WREA rates to rise 3.17 percent on Jan.1

MEEKER — As temperatures go down, White River Electric Association customers’ rates will go up.
WREA announced a 3.17 percent rate increase in a recent mailing to customers. The new rate takes effect Jan. 1.
The price hike is “based on a pass-through analysis based upon our wholesale rate increase,” the notice to customers said.
The supplier, Tri State G&T, increased its wholesale rate 3.93 percent, according to the WREA letter. Tri State has been WREA’s wholesale power supplier for the last five years.
“This equates to an increase of approximately $1.53 a month for an average home consuming 700 kW of electricity,” the WREA notice stated about the rate increase. “WREA has several different customer rate classes and each rate class will be impacted differently by the increase.”
Dick Welle, general manager of WREA, said the association is committed to trying to control costs of providing electricity to customers.
“The management and board of directors of White River Electric Association will continue to make every effort to provide consumers with reliable electric service at a reasonable cost,” Welle said.
According to a WREA news release, the wholesale rate increase is in response to Tri State’s “overall increasing costs and its need to acquire and construct additional generation to meet the growth in its four state regions (Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming).”
Welle said the increase was not due to the growth in oil and gas development in the Piceance Basin.
“As indeterminate load customers, large industrial customers pay for the costs associated with their infrastructure requirements,” Welle said.
Welle said rate stability remains a priority with WREA.
“But the reality is overall costs are on the rise and, unfortunately, Tri State has to pass those costs on to the consumers,” Welle said. “Rate increases are not pleasant, particularly in our current economy, but they are a reality that we all must endure.”