is to minimize the effects of potential increases while maintaining cost-effective reliable electric service that you can count on.”

"Even with the rate changes, the value of electricity remains very high,” Ray added. “Electricity’s price has risen less than many other member costs.”

OPTION FOR LOW INCOME

Members who receive a LIHEAP check to help them pay for electricity can be placed on Flint’s new low-income rate. Members that confirm their LIHEAP standing with a check payment will be eligible for a reduced base service charge of $10 instead of $20 per month. LIHEAP applications are made through your local Community Action Agency.

Members can reduce the effects of the rate increase on their electric bill through these simple tasks:

1) Conduct an online energy audit at www.flintenergies.com. Click on the Home Energy Calculator link to fill out a simple form to calculate your energy usage. By conducting the online energy audit, you can make small changes in your energy consumption to reduce the amount of your electric bill. In addition, you can receive energy saving tips via the Flint website.

Reducing your electric bill is as simple as changing a light bulb. For example, if you replace your five most frequently used light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), you could save approximately $60 a year in energy costs

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