Why is the Co-op implementing a demand charge?

As use of the electrical system increases and new technologies change the way residential utility customers consume energy, the way our wholesale power supplier, the Bonneville Power Administration, charges us has also changed. Flathead Electric Co-op now pays more for power during periods of time when our energy consumption is the highest. Providing and maintaining the infrastructure needed to serve the largest possible load on our system at any given time has become a more significant cost factor.

Due to this cost shift, our old rate structure was at risk of unfairly burdening some members with costs they aren’t putting on the system. In response, Flathead Electric Co-op is (as are many other utilities across the country) changing the way they charge for residential power to include a demand charge. The Board of Trustees and staff at your Co-op have put considerable research into this new rate design which more fairly collects each member’s share of the total cost and also gives members more control over their power bill.