With the Lower Colorado River Authority board of directors approving a wholesale rate increase due to rising natural gas prices, Pedernales Electric members will see a rate bump of $0.0106 per kilowatt-hour starting with bills rendered on July 1.
The PEC Board of Directors approved the increase at its meeting on June 21.
The current residential rate of $0.09618 per kwh will increase to $0.10678 per kwh, representing a 9.7 percent increase for residential members using 1,500 kwh per month. Residential members now paying $164.27 per month will pay $180.17 per month, a $15.90 monthly increase.
Pedernales Electric Chief Financial Officer Mike Vollmer explained to the PEC Board that this rate adjustment factors in the first phase of a two-part wholesale rate increase approved by LCRA’s directors. “This is a direct pass-through of LCRA’s increase; the second phase will occur around October,” Vollmer said in his remarks at PEC’s Board meeting. “We’ll need to revisit our costs at that time and see what we can absorb.”
While LCRA has a combined generation mix, more than 38 percent of its energy is generated by natural gas-fired plants.
Natural gas prices have risen more than 35 percent since last fall, and prices are forecast to remain high over the next 12 months. These increased costs mirror the increase in global oil prices.
Pedernales Electric members can lower their electric costs by reducing electric consumption. Here are some tips:
• Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher. Members can save more by raising settings to 85 degrees when out for at least four hours.
• Use ceiling fans or portable fans. Moving air feels four to six degrees cooler.
• Block the sun. Closing drapes during the day or adding energy-efficient windows can save on cooling costs.
• Let air flow. Clean or replace air filters regularly for efficient air exchange.
PEC members can get personalized energy efficiency ideas through the PEC Home Energy Center on www.pec.coop. This free feature analyzes home energy use and provides customized suggestions to help lower energy costs.