MEC FILES RATE APPLICATION WITH FOCUS ON CONTINUED AFFORDABILITY FOR MEMBERS

Published by The Bee News

July 12, 2022

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Bullhead City, AZ – Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) has applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for a rate case to bring their margins back to the required levels while recovering past expenditures and continuing to ensure resources for load growth and reliability.

These expenditures are made up of $45 million dollars in capital improvements for load growth and reliability over the last ten years, as well as $2.9 million dollars in cyber security & IT programs to keep members’ information confidential, and $6.9 million dollars in solar generation projects from MEC’s owned distributed network.

Several fixed costs, currently subsidized by energy rates, are being moved more appropriately to the customer charge. MEC proposes an increase of $5.56 to the residential customer charge while decreasing energy rates as much as 10% per kWh. In fact, while some members may see about a $6 increase in their bill, most members will have a lower overall bill, offset by the lower energy rates. These rate adjustments will not take effect until after the ACC reviews and approves the changes, approximately Spring 2023. MEC will be holding multiple town hall meetings to answer any member questions.

Tyler Carlson, CEO of Mohave Electric states, “MEC remains lowest for rates in the state among member-owned cooperatives. By comparison investor-owned utilities are by design to make profit and their rates demonstrate that. For example, the average MEC member uses 959 kWh of power per month. Currently, with MEC, that will cost $102.14. Under the new rates and charges, that would cost $99.10. MEC is member owned and works diligently to keep costs as low as possible for our members while ensuring reliability of MEC’s distribution system.”

Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady adds, “According to the economy and tourism data, Bullhead City has a large number of residents that are seniors, veterans, and low-income. Affordable electricity is critical to maintaining the quality of life for residents especially in a climate where summer temperatures are high and air conditioning is a necessity. Utility rates contribute to the low cost of living with electricity being the most significant part of utility rates even with the rate case.”

Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Hildy Angius, has been a member of MEC for 17 years. “In my experience as a Mohave County Supervisor, we are continually challenged with trying to come up with a budget for county services that is fair to everyone. I applaud MEC for being able to figure out a way in today’s environment to bring the cost of energy down.”

Mehdi Azarmi, the owner of Fairway Constructors in Fort Mohave, said “As a residential housing developer, my prospective customers always ask me about the cost of living and utility rates when they are considering purchasing a home. Roughly 85% of our clients in the past two years were migrating out of Southern California where they have been paying $.30 to $.45 cents per kWh. For these retirees, it is a pleasant surprise for them to see MEC’s reasonable and affordable electric charges.

“I have been a member of MEC’s Cooperative and can strongly say that MEC is the most reasonable and friendliest utility company we have in our area. I encourage all members to study and educate themselves about the co-op structure of MEC.”

The new rates are expected to be implemented in Spring of 2023 after ACC final approval.

Founded in 1946, Mohave Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit utility providing reliable, cost-effective power to 36,700 members, 43,500 meters, with more than 1,555 miles of line spanning areas from Bullhead City to Topock on the west, Hualapai to Burro Creek to the south, and Nelson to the east. MEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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