2023 Rate Increase FAQs

What are the new rates?

The rate classes that will be impacted are Small General Service, Medium General Service, Large General Service, Outdoor Lighting, and Irrigation. Please see the charts below for more details:

Small General Service
Medium General Service
Large General Service
Irrigation
Outdoor Area Lighting

Why is YVEA raising rates?

In 2022, YVEA performed a Cost of Service Study (COSS), which showed us whether each customer class (residential, commercial, and industrial, for example) is adequately covering the costs of service, fuel, labor, equipment, etc. to serve those members. Based on the study and the 2023 rates from our power suppliers, we are raising rates to distribute costs equitably to our members. Several factors went into this decision. Here are the main drivers for the rate increase:

  • Power Supply Costs: Xcel Energy is raising our wholesale power supply rate by 14% for 2023. Wholesale power costs comprise almost two-thirds of all YVEA expenses, so this increase significantly impacts YVEA’s rates.
  • Maintaining and Investing in Our Infrastructure, which includes:
    1. Construction Workplan –Every year, we invest millions of dollars back into the system, which improves our system reliability for all members
    2. Wildfire Mitigation – As our summers see less precipitation, we need to make sure our system helps aid in the prevention of wildfires. This includes tree trimming projects, installing more electronic reclosures, and upgrading our system so we can switch to Fire Protection Mode as quickly as needed.
    3. Investing in a responsive grid – We are continually upgrading our system to decrease outages’ frequency, duration, and response time, and the only way to achieve this is by investing in digital technologies. We are building a smarter grid that will help to provide even greater reliability to our members.
  • The Rising Cost of Doing Business: Just like our members, we are seeing increased costs affecting how we operate, and our dollar is not going as far as it once was. For us to continue to successfully run YVEA and deliver safe, reliable, and affordable power, we need to take these costs into account when budgeting for materials purchased, maintaining our fleet, hiring and retaining skilled staff who can help us maintain and support our infrastructure, and the increased cost of living, to name a few of the factors that make up the rising costs of doing business.
What does YVEA do with its profits?

As a not-for-profit co-op, we give our profits back to our members, which happens in the form of Capital Credits. So our profit margins are not going towards bonuses or dividends to shareholders – it goes back to our members, the ratepayers.

What does the System Access Cost Cover?

The System Access Cost is a fixed monthly charge that recovers some of the fixed costs that come directly from serving an individual member, regardless of how much electricity is used. These costs include the cost of the meter, wire, and other equipment used to deliver electricity to the home or business, as well as billing expenses, such as meter reading, bill preparation, and postage. Even if you do not use any power from us, there is still a cost to operating and maintaining the grid that serves you. The system access cost covers these costs.

Is YVEA doing anything to reduce its expenses to help alleviate the financial impacts on our members with these rate increases?

When we received word of this larger-than-previously-described increase from Xcel, YVEA was creating our budgets for 2023. All departments and team members were asked to cut their proposed budgets by 15% to help lessen the impact of these rate increases from our power suppliers.

Top of mind while we were making these cuts was how YVEA would maintain our commitment to providing our members with safe, reliable, and affordable power. We were confident we were able to trim budgets to the point where we could achieve this promise to our members. Further, these budget cuts enabled us to lessen the impact of the passthrough costs of Xcel’s rate hike on our members. While Xcel raised our rates by 14%, thanks to the reduction of our proposed 2023 budgets, we have not needed to raise our rates to match that 14%.

What is YVEA doing about increased rate hikes from Xcel Energy?

We cannot control the costs Xcel passes on to us, their business decisions, or any other factors that come from power supplier rate increases. The vulnerability this creates for our membership motivated us to request proposals for new power suppliers. We are seeking long-term contracts that will provide stability for our evolving cooperative. What we are hoping to gain from this RFP is the chance to either work with our existing power supplier or a new one, to better serve our communities by providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy.