The bill will have separate line items showing Wholesale Power Cost and Residential Service.
The Wholesale Power Cost line will show the cost of power purchased from Brazos Electric, the power supplier to Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, which includes generation, transmission and independent system operator (ISO) fees.
The Residential Service line will show the local costs the cooperative incurs for distributing power from the substation to the member's meter. This section will include an availability charge. The availability charge covers the fixed costs of having poles, lines and meters in place.
So, what is the availability charge? All electric utilities have in fixed expenses associated with providing safe and reliable electric service. These expenses are incurred whether the member uses the electric service every day or just a few weekends per year.
These expenses include: 1) on-going operation and maintenance of the electrical distribution' system required to bring you electricity at the flip of a switch (hence the name, availability charge); 2) annual depreciation of these facilities; 3) principal and interest payments on the long-term debt to build the facilities originally; and 4) expenses related to customer accounting, meter reading, and billing.
The availability charge lets you, the member, know up-front part of what it costs to have electricity available at your meter each month. This fixed amount also prevents an undue financial burden from being placed on active members using regular amounts of electricity by those members who want electricity available, but may not use very much. We will continue to control costs and operations as much as possible to keep any future increase to a minimum.
Effective as of 2010