No. Previously, PCAs did not happen every month. What YVEA would do is hold onto the costs for a few months, and pass collective PCA on to members every few months. We have seen such an increase in the volatility in the commodities market that we saw the need to make this a monthly line item on members' bills.
The Xcel PCA that members have seen on their bills since April 2022 is unrelated to the winter storm of 2021. These are monthly power cost adjustments that Xcel passes through to us to provide us with electricity to safely deliver to our members.
Several factors can necessitate a power cost adjustment. Here are three of the main factors:
- Commodity costs
- Natural gas is used not only to heat homes directly but also to fuel power plants. When Xcel pays more for these commodity prices, they pass these increased costs on to us. As a not-for-profit company, these increased costs are passed on to our members through a PCA. And we aren't just seeing this with natural gas - any fuel source, whether oil, coal, or natural gas, has risen in commodity price due to more considerable consumer demand.
- When we see extreme weather patterns, the demand for fuel increases. As demand increases, the commodity cost will follow.
- Other causes
- We saw that weather wasn't the only cause of rising power costs. Over the past three years, we saw the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, government regulation, and many other factors affect natural gas and fuel prices. We have seen record highs in natural gas prices over the past few years, and we expect to see this trend continue.
When we pay our wholesale power bill, these cost adjustments are on those bills. Previously, we had accrued these costs throughout the year and applied the costs or credits to member bills periodically. To provide more stability in your monthly costs, we have decided to leave the PCA as a monthly line item on your bill.
The PCA calculation is based on the PCA rate $X.XX * kWh usage = $XX.XX.
This will fluctuate from month to month, therefore, the amount of the PCA on your bill will change from month to month.
In partnership with our power supplier, we monitor storms which could impact fuel costs, similar to the 2021 storm in Texas which led to the February Xcel Power Cost Adjustment. Xcel sends us updates on the cost of natural gas.
When we receive these notices, we do our best to notify our members through email, social media, and on our website. If you are not signed up to receive emails from us, please reach out to Member Services for assistance.
A portion of YVEA’s cost of power is already included in the energy charge or kilowatt hour (kWh) charge. When the cost of power is greater than the amount included in the energy charge, the Power Cost Adjustment reflects that increase. When the cost of power purchased is less, the Power Cost Adjustment appears as a credit on electric bills. If we do not receive a Power Cost adjustment from Xcel, the line item will stay on a member’s bill but will show it as $0. The PCA reflects the true fluctuations in the power we purchase from Xcel.
YVEA brings energy to your home but does not generate our own power. Instead, YVEA purchases power at wholesale cost and delivers it safely to members’ homes and businesses. The PCA is a separate line item on each bill that reflects the increases and decreases in the power we purchase from Xcel.
If you visit the Residential Energy Tips webpage we have tips and tricks on ways members can help fight energy waste. During our colder months, the two biggest energy users are electric heat tape and space heaters. Our Energy Hero page offers advice on how best to use these two products while also helping to lower your winter bill. Please remember while one day of conservation may help lower bills, making changes that impact your daily use is the true way to help keep utility costs down.
There are several options. Your best one is to call our Member Services team at (970) 879-1160. They can work with you on paying your bill. They can advise you on our Budget Billing process, or help you get in contact with local programs and agencies that offer assistance to members when it comes to paying their bills. The bottom line is – don’t wait to ask for help. We want to help our members, so please call us