Posted 5/23/24 –

The Holy Cross Energy (HCE) Board of Directors is proposing to make the following changes in its Electric Service Tariffs, Rules, and Regulations to become effective July 1, 2024:

4100 MASTER METERS AND RESALE OF ELECTRIC ENERGY

Consumers who purchase electric service from HCE for the purpose of delivery of that service to end-users whose aggregate usage is to be measured by a sub-meter or other composite measurement device and paid for to the consumer by the end-user(s) are prohibited [e.g. Master Meter Operators].
The Consumer shall not extend the Consumer’s electrical facilities outside the Consumer’s premises for service to other Consumers or premises and shall not resell any of the energy received by the Consumer from the Association to any other Person or Persons on the Consumer’s premises or for use on any other premises.

This Rule shall not apply to alternative fuel vehicle charging stations as described in Section 40-1-1.3.3 of the Colorado Revised Statutes

Submit your feedback for the Board of Directors here:

Rate Changes Effective 4/1/2024

We updated our rates to reflect the rising cost of service.

As your local not-for-profit electric cooperative, Holy Cross Energy continues to fulfill our mission of providing safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy and services that improve the quality of life for our members and communities.

Over the past five years, we have been able to offset higher costs for delivering electricity by sourcing cheaper electricity from new renewable energy projects and wholesale suppliers, allowing us to maintain the same rates over that time span.

Even with our best efforts, the cost of delivering electricity has increased faster than we have been able to reduce the cost of the electricity itself.

That means we must increase our electric rates to ensure that we will have enough revenue to keep the lights on for all members.

At its January 2024 meeting, the Board of Directors approved an increase in the monthly customer charge, based on rate class:

Current
Customer
Charge
New,
Starting
April 1, 2024
Average
Overall Bill
Increase %
Small Residential $12.00/month $16.00/month 4.50%
Large Residential $28.00/month $45.00/month 1.33%
Small Commercial $18.00/month $20.00/month 0.92%
Large Commercial $28.00/month $62.00/month 0.78%

How do I know if I’m in a “Small” or “Large” rate class?

99% of our residential members fall under the ‘Small Residential’ Category.

The easiest way to determine your rate class is to look at the Customer Charge on one of your recent bills; if that number is currently $12.00, you fall into the Small Residential category.

Small Residential & Small Commercial
Members in these categories have a monthly demand reading of less than 50 kW. You may check the Demand Charge line item on your bill to see your demand reading for that month.

Large Residential & Large Commercial
Members in these categories have a Peak Demand of greater than 50 kW.

For our Small Residential members, this $4.00 monthly increase to the fixed customer charge will result in an average 4.50% increase to their total monthly bill:

Why are rates going up?

Like all businesses, we have been exposed to higher costs for labor and materials due to higher-than-normal inflation and constraints in the supply chain throughout the entire U.S. economy. This directly translates into higher costs for delivering electricity to our members.

A safe, modern electric distribution grid requires continued investment to:

  • Protect against cyber and physical attacks.
  • Reduce the threat of wildfire ignition.
  • Ensure our grid is large and resilient enough to deliver our peak electricity demands.

Clean energy savings have reduced the need for cost increases.

  • Over the past five years, since our last rate increase in 2018, we have largely offset the higher cost of materials and labor by sourcing cheaper electricity from new renewable energy projects and wholesale suppliers.
  • In fact, we have saved more than $30 million in power supply costs since adopting our initial Seventy70Thirty clean energy plan in September 2018 (now our 100×30 Goal).
  • In 2024, our new Bronco Plains II wind project will further reduce our overall power supply costs by an additional $2 million compared to our existing wholesale supply.

No one likes to see their bills go up, but even with these rate changes, our electricity rates will remain among the lowest in the state. We remain committed to identifying further potential efficiencies and cost reductions to help ensure your electricity bills remain affordable into the future.

The chart below compares our new 2024 rates to other 2024 electric rates statewide.

Even with this increase in the customer charge:

  • We will maintain the lowest residential customer charge among Colorado electric cooperatives.
  • We will remain among the lowest commercial customer charges compared to other Colorado cooperatives.
  • We will continue to have overall rates in the lowest 1/3 of all Colorado utilities, including cooperatives, municipal utilities, and investor-owned utilities.

How are new rates compare to other Colorado electric utilities:

Additional noteworthy changes to our Electric Service Tariffs, Rules, & Regulations: 

Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA)

The temporary Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA), a fluctuating charge already in place on monthly bills, will be incorporated into the energy charge for all members.

  • In 2023, the ECA averaged roughly one half-cent ($0.005) per kilowatt-hour.
  • Starting in April, that one half-cent per kilowatt-hour will be added to the energy charge, while the ECA will reduce by the same amount. 
  • This is a revenue-neutral change that, by itself, will not affect members’ electric bills.

Peak Time Payback 

We are increasing the PAYBACK for Peak Time Payback. This free program now enables members to save more than before on their electric bills by reducing their electricity use during specified times of high electricity demand.

  • Starting in April, members can save up to $1.50 per kilowatt-hour during “critical” alerts, more than 10x the normal energy rate. This payback rate was previously $1.00 per kilowatt-hour.

PuRE

We are decreasing the amount members will have to pay to participate in PuRE, our opt-in program that allows members to purchase 100% renewable energy for their home or business.

We are moving toward more cost-reflective rates.

Our Cost-of-Service Model.

The proposed changes to the monthly member fee are intended to move towards more cost-reflective rates that minimize subsidy across rate classes. Traditionally, large members have subsidized smaller members, and these changes would reduce that cross-subsidy.

  • The fixed/customer charge collects revenue for costs related to billing and collection, customer service, community programs, and shared services/overhead.
  • The misalignment has occurred over time as these costs have increased at a higher rate than our member charge increases have been.
  • Our Cost-of-Service Model assigns costs to each rate class and indicates the actual costs associated with the customer charge should be closer to $25/month for Small Residential.
  • This step was a 1/3 step change towards the true cost of service for customer-related costs.

There will be no changes to or additions of any demand charges, nor will there be a separate delivery charge imposed on the receipt of electricity.

  • These changes remain under discussion with the State of Colorado and the solar energy industry as we attempt to find a mutually beneficial alternative to current net metering policies in Colorado.

Energy assistance is available for those who need it.

We recognize that these rate increases come at a time when many members are also struggling with cost increases for everything else – housing, food, health care, and other utilities.

Our talented Member Service Representatives are available Monday through Thursday by phone or email to help you understand your electric bill and find new ways to save on your energy costs.

  • We will continue to provide income-qualified members with free home energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades in partnership with our partners at Energy Outreach Colorado.
  • We have recently expanded and increased the amount of our energy efficiency rebates for income-qualified members and will be able to monetize Federal tax credits for energy efficiency efforts for those unable to do so themselves.
  • As mentioned above, we are increasing the payback amounts for our Peak Time Payback program, which directly shares cost savings with members who voluntarily reduce their electric usage during peak electricity demand, when our wholesale electric costs are at their highest.
  • For those members with the flexibility to do so, our Time-of-Day optional rate allows more of your energy consumption to occur at a lower cost outside of peak afternoon times from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. each day.

As a member-owned cooperative, we encourage member questions and comments.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, and we thank you for being a member of Holy Cross Energy, your local electric cooperative.

Menu