For the first time since 2015, customers of the Turlock Irrigation District will be paying more for their monthly energy bills.
Beginning Dec. 1, costs will move from a half-cent per kilowatt-hour credit to a half-cent per kilowatt-hour charge due to a Power Supply Adjustment (PSA). The result is a $0.01 per kWh increase to customers’ bills.
The Public Benefits Charge is 2.85 percent of the amount billed, so an average residential customer using 950 kWhs a month will see a monthly bill increase of $9.77.
The PSA policy, which was put into effect in 2005, allows the organization to adjust how much customers pay to accommodate the price of natural gas – the organization’s main source of power.
“Like many industries, TID is experiencing a dramatic increase in the cost associated with providing service,” said TID Communications Specialist Brandon McMillan. ”This is largely due to an increase in natural gas prices.”
The 2005 policy states that the adjustments can be put into effect without a vote of the board directors. According to TID Chief Financial Officer Brian Stubbert, the PSA takes into account the power supply expenses in the previous six months and considers the 12-month projection of power supply costs to determine whether or not the adjustment should end.
“A PSA adjustment is not an increase in the base rates,” explained McMillan. “Unlike a base rate increase, the PSA will be reduced if our net power supply costs decrease. The PSA is reviewed and can be adjusted twice a year.”
The TID Board was made aware that the adjustment would soon have to be put into effect at their Oct. 25 meeting. Since then, the organization has begun sending out notices to customers.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has forecast natural gas prices this winter to hit the highest real price since the 2009-10 winter. The forecast reflects natural gas storage levels that are four percent below average heading into winter withdrawal season and more demand for liquefied natural gas.