Jump to Understanding Power Costs
MVEC does not generate power in Jordan. It’s our job to deliver electricity from our 29 substations to your home or business. The co-op purchases this electricity from three wholesale power providers:
Basin Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC): located in Bismarck, ND. BEPC is one of the largest not-for-profit electric generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives in the U. S. It is the parent company of eight subsidiaries as well. BEPC is owned by 135 member cooperatives, serving 2.8 million homes, businesses and farms in nine states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico. It was incorporated in 1961 and operates 4,400+ megawatts (MW) of wholesale electric generating capacity. MVEC became a member-cooperative in 2006. Basin’s power generation resources
Great River Energy (GRE): located in Maple Grove, MN. GRE is a not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative owned by 28 member cooperatives. Member cooperatives are located in the outer-ring suburbs of the Twin Cities up to the Arrowhead of Minnesota and down to the farmland region in the southwestern portion of the state. The member cooperatives of GRE distribute electricity to approximately 645,000 homes, businesses and farms. It is the second-largest electric power supplier in Minnesota and one of the largest G&T cooperatives in the country. GRE’s power plants produce more than 2,800 MW of generation. MVEC has been a member since GRE’s inception in 1999. GRE’s power generation resources
Alliant Energy (IP&L): headquartered in Madison, WI. IP&L generates and distributes electricity as a public utility company. Former Alliant Energy customers, who were acquired by MVEC on July 31, 2015, receive power from IP&L. It was founded in 1925 and is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation. They provide service to more than 528,000 customers. Alliant Energy’s generation resources
Understanding Power Costs
For every dollar MVEC collects from you each month for your electric service, 70¢ or more goes toward paying wholesale power costs.
Wholesale power (cost to generate the energy you use) – MVEC purchases all of its energy from two wholesale providers via long-term power purchase contracts and then delivers it to your home. This accounts for more than 70% of MVEC’s total costs. Our providers have experienced cost pressures in recent years that are likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Increasing capital costs for new transmission lines and power plants, fuel costs, EPA regulations, and Minnesota renewable energy mandates are among the main cost drivers.
Delivery cost (delivering the energy to your location) – these are MVEC costs to get the electricity to your home or business. MVEC’s Delivery costs have been very stable over the years, and we expect this trend to continue. These costs include depreciation and interest for new distribution plant, as well as operations, maintenance, and administrative expenses. MVEC has over 3,500 miles of line to maintain. As with all things, the system ages, and updates need to be done to maintain reliability for members to ensure safe and reliable electricity is being delivered to your home and business.
Renewable energy standards – Minnesota requires all the wholesale providers to have 25% of MVEC’s energy sales from renewable energy sources by 2025. This is a phased-in program. In 2010, 7% of your energy came from renewable sources. In 2021, that number is at 20%. MVEC member load is moderately increasing but at a slower pace than the mandates. The mandate creates new investments in renewable generation at a time when new sources are not needed and reduces the energy produced from existing power plants. This increases the cost of wholesale power.
Government mandates and environmental regulations – new and proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are increasing capital expenditures and operating costs. These pressures might cause premature retirement of existing low-cost coal-fueled power plants, which would drive up your electric rate. Minnesota law prohibits a utility from building a nuclear power plant, and the present law prohibits bringing in energy from new coal plants in other states. On top of this, Minnesota implemented Conservation Improvement Programs requiring utilities to show customer energy savings equivalent to 1.5% of annual retail energy sales year after year. These are new reductions each year and ongoing savings cannot be included. All utilities are pressed to find new ways to offer energy efficiencies within their customers’ homes and businesses. This reduces the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) purchased at a time when costs are increasing, resulting in higher rates per kWh.
- Diversifying power suppliers – the cooperative actively looks at ways to reduce expenses and has saved over $34 million on power costs as a result of action taken in 2006 to add a second wholesale power supplier.
- Offering money-saving programs – MVEC member programs such as Energy Wise and onsite standby generators save another $5.1 million in wholesale power costs each year by avoiding short-duration, high-cost power purchases.
- Controlling local operating costs – although the industry is changing, MVEC is holding the line on its local operating expenses and forecasts these costs to remain flat.
- Participate in MVEC’s Energy Wise and onsite standby generator programs. Both have extremely positive impacts and can offer huge savings of 10-50% off your electric rates.
- Monitor your usage with SmartHub, MVEC’s free online account application. Or look at the daily electricity usage graph on your monthly electric bill. Many factors influence energy use: behavior of household members, appliances, lighting, machinery for business applications, the number of people within your household, and weather conditions all have an impact.
- Talk to elected officials about mandates affecting the cost of electricity – visit www.ourenergy.coop for ways to participate and voice your opinions.