The mission of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation is to provide safe, reliable power at the lowest possible cost. And since BEMC is a cooperative, we are driven by cost, not profit. Our board and staff have worked to keep costs as low as possible, and because of this the energy usage rate we charge you has not changed since 2008.
Many factors are considered when setting rates, but the most important are producing sufficient revenue to cover annual costs and continuing to maintain and improve the reliability of the electric system, while balancing the needs of our members. In order to do this well into the future, BEMC has determined the need to adjust the rates our members pay.
Here are the changes that will affect all residential members beginning April 1, 2020:
1Base Facility Charge
This fee helps pay for the upkeep of equipment, facilities and right-of-way programs. All members pay this fee regardless of how much energy they use each month. The base facility charge ensures all members have an equal share in the cost of operating the cooperative. In April, monthly billed members will see this charge increase from $23.00 to $29.75 per month. Prepay members will see this charge increase from $26.00 to $29.75 per month. This is a $6.75 increase for monthly billed members and a $3.75 increase for Prepay members. Prior to April 1, 2020 Prepay members paid $3 more per month for the base facility charge due to the equipment requirements for this program. Technology and equipment have evolved over time, removing the need for the additional charge. Beginning April 1, Prepay will no longer have its own rate schedule; it will simply be a billing option in the standard rate schedule.
2Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment (WPCA)
BEMC determines a projected cost for power that will be purchased from North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC). The WPCA charge is implemented when the actual or projected cost of power from NCEMC exceeds the cost of purchased power recovered in our retail rate schedules. This charge helps maintain the financial integrity of the cooperative when the cost of purchased power increases. Prior to April 1, 2020, the WPCA was made up of a rider of $0.00474 per kWh and a TIER adjustment of $0.00257 per kWh. This was listed on the bill as a total charge of $0.00731 per kWh. Under the new rate schedule, the rider has decreased to $0.00 per kWh and the TIER adjustment has been eliminated, which means members will no longer see this item on their monthly bill. The WPCA rider will only change in the future if approved by the board.
3Energy Usage Rate
As of April 1, the rate members pay for energy they use is $0.10220 per kWh. This is an increase from the previous rate of $0.09690 per kWh, a difference of $0.0053 per kWh.
4Coal Ash Management Rider (CAMA)
In 2014, North Carolina passed the Coal Ash Management Act requiring Duke Energy to close its 32 coal ash ponds across the state. A portion of those costs have been passed down to Duke Energy’s wholesale customers. As a distribution electric cooperative, BEMC purchases our power through NCEMC which is a wholesale customer of Duke Energy. The coal ash management costs have been passed down to each electric cooperative in the state. As a not-for-profit utility, all costs of our business flow directly through to our members, which is why our board worked to keep this fee as low as possible to minimize the impact on our members. As of April 1, members will see a charge of $0.00333 per kWh added to their bill for coal ash management. This charge was part of the WPCA since May 2018, but to ensure transparency in our rates, BEMC’s board has elected to make this a separate line item on the bill.
The REPS Rider is not changing April 1, it will remain $0.20 per month for residential members.