Utilities buying power from NPPD at wholesale to see one half of one percent
Columbus, Neb. – For the second year in a row, retail customers of Nebraska Public Power District will see no increase in their electric rates beginning January 1, 2015; and wholesale utility customers of the District will see an average rate increase of only one-half of one percent. The actual percentage for wholesale customers will vary based upon the utilities’ usage characteristics.
NPPD’s Board of Directors approved the 2015 rates Friday morning during its November meeting.
President and CEO Pat Pope indicated NPPD’s efforts to reduce costs, without compromising reliability or safety, coupled with strong revenues from the District’s participation in the Southwest Power Pool’s energy market reduced the need for rate increases in both customer categories. Pope explained that more than $100 million has been taken out of the organization’s costs over the next six-year rate period.
“A couple of years ago, NPPD took a hard look at where we stacked up against other power providers across the United States,” said Pope. “And we found we weren’t where we wanted to be. I expect us to continue to be diligent about our costs, so we can get back into the best quartile – the lowest quartile – from a cost perspective. That’s where our customers expect us to be. That’s where we need to be, and we’re going to get there.”
Drivers for the one-half of one percent increase for wholesale customers center around the construction of high-voltage transmission lines needed to enhance the reliability of the state’s electric grid for all utilities and, therefore, all Nebraskans.
Earlier in the year, NPPD had anticipated a higher rate would be needed for its wholesale customers. However, NPPD was able to reduce the impact by using $12 million from a rate stabilization account.
Retail customers of NPPD receive an electric bill directly from the District and reside in communities served by NPPD. These are customers in 81 communities throughout the state, including Scottsbluff, Kearney, and Norfolk.
NPPD’s wholesale customers include rural public power districts (e.g., Cornhusker Public Power District and Dawson Public Power District) and municipalities (North Platte, Valentine, and Beatrice) that purchase power from NPPD and distribute it to their end-use electric customers.
“We are public power,” said Pope. “Returning to our position as a low-cost power provider in the region is important. Anything we can to do maximize our reliability and lower our costs gets passed on to our customers for their benefit.”
Note to news editors and directors: Video and audio clip of NPPD CEO and President Pat Pope on the retail and wholesale rates for 2015 can be downloaded at https://www.dropbox.com/s/oza344pevqdysl0/NPPD%20Pat%20Pope-Rates.mp4?dl=0
Also, a list of retail communities served by NPPD, wholesale public power districts and co-operatives, and communities can be found at https://www.nppd.com/about-us/who-we-serve/.