How Tri-County’s New Rates Will Impact Your Electric Bill

TRI-COUNTY MEMBERS WILL SEE CHANGES to their electric bills beginning in February as a result of new rates the cooperative implemented on Jan. 1. The following is a breakdown of the new rates for the cooperative’s residential and seasonal members:

  • The availability charge will increase from $25 to $30 for residential and seasonal members.
  • The distribution charge for residential members will increase from 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 7.65 cents per kWh for the first 800 kWhs of electric use and from 4 cents per kWh to 6.4 cents per kWh for anything over 800 kWhs.
  • For seasonal accounts, the distribution charge will increase from 10 cents per kWh to 12 cents for the first 100 kWh of use. For energy use over 100 kWhs, thedistribution charge will increase from 4.85 cent to 8.5 cents per kWh.

The accompanying tables show the new rates that will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, and how the rate changes will impact the monthly electric bill for residential and seasonal members based on their monthly energy use.

Residential Members

Kilowatt-hours used Bill amount at previous rate Bill amount at new rates Increase in monthly bill
0 $25 $30 $5.00
300 $61.93 $75.85 $13.92
500 $86.55 $106.42 $19.87
750 $117.33 $144.62 $27.29
833* $127.05 $156.89 $29.84
1000 $145.10 $180.33 $35.23
*denotes the monthly kilowatt-hours used by the average Tri-County residential consumer


Seasonal Members

Kilowatt-hours used Bill amount at previous rate Bill amount at new rates Increase in monthly bill
0 $25 $30 $5.00
192* $52.54 $64.48 $11.94
300 $65.13 $81.90 $16.77
500 $88.48 $114.17 $25.69
750 $117.60 $154.50 $36.90
1000 $146.75 $194.83 $48.08
*denotes the monthly kilowatt-hours used by the average Tri-County seasonal consumer

In the last several years, costs for materials and equipment have risen dramatically. As an example, the cost to purchase a transformer has risen by over 30% in just the last year. Similarly, the cost for conduit has risen by over 24% in that same time frame. In late 2022, we learned that our cost to purchase power was also increasing by approximately 30% in 2023. As a result of increases like these, the Tri-County Board of Directors and management made the decision to adjust member rates to address these costs and maintain a sound financial position for the cooperative.

This is a flat monthly fee designed to cover the cooperative’s fixed costs, which are those cost that are the same for every consumer, regardless of how much electricity they use.

Please visit this page on Tri-County’s website: Energy Savings Tips, otherwise, call us at 1-800-343-2559 and ask for one of our Member Services representatives and they will be able to help you. We have tools available that can help you see energy losses in your home and can schedule on-site visits to show you where you are using electricity.

We work hand in hand with the Salvation Army. We maintain a list of their representatives and can provide their numbers when you call us at 1-800-343-2559. Calling 211 will give you access to many other assisting agencies in your area, all you need to provide them with is your zip-code.

Residential Members

Seasonal Members

Conservation Key to Combating Rising Energy Costs

FROM THE GAS PUMP TO the grocery store, we’ve all seen costs going up. Pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions, a war in Ukraine, and skyrocketing natural gas prices have fueled inflationary pressures and cost increases in just about every sector, including the electric utility industry.

Your cooperative’s board and management team has worked to weather today’s challenging economic climate by focusing on smart investments and striving to keep costs down as much as possible. Our commitment to containing costs has enabled the cooperative to avoid any increases to our rates since 2018, even as material and equipment costs have risen by upward of 50% just in the last two years.

Unfortunately, as we have communicated in recent months, we will be adjusting rates in 2023 to address today’s higher costs of purchasing power and to fund the system maintenance and construction required to continue providing members with reliable electric service. Members will see an overall increase of approximately 24% on their electric bills. The rate increase takes effect on Jan. 1 and will be reflected in members’ electric bills beginning in February.

This increase is split across the fixed “availability” charge, as well as the energy use-based distribution and generation charges on your bill. While this is a significant percentage increase, it is much less than the cost increases we have directly experi- enced due to our diligence in cutting costs and increasing the efficiencies of doing business. The increase also remains below those of most other electric utilities across the state and country, which have raised rates from 30% to 80% since 2018.

Tri-County is a member of Allegheny Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Allegheny), a generation and transmission electric cooperative that provides 100% of our power supply. Allegheny meets approximately 65% of our power needs through its ownership of the Raystown Hydroelectric Plant and its partial ownership of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a nuclear power plant in Berwick. These electric generation assets help temper generation cost increases during times of escalating energy pricing.

The remaining 35% of our energy supply is purchased on the open market, which has been significantly affected by skyrocketing energy costs in the past year. While investor-owned utilities are subject to 100% of the spikes in market prices, our exposure is limited to the 35% purchased on the open market. Even so, our cost to purchase power for our members will be rising by almost 30% beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, necessitating an increase to the generation charge on members’ bills for the first time in over a decade.

Members will also see an increase in the distribution component of their electric bills. The distribution charge covers the costs of the equipment, materials and per- sonnel needed to maintain our electric system. With inflation rising above 8% in 2022 and costs for materials and equipment jumping 30% to 50% over the past two years, our distribution rates will be increasing Jan. 1 to cover those rising costs.

The availability charge for most rate classes will increase by $5 to help cover the minimum costs required to deliver electricity to our members. Our availability charge remains one of the lowest in the state among electric cooperatives.

We have included additional details about the rate adjustments and how they will impact members’ electric bills, as well as tips to combat rising energy costs, elsewhere in this issue of Penn Lines.

With winter at hand, taking steps to conserve energy will be the most effective way to cut your energy use and blunt the impact of rising energy prices. Please see page 16C for some helpful tips, and be sure to visit tri-countyrec.com, where you can find a wealth of energy conservation and efficiency information under the “Energy Savings” tab at the top of our homepage.

If you are having trouble paying your electric bill, please give us a call at 800-343-2559. We are here to help, and we will continue doing all we can to contain our costs and keep your rates as low as possible.