Bob Paulling, president and CEO of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative, announced during their annual meeting that over the past several months the co-op has hired an independent consultant to perform a comprehensive cost of service and rate study to determine their revenue needs for the future. The detailed analysis showed that as operating costs have continued to increase, an additional overall revenue of about 4.17 percent is needed to keep the cooperative fiscally sound.
The rate increase will go into effect on bills rendered after August 1, according to a company email.
Operating costs have risen because of increases in property taxes ($6 million over the last four years), wholesale power cost, transportation expenses, upgrades in technology/computer systems which includes enhanced cybersecurity safety measures to keep member information secure, as well as other expenses.
Mr. Paulling said in a recent interview that the co-op had undergone a change in the rate structure in January 2016, but there was no increase to MCEC customers at that time. The last rate increase took place four years ago in November 2015. Security light rates have not increased since 2010. This year, rates for them will increase four percent.
Every dollar collected at MCEC is accounted for, he said. The company’s goal is to collect just enough to support their business model and then return any margins (capital credits) back to the consumer.
Mr. Paulling said he was very proud of how diligently the Board of Trustees and employees work to control costs and mitigate expenses at MCEC. He explained the co-op has the same number of employees today as four years ago. MCEC consumers have grown from 53,000 to 57,000 in the last four years and all this has taken place without a rate increase until this year.
Mr. Paulling said that it was an honor to provide quality electric services to each and every member of Mid-Carolina Cooperative.
Story by Anna Long / Posted August 1, 2019