DENTON — As economic forces continue to push prices higher, the cost of energy has risen again. Beginning in July, Choptank Electric Cooperative members will see an additional increase in monthly bills of $17.71 for each 1000kWh used.
In an announcement by President and CEO Mike Malandro, he wrote, “The cost of energy is a direct pass-through of the electricity we purchase and distribute to members. Choptank Electric’s internal costs, the delivery portion of the bill, remain unchanged.
“We are doing everything we can to hold down internal costs, but we cannot control the increase in national and international energy markets.”
Choptank buys 100% of its power from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), a generation and transmission entity owned by 11 electric distribution cooperatives. It utilizes renewables, nuclear, coal and natural gas with the latter very stable until recent dramatic volatility in the natural gas market over the last eight months resulted in an “unprecedented” increase in price.
ODEC manages natural gas costs through a hedging program, and the price jump would have been worse if that system had not been in place, Mr. Malandro wrote.
“Power suppliers across the entire country are facing higher fuel costs that are causing rate increases coast to coast. We hope this increase in energy prices is temporary. If the past is any indication, the cost of energy fluctuates from year to year. Over the last several years, our annual power cost adjustment has resulted in decreases to members.”
When the energy supply stabilizes savings will be passed along to co-op members. “We do not have stockholders, so we do not have to make a profit to pay dividends,” Mr. Malandro continued, and the Board of Directors authorized the distribution of $3.7 million to members in July representing bill credits that will appear on customer statements.
For more information, visit https://www.choptankelectric.coop/rates. For energy saving tips, log on to https://www.choptankelectric.coop/energy-efficiency or ee.odec.com.