Heartland to begin new electrical rate system April 1

Updated: Apr 13

GIRARD – Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative will begin new electric rates April 1 designed to give consumer-members more control over their bills while ensuring the co-op is ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The Peak Savers rate will become the new rate for all non-prepaid residential consumers unless they request a Time of Use Rate.

Doug Graham, spokesman for Heartland, said that the approximately 300 prepaid customers will be on the Time of Use rate

According to the Heartland website, the Peak Savers rate is for Heartland members who are willing to keep an eye on their electric usage during peak times in the summer and gives them more control over their bill than before.

A video on the website explains the reason for this change. Every three years or so, Heartland has a cost of service study done to determine their rates. The most recent study showed that they needed to raise rates 1.5 percent.

A kilowatt (kW), which is equivalent to 1,000 watts, measures the rate of energy use, or how much energy it takes for an appliance to operate. A kilowatt hour (kWh) measure the amount of energy consumed.

One of the biggest driver of change for the electric companies are electric cars which will cause a big impact on the amount of electricity used. The video points out that it is all about the peak usage times, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and that Heartland purchases 56 per cent of its electricity during those times.

Time of Use EV option

The video shows that if a person charged their electric car during the peak hours, it could possibly make the company pay $2,300 more. The charging of a car is equal to running several central air conditioning units. For this reason, there will be a Time of Use EV (for electric vehicle owners) rate.

The availability charge for Time of Use EV rate will be $39, energy charges vary depending on the time and apply 365 days per year. On peak time, the rate is $0.192878 per kWh, for off peak time (8 p.m. to 12 a.m. & 4 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and for super-off-peak time (12 a.m. to 4 a.m.), it is $0.040994 per kWh.

Peak Savers Rate

For Peak Savers rate, the availability charge will be $39 per month, the energy charge $0.101510 per kWh, and the peak charge will be $2 per kW used during the consumer-member’s monthly peak hour (hour of highest electric usage).

Peak charges can only occur in June, July, August and September. The Peak hour will only be calculated on Heartland-declared Peak Days and can only occur between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Peak Days will never occur on weekends or holidays.

Time of Use option

The Time of Use rate is for Heartland members who want to know exactly how much their energy use is going to cost them. It provides the predictability and consistency they need. Energy is somewhat more costly during the peak time from 3 to 8 p.m. every day, but is significantly cheaper at other times.

For Time of Use rate, the availability charge will be $39 per month, $0.182026 per kWh on peak time from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., $0.078444 per kWh off peak, and there is no peak charge. The same energy charges apply 365 days a year.

One other change is the billing cycle. Bills should be available on the eighth or ninth of each month and will always be due on the last business day of the month. For those on auto-pay, payments will also be processed on the last business day of the month.

For this information, a calculator to let you check how your rates may differ between the two options, and more, go to heartland-rec.com. Heartland can be reached at 1-800-835-9586.

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