By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
The City of Hoisington is able to generate its own electric power and does so to approximately 1,600 customers. The city purchases wholesale power from Western Electric and then distributes the power to citizens.
Over the years, there have been various questions regarding electric bills from residents. Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell said there are three parts that make up an electric bill. There is a meter charge (customer access charge) which is $21 to tie into the city’s network. Then there is a base rate, for each kilowatt hour a customer pays 13.25 cents. Finally there is a power cost adjustment (PCA).
Mitchell said the city wants to be transparent with how residents are charged.
"We try to be very transparent," said Mitchell. "We try to put a lot of information on the city's website. We've tried to put a little bit out on Facebook as well. There's a lot of information to push out. There are lots of questions. If you have any, feel free to give us a call at the office."
A portion of the 13.25 cents charged per kilowatt hour goes toward maintenance of the system, equipment and staff. Another portion of the rate is applied to the city’s cost of purchasing power.
"Of that 13.25 cents, we have allocated 5.437 cents to go toward buying power," said Mitchell. "Anytime we have to pay more for power than than, it's passed on to our customers as a power cost adjustment. So if we're spending two cents more than what we allocated of our base rate, your PCA would essentially be two cents."
On the flip side, if the cost to purchase electricity from Western Electric goes below the city’s base rate, those savings are passed on to the customers in the PCA.
The City of Hoisington owns and maintains roughly 36 miles of distribution lines, mostly overhead lines and some underground lines.