Understanding Your Bill

As your not-for-profit electric cooperative, we buy and deliver power to you at cost. Because your kilowatt-hour use can fluctuate dramatically, it is essential to have a reliable source of revenue to cover both your co-op’s fixed operating costs and the purchase of power. We try to strike a balance.

Why is there a basic charge?
Douglas Electric Cooperative (DEC) has fixed costs necessary to maintain and operate the system. These costs include buildings, trucks, equipment, labor, taxes, insurance—everything necessary to make sure your lights come on when you flip the switch, whether you use electricity or not.

Why is there a kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge?
A kilowatt-hour expresses the amount of power consumed over a fixed period. The kWh you see on your power bill reflects the amount of power you used in a month.

How does our basic charge compare to other co-ops in the state?
We are cheaper. The average is $31.91, with a high of $54.33. DEC is $28.

How does our kWh compare with our co-op neighbors?
We are cheaper. The average is 9.67 cents per kWh, with a high of 10.48 cents per kWh.
DEC is 9.38 cents per kWh.

Does everyone pay the same?
Yes. All DEC residential member/consumers pay the same basic charge.

Why should I have to pay if I don’t use any electricity?
Even if you don’t use any electricity, there are costs associated with maintaining a system that is there when you need it. Given the uncertain amount of kWh members use, we can’t rely solely on that charge to cover the cooperative’s fixed costs.

How are rates determined?
A cost-of-service study is done periodically to determine the appropriate amount of the basic charge. Bonneville Power Administration’s wholesale power costs dictate the kWh rate. The DEC Board of Directors takes these factors into consideration when it sets the rates.