Understanding the Power Cost Adjustment
Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative (SREC) is a not-for-profit electric utility. We're committed to delivering reliable, cost-effective power to our consumer-members.
You may have noticed the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) line item on your monthly bill. The PCA provides a monthly adjustment dependent on any differences in the base cost of wholesale power. Co-op members may see a power cost adjustment (PCA) on electric bills. A PCA is either a charge or credit.
A PCA helps manage the fluctuating (increasing or decreasing) costs to purchase power. Members may see a PCA credit or charge on electric bills, depending on the wholesale power market.
SREC purchases electricity each month from our power supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) at a wholesale cost to meet the needs of our members. The cost of wholesale power is a significant expense of providing electric service to the homes and businesses we locally serve.
When the cost to purchase power in our regional energy market is significantly more or less than anticipated, our wholesale power provider, DPC, passes the difference to SREC, and we pass a charge or credit to our members.
Members receive a PCA credit or charge based on the actual amount of energy used during a billing cycle.
1. We are seeing higher costs to generate power because natural gas and coal prices are high; both natural gas and coal are used as fuel to generate electricity. In addition, many coals plants are in conservation mode due to inadequate coal supplies caused by rail shipping.
2. Transmission lines that move renewable energy from where it is generated to where it is needed are congested. This raises energy market prices.
3. In the fall and spring, electricity needed by consumers is lower and power plants use this time to conduct much needed maintenance before winter and summer peak seasons. These scheduled outages for maintenance lower the power supply, which increase prices on the energy market.
Yes. As the wholesale cost of power fluctuates with supply chain, high demand and inflation challenges, SREC members are seeing—and will continue to see—more frequent power cost adjustments on their electric bills—either as a charge or a credit.
Beat the Peak, when regional demand and costs are high on the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter.
Reducing peak demand helps reduce the wholesale price SREC pays for electricity—and PCAs, which helps hold your rate steady and reduces the need for power generation, which cuts carbon.
• Reduce electricity during peak periods.
• Raise your thermostat 4 degrees in the summer, lower it in the winter.
• Wash laundry and dishes before or after peak periods.
• Shut off lights and electronics when not in use.
• Use solar power to line dry clothes.
• Use a grill or microwave for cooking, instead of oven and stove in the summer.
• Avoid watering outside and running your well during peak times.
• Check for air leaks and caulk around doors, windows and wherever pipes and wires enter your house.
• Do the Summer Shift: Reduce electricity when demand and cost are highest across the region, summer weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
We know times are tough as the cost of gasoline, groceries and other essential needs are rising. SREC is doing everything possible to keep internal costs down, but we can’t control rising fuel costs that are impacting the country.
Click here for a list of local agencies which may be able to assist you further. Your household may also be eligible for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, based on income and size. Call 1-866-432-8947 for more details or visit them at the WHEAP website.
Lastly, our partner, Focus on Energy, offers many free and reduced products that may help you to reduce energy use and save money.