NFEC Implements New Rate Schedule
This month, Northfork Electric will implement a rate increase for all member-consumers — for the first time in more than seven years. “We value our members and place a strong emphasis on providing them with exceptional service. To maintain the quality, reliability and integrity of the services we provide, it is necessary for us to adjust our pricing structure,” Scott Copeland, NFEC General Manager, said.
While virtually all aspects of today’s cost of living continues to rise, NFEC prides itself on avoiding routine price adjustments. The cooperative and its member-consumers have enjoyed one of the longest periods of rate stability in recent history. This was largely credited to the booming oil and gas industry.
In addition to helping the cooperative to avoid a rate increase, the oilfield brought financial prosperity that grew and benefited all areas of the economy. “Now that the industry has slowed down not only here in Oklahoma, but across the nation, the reduction in revenue has wreaked havoc on state budgets, our schools, community hospitals, local businesses and ultimately our co-op and its members,” Copeland said.
Other contributing factors to the need for a rate adjustment were the multiple holiday ice storms last year that caused millions of dollars in damage to the cooperative’s infrastructure. The work on those repairs will continue well into 2017. Additionally, excessive regulations by the EPA and new legislation concerning renewable energy requirements have caused additional costs to NFEC’s wholesale power provider, Western Farmers – which ultimately gets passed on to the cooperative. “As our member-owners, we must ask them to share in these costs,” Copeland said.
Although the effect of the rate adjustment will vary depending upon the type of account and extent of usage, the typical residential consumer who uses an average of 1,500 kiloWatt hours (kWh) a month will see an increase of less than $6 on their bill. “Maintaining dependable service at the most practical price possible remains the cornerstone of our mission. To accomplish that goal, we must also protect the integrity and financial security of our cooperative,” Copeland said.
“I want to reassure our members that we will remain proactive in planning for their future energy needs. We work hard to anticipate any potential issues that could escalate the costs of energy. Whenever possible, we work to minimize the impact those issues could have on their energy bill. There are times unforeseen circumstances have the potential to affect the financial stability of our organization. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.”
Although the rate increase is needed to cover the costs of doing business, NFEC is committed to ensuring this occurrence has the smallest possible impact on its members. Northfork Electric offers several options to help its members manage their electric costs. Members can find helpful information about conserving energy and saving money on the cooperative’s website at www.nfecoop.com under the ‘Energy Efficiency’ tab, and by following NFEC’s Facebook page. Other services include free home and business energy audits, commercial lighting and rebate programs, as well as flexible payment options such as budget billing and auto-bank draft.
Members with questions or concerns regarding the implementation of the rate adjustment are encouraged to call NFEC at 580-928-3366. Copies of the new rate schedule are available both here and at the co-op’s headquarters facility in Sayre.
Established in 1939, Northfork Electric Cooperative (NFEC) now energizes over 2,500 miles of distribution line across Beckham, Roger Mills, Washita, Greer, Custer, Harmon and Dewey counties. Headquartered in Sayre, Oklahoma, the cooperative serves over 3,300 members with pride, innovation and dedication. Northfork Electric Cooperative strives to better the communities we serve and to improve our members' quality of life. NFEC, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is an equal opportunity provider and employer.