As a member of an electric distribution cooperative, the rates you pay are solely for the cost of power and the operation and maintenance of the electric system. They are not paid to stock holders nor do they go toward a general fund to pay for non-electric-related projects. In terms of member investment, approximately 70 percent of your bill goes toward the cost of power. The other 30 percent is used for day-to-day delivery of power to energize the community.
Members invest in strengthening and modernizing the infrastructure so that they have reliable energy. Employees are laser-focused on managing the 30 percent of the costs that can be controlled by improving processes, working efficiently, utilizing technology, and best practices.
The hard work is paying off too! Thanks to member investment and employee diligence, for the third time in five years, electric rates have been reduced. At the same time, reliability has improved due to consistent maintenance and a strategic 10-year system plan. As our communities grow, so does the electric system. The LCEC system plan is aimed at improving the resiliency of the electric grid and ensuring that power is available when and where needed.
Member Investment: Center of Excellence
Service and safety have also continued to improve over the years. For the third year in a row LCEC is the only Cooperative to have been named as a Center of Excellence by BenchMarkPortal. Only five other energy utilities in the nation have received the honor.
For the past few years LCEC safety records have been broken or matched. Considering our field workers do one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, this is quite an accomplishment and one that equates to keeping costs low for our customers.
We thank our members for believing in us and investing in the electric system through their electric bill each month. It is a member investment that pays off daily in reliable power and in the future through retired equity.
When the financial state of the cooperative allows, a portion of the equity that members have earned is retired and returned to members. The financial state of LCEC has resulted in more than $243 million in retired equity over the years. That’s a cooperative member benefit bonus that customers of an investor-owned utility or a municipal utility don’t see.