2023 Electric Rates

If you were unable to attend a town hall meeting, please view the video below. 


Notice is hereby given that Bandera Electric Cooperative, Inc. (the “Cooperative”) intends to change rates for electric service. Pursuant to Texas Utilities Codes Section 41.061 the Cooperative has adopted a resolution approving and adopting the rate changes. The rate changes are effective August 1, 2023, or as soon thereafter as may be allowed by law.

The proposed rate change is described as follows:

Rate Schedule Old Availability New Availability Difference Old Demand New Demand Old Distribution New Distribution Old Energy New Energy
General Service Single Phase $25.00 $30.00 $5.00     0.021358 0.032080 0.067075 0.066706
Residential Single Phase TBU $25.00 $30.00 $5.00            
Summer (June - Sept)                  
Economy           0.021358 0.032080 *0.046594 0.036080
Normal           0.021358 0.032080 *0.052589 0.047199
Peak           0.021358 0.032080 *0.122955 0.133487
Non-Summer (Oct - May)                  
Economy           0.021358 0.032080 *0.053025 0.048834
Normal           0.021358 0.032080 *0.059130 0.056682
Peak           0.021358 0.032080 *0.067414 0.069980
General Service Three Phase $35.00 $42.50 $7.50     0.019442 0.027000 0.067075 0.074000
Irrigation Single Phase $25.00 $30.00 $5.00 $1.55 $3.55     0.077075 0.079600
Irrigation Three Phase $35.00 $42.50 $7.50 $1.55 $3.55     0.077075 0.079600
Large Power $72.50 $77.50 $5.00 $4.20 $6.88     0.065900 0.064950
Street Lighting $25.00 $30.00 $5.00     0.021358 0.032080 0.067075 0.043140
Area Lighting                  
100 Watt HPS (Plus kWh) *$12.50 $13.94 $1.19            
250 Watt HPS (Plus kWh) *$20.75 $22.24 $1.70            
50 Watt LED $10.00 $11.20 $1.20            
80 Watt LED $11.00 $12.32 $1.32            
100 Watt LED $14.00 $15.68 $1.68            
175 Watt MV (Plus kWh) *$12.75 $13.53 $0.92            
400 Watt MV (Plus kWh) $21.00 $22.24 $1.24            
*These rates reflect a correction of the rates previously published in the June 2023 issue of Texas Coop Power Magazine. 

It is anticipated that the adopted rate change will increase electric rate revenues by $8,999,974 or 13.01%.

You may obtain further information concerning the adopted rate changes by calling the Cooperative at (866) 226-3372.

Rate Change FAQs

Q: What is BEC’s main reason for the rate change?
A: To recover the utility’s fixed costs - operations, inventory, maintenance, repair, and administration overhead through the monthly availability charge, the distribution charge and demand charge. The energy charge is based on the co-op’s energy costs from our wholesale provider, LCRA, whose rates will increase on July 1. BEC will absorb the rate increase from LCRA for the first month. 

Q: Why the need to change?
A:  The last electric rate change was made in 2013. Since the last rate change, the cost to operate the cooperative has increased. For example, energy costs have increased 15.8% since 2022 and are projected to increase another 8% over the next three years. Winter Storm Uri cost the cooperative $18 million dollars and was absorbed by the cooperative.

Q: When was the last rate change?
A: A cost-of-service study was performed in 2013 resulting in a change of rates beginning September 1, 2013. Bandera Electric Cooperative works diligently to control costs, and we have kept our rates stable for the last ten years. However, the most recent cost-of-service study indicated the need to update our rate structure to ensure that each member pays their fair share.

Q: Who determines when a rate change is necessary and by how much?
A: The Cooperative’s Board of Directors and executive staff continuously monitor the financial stability of the organization to determine if or when a rate increase is necessary. To establish the new rate structure, an independent, experienced firm reviewed and recommended changes to our rates.

Q: What is the effective date of the new rates and when will I see this reflected on my bill?
A: The new rates will be effective August 1, 2023, and will be reflected on your bill thereafter.

Q: Do members have a voice to express their opinions about the rate changes? How will members continue to have a voice in future rate revisions?
A: The Cooperative’s Board of Directors are elected by members to represent their interests and those of the cooperative. The board works to see that BEC operates conservatively and is efficient in its operations and management, making decisions after considering the best interests of all co-op members. The board thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the proposals. Members may reach out to board members at any time via email to express their concerns. The board members’ email addresses are available on our website.

Q: Did rates change because of the deployment of BEC Fiber, Apolloware or the Energy Saver Program?
A: No. The implementation of a rate increase is due to the economics of running BEC. The cost- of-service study examined the cooperative’s overall costs for poles, wires, hardware, materials, insurance, and additional items that allow Bandera Electric Cooperative to operate. Both BEC Fiber and Apolloware in conjunction with sophisticated devices on the grid have aided in keeping costs down by allowing BEC to analyze and troubleshoot outages more quickly and effectively.
Q: Traditionally capital credits are returned to members; can BEC keep that money instead of increasing rates?
A: Bandera Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electric cooperative. Our not-for profit status as well as our bylaws mandate that any margins (profits) made by the cooperative must be allocated to the membership in the form of capital credits. Annually, a portion of these amounts are retired.

Q: Does BEC anticipate another rate change next year or in the next five years?
A: No. The results of the Cost of Service Study, which is the industry accepted best practice for determinationof rate design and structure, suggests no further rate adjustments will be required within the next 5 years; hence, we do not anticipate any further changes. 

Q: What is BEC doing to keep costs down?
A: Bandera Electric does everything we can to keep costs down. Rates have not increased since 2013. We have absorbed $18 million in power costs from Storm Uri. We strive to operate efficiently while adhering to our commitment of providing affordable, high quality and reliable electric service. We continuously evaluate our operations to keep rates as low as possible by:
▪ Managing our power supply contracts.
▪ Implementing beneficial technology, such as our outage management system and distribution automation, to help control costs, provide operational efficiencies and increase reliability.
▪ Competitively bidding contracts to ensure quality service at the best possible price; and
▪ Ongoing evaluation of our day-to-day operations for opportunities to improve and gain proficiencies.

Q: What can I do to manage and reduce my electric costs, and can BEC provide any assistance in this area?
A: Bandera Electric Cooperative offers several ways to help members manage their electric bills. These services include using power more efficiently as well as flexible payment options, such as levelized billing and auto-bank draft, community solar farm subscriptions and time of use billing. Also, eligible BEC members can make upgrades to their home or business to save energy and money through BEC’s Energy Saver Program. Members may find helpful information about this program by calling our office – 866-226-3372 or visiting our website - Energy Saver Program | Bandera Electric Cooperative. There are also other resources like AACOG’s weatherization program and LIHEAP. All their information is also on our website.

Q: What is the availability charge on my bill?
A: The availability charge covers expenses associated with having a service available at your home or business, including billing, repairs, meter testing and maintenance. The charge ensures that expectations for continuous power and outstanding member services are met. It gives each member a fair and equal share of the cooperative’s operations. It provides funds that must be invested back into the cooperative to maintain the quality, reliability, and integrity of service that our members have traditionally counted on and come to expect.

Q: Why is the availability charge not raised the same $5 across the board? 
A: The cost to provide electric service to different classes of members varies and thus, the availability charge is different. For example, a member with three-phase services requires more power at times than a member with single-phase service. BEC provides additional larger transformers and two additional wires to a three-phase member which costs more. Thus, the availability charge is higher for members with a three-phase service.

Q: What is the distribution charge
A: The distribution charge covers the cooperative’s costs to deliver power to your home or business, including costs to maintain substations, rights-of-way, poles, and distribution lines that deliver electricity to you.

Q: Why is the distribution charge going up?
A: The distribution charge is increasing because the costs to operate the cooperative are increasing. This charge covers costs like salaries, insurance, contractors to maintain BEC’s distribution system.

Q: What is PPCA? And why does BEC use it?
A: The purchased power cost adjustment (PPCA), previously known as the fuel cost adjustment in previous years, is a fee that utility companies, including electric cooperatives, charge their customers to help cover the costs of generating and delivering electricity. Basically, the amount of money it takes to make and transport electricity can go up or down depending on things like the cost of fuel, maintenance expenses, and other factors. When these costs go up, the cooperative might charge customers a little extra to help cover the difference. Similarly, when these costs go down, the cooperative might give members credit.

Imagine you’re a cowboy, and you need a new pair of boots. Sometimes the price of leather or other materials needed to make boots goes up, and the store might have to charge a little more to make up for it. In the same way, a power cost adjustment is a way for the cooperative to make sure they have enough money to keep providing electricity, even when their costs go up.

Q: What is the demand charge and why is it increasing?
A: The demand charge represents the amount of energy consumed during either a 15 or 60-minute interval. Commercial and industrial customers are charged a demand charge because the cooperative must maintain enough generation and distribution capacity to meet the needs of all customers at any time. Members that draw a lot of power over short periods of time contribute more to the costs of building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure for peak times. Like other costs, the costs for building and maintaining substations and power lines are increasing.

Q: Will the avoided cost payment to members with distributed generation like solar and wind change?
The board will review the avoided cost payments in the June 2023 board meeting.

Q: Will the new rates change the cost of my outdoor light?
A: Yes, the rate changes are below:
Type of Light Old Rate New Rate Difference
100 Watt HPS $12.50 $13.94 1.44
250 Watt HPS $20.75 $22.24 1.49
50 Watt LED $10.00 $11.20 1.20
80 Watt LED $11.00 $12.32 1.32
100 Watt LED $14.00 $15.68 1.68
175 Watt MV $12.75 $13.53 0.78
400 Watt MV $21.00 $22.24 1.24