May 2023 Utility Rates Newsletter
by Sarah Wood on May 31, 2023
utility rate updates
IMPORTANT MONTHLY UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
This month, we preview updates to Potomac Edison’s base rates, highlight Evergy’s EV rates, cover storm-related riders for Texas and Florida utilities, and celebrate the second work anniversary of three of our rates team members!
Potomac Edison - MD Base Rate Update
Multiple rate updates are coming to Potomac Edison in the coming months. Base electric rates will update in October, along with updates to the Standard Offer Service (SOS) in June and October.
The base rate update will collect $50.4 million in revenue for improving grid resilience to minimize the impact of outages, replacing 972 miles of old cable, providing additional assistance for low-income customers, and recovering costs associated with the EV Drive program. The following table compares the current base rates for a schedule “G” customer to the pending October base rates:
The overall bill impact for a schedule “G” customer will be approximately 6.2%, with all taxes and additional adjustments included. In comparison, schedule “R” and “C” customers can expect similar bill increases of 6.9% and 6.2%, respectively. The aggregate base increase across all rate classes will be 6.7%.
Depending on a customer’s rate class, these significant base rate increases are somewhat tempered by the Standard Offer Service (SOS) updates in June and October. In June, the SOS rates for a schedule “G” customer will decrease by 10%, then increase slightly by 4.5% in October. However, residential customers will see a 40% increase in June, followed by another 4% increase in October. Our rates team used a small office load profile to compare a current schedule “G” customer’s annual bill totals with the bill totals one should expect with all the SOS and base rate updates, and these were our results:
Needless to say, every customer will pay more in October, while only certain customers will feel some respite because of the SOS updates this summer. Our ETB rates team will update Potomac Edison as soon as these updates go into effect.
Evergy EV Rates Schedules
Many utilities contribute to the expansion of EVs by offering dedicated EV rate options or implementing riders and adjustments designed to collect funds for EV infrastructure projects, like Potomac Edison’s EV Drive program. Evergy Energy in Missouri is one such utility that offers a “Business EV Charging Service” (BEVCS) rate schedule for separately metered loads used exclusively for EV charging. This rate schedule is designed to encourage consumers to shift their energy consumption to the super off-peak hours when energy prices are significantly lower, as seen below:
For summer, the difference between the on-peak and super off-peak base rates is 20.5 cents per kWh, and the difference for winter is 13.1 cents per kWh. There are also additional riders and adjustments that increase the total $/kWh rates. This BEVCS rate is available in ETB for Evergy customers located in the Kansas Central and Metro locations and Missouri West and Metro locations.
As EVs’ popularity increases, so does the demand for EV-specific rate schedules, which is why our rates team is working to include more of these rates in our database.
Storm-Related Riders for Florida and Texas Utilities
A bevy of storms and natural disasters over the past few years in Florida and Texas have led utilities in these impacted areas to implement additional bill riders and adjustments to recoup the costs associated with their emergency responses. Tampa Electric Company (TEC) in Florida and CenterPoint Energy (CPE) in Texas are two examples of these utilities that introduced new riders designed to recover costs related to Hurricane Ian in Florida and Winter Storm Uri in Texas just this past month.
TEC seeks to recover their storm-related costs with the new “Storm Surcharge” rider. This rider applies to customers of all rate classes, with residential and general service customers receiving the bulk of the costs at $0.01022/kWh and $0.01061/kWh, respectively—an additional $10 for every 1,000kWh consumed. The addition of this storm surcharge also coincides with the need to recover uncollected fuel costs from 2022. Initially, TEC fronted these costs to ease the burden on customers while opting to collect them through a fuel cost adjustment over a 21-month period ending in late 2024. The updated fuel adjustment for a typical General Service Demand (GSD) customer increased from $0.04126/kWh to $0.05239/kWh—a 27% increase resulting in an additional $100 for every 1,000kWh. Our rates team tested rate GSD with a medium office load profile to compare the new update to the previous one, and we found that a customer with such a load profile would pay an additional $10,000 per year in energy-related costs:
CPE, a Texas T&D utility, also introduced “Rider TEEEF” (Temporary Emergency Electric Energy Facilities) to recover storm-related costs from Winter Storm Uri in 2021. During the storm, CPE leased mobile backup generators to assist in providing backup power to those in need. This new rider will collect $200 million in costs associated with deploying and operating these generators during the storm, as well as further fund the fleet of generators CPE maintains. The charges for this rider can be seen from the tariff below:
Approximately 43% of the revenue allocation will come from the Secondary Service Greater Than 10 kVa rate class, which is the predominant commercial service rate schedule. Our rates team compared the recent 3/1/23 update to the 4/15/23 update with Rider TEEEF, and we found that a user utilizing a medium load profile would pay an additional 5% in annual demand costs.
Our rates team has updated our TEC and CPE rates with these new charges to ensure that our ETB users have the most accurate rates for their projects.
We're celebrating some work anniversaries for our Utility Rates Team! This past month marked the second work anniversary for three members of our utility rates team: Vanessa, Rebecca, and Erin. We asked them to share some of their thoughts and favorite memories of their time working at ETB:
Vanessa Aguirre (Global Database Specialist): There are 260 workdays in a common year, and I recently celebrated my two-year work anniversary with Energy Toolbase. That is 520 workdays being a part of such a wonderful team, both with the company as a whole and with our little department, the Utility Rates Team. A highlight from these last two years would have to be an offsite retreat we were privileged enough to take to Calgary, Alberta. Across departments, we were able to team build, collaborate, and get a clear vision as to what we aspire to accomplish at Energy Toolbase.
Rebecca Poznansky (Global Database Specialist): It feels great to be part of the ETB team! After two years here, I am so grateful for the continued opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause alongside such smart and kind people. It’s fulfilling to help our customers navigate the complexities of utility rates and it’s been eye-opening to see just how intricate it all is! I especially love the ETB culture, where transparency, honesty, hard work, and respect are integral parts of each and every workday. I look forward to the years to come!
Erin Hickey (Services Specialist): It’s crazy to realize it has already been two years here at ETB! It feels like just yesterday that I walked into the office for my first day, full of nerves and excitement. The amount of information I’ve learned has really helped put my skills to the test and challenge me daily. I’ve gained knowledge of the solar industry that, on day one, I never thought would make any sense to me! This company is also full of some of the smartest individuals I have ever met! Not to mention how friendly everyone is, that may be the best part! It’s fantastic to work somewhere that you can depend on your coworkers when you need a hand. Thank you for the last two years and more to come!