Have you noticed a line on your electric bill called “Power Cost Adj” and wondered what that is? It refers to the City’s Power Cost Adjustment Factor (PCAF). The City instituted the PCAF in 2013 to allow for adjustment of electric bills to match wholesale power prices.
Wholesale Power Prices Directly Affect the PCAF
The City purchases its power from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). Like the cost of most commodities, wholesale power prices can fluctuate. The City adjusts the PCAF in accordance with our actual costs of purchasing power from IMEA.
The PCAF can result in a reduction/credit to your electric charges during periods of declining power costs, an additional charge in periods of rising power costs, or can be zero if power costs are steady and consistent with projections. Because the City’s Electric Utility does not operate to make a profit, when we purchase power from IMEA, the charges on your bill reflect the actual costs we pay.
The PCAF Has Reduced Your Electric Costs Every Month So Far in 2019
In the first half of 2019, wholesale power prices consistently dropped, so the PCAF has resulted in lower electric costs for the City’s electric customers. During the first quarter of 2019, the PCAF was (-$0.004)/kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity consumed, resulting in savings of approximately $2.80/month for the average City residential customer. The downward cost trend continued in the second quarter of 2019. The PCAF then was (-$0.006)/kWh, which resulted in even more savings, approximately $4.80/month on average for residents.
What to Expect on Your Upcoming Electric Bills
The PCAF once again will provide residents with lower electric costs from July through September. The PCAF for the third quarter will be (-$0.01)/kWh, which will result in a $10/month savings for the typical residential electric customer. By the end of the summer, the typical residential customer will have saved approximately $52.80 in electric costs, compared to base electric rates, because of the City’s decreased wholesale power costs. The City remains committed to providing efficient, quality, reliable electric service to its residents at a reasonable cost. The continued focus on energy conservation and efficient power consumption allows the City to reduce its cost to purchase power and to pass those savings on to you, its customers.
Tips for Beating the Heat
Give your air conditioner a break--for tips on keeping your house cooler during these hot days, watch this short video from the Energy Education Council. Programmable thermostats make it easier to adjust your home's temperature throughout the day to save you money. Our residential electric customers are eligible for a $50 rebate on a Nest programmable thermostat. This program is possible by a grant from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, our wholesale power supplier. Details at www.stcharlesil.gov/nest-thermostat-rebate-program.