We've Updated the Tariff
Changes Effective February 1, 2020
At WCEC we never want to increase charges, but rising cost make it necessary to adjust rates from time to time, based on material costs changes or other factors. In December of 2019, the board adopted a resolution that changed, added, and eliminated fees. WCEC also took the opportunity to eliminate rates and fees that are no longer in effect, and to update terminology.
The good news is that none of the changes increased the base rates or per kWh charges. Therefore, most current members will not be affected. We mailed all members a notice of these changes in December but wanted to offer a little more in-depth explanation of the areas of change.
First off, we renamed the Wood County Electric Cooperative, Inc. Electric Service Tariff. It's now simply, Member Policies and Schedules. This is the document that dictates all of the rates and fees.
We eliminated certain fees and charges to include removing rate classes that are no longer in effect, and we made some adjustments to some existing charges.
a.) The Trip Fee was changed from $25 to $30. Members are never charged a fee for WCEC workers to visit their service location during the normal course of business or during regular outages. This fee is charged when a WCEC employee is required to visit a member's property as a result of the member's actions. An instance where this fee may be applied is for a trip for an outage resulting from the Member's actions or equipment. Or, if we've been to a location and staked a job and a member decides they want the service in a different place, and we must do it again. There are other instances, but the purpose of this fee is to ensure the cost is paid for by the member that initiated the trip, and not the rest of the membership. As a non-profit, we do our best to make costs fair and equitable for all members.
b.) The Non-Standard Meter Reading Fee was changed from $25 to $30. This is an elective service. It's charged monthly to a member that requests their service be metered by equipment that doesn't communicate with WCEC's metering system. There's an added cost to WCEC to maintain these non-standard meters because an employee must travel to the member's property every month to physically read the meter. Because it's an elective service, that cost is passed on to those members.
c.) Line Extension Charges are paid by a member when construction is required to provide new electric service. These start at the load point and the maximum credit per meter installation is 250 feet. The underground single-phase primary cost was $8/ft and it's now $9/ft, and the underground multi-phase was $10/ft and is now $12/ft. Instead of the previous wire credit, members will receive a dollar credit up to $450 for new primary overhead, up to $500 credit for new underground primary construction, and up to $500 credit for new underground secondary construction. Any credit for overhead multi-phase primary construction has been eliminated. This change ensures that the members get the cost savings of the construction credits. For convenience, WCEC will sell wire to members at cost for their new service.
d.) Switchover Fees are charged to a Member that chooses to abandon WCEC's facilities and switch their electric service to another provider in areas where such is permitted under Texas law. The current base charge of $155.00 and the current base charge adder of $35 have been repealed and replaced with a new single Switchover Fee of $315.
We changed and added some fee/charges:
- $95.00 Connect Fee This fee is for when a member specifically requests an after-hours electricity connection. Because this falls outside of normal Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. hours, there is added cost to the cooperative to send personnel to perform the work.
- $250.00 Meter Tampering Fee Only WCEC employees and representatives, and certified electricians that have received permission of the cooperative, should disconnect, modify, or attach any equipment to a meter or meter base. When meters lose power, we are notified in the office, and will investigate. If evidence of tampering is found, such as a cut meter seal or any other sign, it will result in the member being charged this fee. When evidence of a crime is found,such as electricity theft, charges are pursued in a court of law.
- $150.00 Minimum Deposit WCEC uses a third party credit rating service to determine if a deposit must be paid by a member. Deposits help us control cost, which benefits all members. If you're asked to pay a deposit, it will earn interest at a rate set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. After a member has established good credit with us by paying all bills on time for 12 straight months, members will receive a refund of their deposit, with interest, as a credit on their electricity bill.
We renamed the Security Light Service schedule. It's now called the Outdoor Lighting schedule to better reflect the use.
Lastly, we consolidated and organized certain fees and charges found in the Tariff. The new SmartPower Program Rider replaced the old pre-paid schedule, and it reduces the previous base charge for pre-pay members by $1 per month.
The new Member Polices and Schedules, in it's entirety, can be found on WCEC.org under Resources at the bottom of the page. And, as always, if you have any questions or need clarifications, just give us a call.