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| member matters How Generation Costs


Affect Your Electric Bill Fluctuating fuel prices play a big role


every dime goes straight to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC). WFEC generates and transmits electricity to 21 electric co-ops in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Altus Air Force Base.


E


Major Components of U.S. Electricity Prices, 2016


"The cost to generate and transmit electricity is by far the most expensive portion of our member's electric bills," said Kooney Duncan, CEO of Choctaw Electric.


The same is true for utility customers across the U.S. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports generation


very month, roughly 61 cents of every dollar you pay for electricity goes to cover wholsale power costs. Choctaw Electric Cooperative doesn't keep that money; instead,


costs make up 57 percent of electricity costs nationwide. Transmitting power from the plant to individual utilities makes up 11 percent of the cost. The remaining 32 percent is the expense in distributing that electricity to consumers.


The biggest factor driving generation costs is the cost of generating fuels. WFEC relies on a mix of fuels to generate electricity including natural gas, coal, hydro power, and renewables such as solar and wind power. Fuel prices, especially the price of natural gas and coal, fluctuate almost constantly. These fluctuations affect the price of electricity and explain why the power cost adjustment on your monthly electric bill changes from month to month.


The demand for power also affects generation costs. When demand climbs due to system growth or extreme weather temperatures, generation prices also increase. That's why Choctaw Electric encourages members to conserve energy during periods of high usage, or "peak" periods.


Reducing systemwide usage during peak periods is one of the only ways your co- op can manage wholesale power expenses. Choctaw Electric experiences system peaks during the summer and winter months. You can help by watching for peak alerts on your co-op website, Facebook, and Smarthub, and reducing your usage during the suggested time frame, 4 pm to 6 pm.


If you have questions about generation and transmisson costs, visit https:// www.eia.gov/energyexplained, or call your co-op at 800-780-6486.


POWER OUTAGE?


Stay informed about your service status by signing up for alerts via Smarthub.


With Smarthub, you can choose the alerts you would like to receive and how you'd like to receive them—by text or email. Select from the following:


• Billing Change • Planned Power Outage • Power Outage (if you report the outage through Smarthub or app) • Power Restored (if you report the outage through Smarthub or app) • Peak Time Alerts • Planned Outage Message


To sign up for alerts, visit www.choctawelectric.coop and click on Smarthub.


4 | OCTOBER 2017 | CEC Inside Your Co-op


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