What is the power cost adjustment (PCA) on my electric bill?
When the cost to purchase power in our regional energy market is significantly more or less than anticipated, our wholesale power provider, Dairyland Power Cooperative, passes the difference to Polk-Burnett, and we pass a charge or credit to our members. See Q&As below for more details.
Co-op members may see a power cost adjustment (PCA) on electric bills from time to time. A PCA is either a charge or credit.
In April and July 2022 for example, members saw a PCA charge to cover the higher cost of power.
In April through December 2021, members saw a PCA credit when the power supply market was favorable.
A PCA is a rate mechanism that helps Polk-Burnett manage fluctuating purchased power costs. Members may see a PCA credit or charge on electric bills, depending on the wholesale power market.
When the cost to purchase power in our regional energy market is significantly more or less than anticipated, our wholesale power provider, Dairyland Power Cooperative, passes the difference to Polk-Burnett, and we pass a charge or credit to our members. (Read more about MISO regional energy market below.)
As a co-op, our rates are designed to reflect actual costs, with equity for all members.
We provide transparency on electric bills with a PCA, so our members know what you are paying for.
Members receive a PCA credit or charge based on the actual amount of energy used during a billing cycle. For example, the PCA charge on July 2022 electric bills was one-half of one cent ($0.005544) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) used in May 2022.
That would be an extra $5.54 for the average Polk-Burnett member using 1,000 kWh per month.
We are seeing an all-time high price for natural gas, as well as challenges with coal deliveries; both are used in the generation of electricity.
Yes. As the wholesale cost of power fluctuates with supply chain, high demand and inflation challenges, Polk-Burnett members are seeing—and will continue to see—more frequent power cost adjustments on their electric bills—either as a charge or a credit.
Do the Summer Shift: Reduce electricity when demand and cost are highest across the region, summer weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Beat the Peak: Enroll to receive Peak Alerts by phone, email or text asking you to conserve when regional demand and costs are high on the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter.
Reducing peak demand helps reduce the wholesale price Polk-Burnett pays for electricity—and PCAs, which helps hold your rate steady and reduces the need for power generation, which cuts carbon.
Cut costs and carbon! Every little bit helps:
> Reduce electricity during peak periods.
> Raise your thermostat 4 degrees in the summer, lower it in the winter.
> Wash laundry and dishes before or after peak periods.
> Shut off lights and electronics when not in use.
> Use solar powered clothes line to dry clothes.
> Use grill or microwave for cooking, instead of oven and stove in the summer.
> Avoid watering outside and running your well during peak times.
> Check for air leaks and caulk around doors, windows and wherever pipes and wires enter your house.
Find more ways to lower your energy bill on our website or give us a call.
Our member services representatives are here to assist with billing questions and high electric bills M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 800-421-0283.
Polk-Burnett does not own power plants or generate its own electricity. We are a distribution cooperative that purchases wholesale power from Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative in La Crosse, Wis.
As a G&T, Dairyland sells the power it generates, and purchases the power it needs for members through MISO, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.
MISO is the regional authority that manages the electric grid for 15 states, including Wisconsin, and Manitoba Canada. It was created in 1998 and is one of seven regional transmission organizations (RTOs) in the U.S.