Pioneer Electric Cooperative Raises Rates

By John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Pioneer Electric Cooperative says its members are about to pay more for their power. Effective immediately Pioneer customers will notice an increase in the wholesale rate adjustment portion of their bills, an average of $8 more per month.

Pioneer tells WSFA 12 News their wholesale power provider, PowerSouth, recently hiked its rates to make up for increased fuel and purchased power costs. Now, Pioneer is being forced to pass those higher rates on to its customers.

PowerSouth's Board of Trustee raised rates by about $8 per 1,000 kWh back in July and is expected to raise those rates again in 2009.

Pioneer, a not-for-profit and member owned organization, says the additional revenue will not come to them. Instead the extra money will go back to PowerSouth in an effort to recover their fuel costs.

PowerSouth says it's having to purchase coal on the spot market for more than twice its budgeted cost and has seen an increase of 151% in coal costs and a 446% increase in natural gas costs.

Pioneer joins Dixie Electric Cooperative as the second energy company to hike rates this week.

When asked, Alabama Power said it was premature to talk about increased rates at this time.