exploring rate redesign options
Determine if rates are sufficient
to cover the cost of operation
Ensure members aren’t overpaying
or underpaying their individual
share of costs, to the extent possible.
Explore rate options that help members and the cooperative save energy and money
Why are rates higher here than elsewhere?
SDCEA serves about seven members per mile of line, compared to investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy, which averages 34 customers per mile of line; and municipal utilities, which average 48 customers per mile of line. While we work hard to keep costs as low as possible, SDCEA’s smaller number of consumers must cover the costs of delivering power over nearly 1,800 miles of line on our system. Our locations are rural, hard-to-reach, mountainous and rugged.
At SDCEA, we don’t benefit from the revenue that dense cities generate for utilities, and we don’t have large businesses to speak of to help carry the cost of providing service in this territory.
As an electric distribution cooperative, we don’t independently generate power. We buy it from others. While we do all we can to buy power as cheaply and as environmentally consciously as possible, the cost of electricity is going up here and around the country for a whole host of reasons.
When it comes to delivering power to your home or business, we in rural America are largely on our own. This means that SDCEA and our members bear the expensive burden of engineering, erecting and repairing power-delivery infrastructure ourselves. We are also responsible for maintaining the system. The equipment, materials and employee hours to do this work are expensive. We cannot spread these costs among a high number of consumers, so that means we have to be very careful about how we use the resources we have.
We want you to know that we are members of the cooperative, too, and we hear that you are concerned about costs. We want to assure you that we share those concerns as a locally-controlled nonprofit organization, and we are working every day to support our communities and keep costs down while providing safe and reliable electricity for you, our consumers. It’s a big job, but it’s one we take pride in.
Manager of Rates &
Power System Engineering
SDCEA’s bylaws, rates, policies, board contacts and other information is posted on our website, myelectric.coop for our members to review. Create an account through the log in on the upper right-hand side of the page. Once on SmartHub you will be able to access these items either from the menu on the left or from the My Documents drop-down on the landing page.
We also welcome you to call us during business hours toll-free, (844) 395-2412 with any other questions you may have about the cooperative.
We listened to the concerns of our members. The proposed April 1, 2022 implementation of the rate redesign was rescinded by the SDCEA board of directors in March and SDCEA has asked our rate consultants to provide alternative rate redesign options that take our members’ concerns into consideration.
Utility-scale solar energy costs SDCEA roughly 2 cents per kWh through our wholesale power supplier, Tri-State G&T. This low cost is due to the large size and output of utility-scale renewable projects. Community-scale solar (such as the Trout Creek Solar project south of Buena Vista) costs about 5.6 cents per kWh, and SDCEA purchases rooftop energy for 12.944 cents per kWh.
We’re leading by example delivering affordable, reliable and responsible electricity to power what matters to you.
With 50% of your energy coming from renewable sources by 2024.