As some have noticed, your utility bill may have increased over the last couple of months. Increased electric usage is typical for this time of year with use of air conditioners and fans, as well as refrigerators and freezers having to work harder. Also with the higher temperatures, we see more residents watering plants and grass, or filling a pool or running the sprinkler, which will affect your water and sewer costs.
However, the Power Cost Adjustment Clause (PCAC) is also an important factor. The PCAC varies monthly depending on the wholesale cost Benton Municipal Utilities pays to purchase electricity to meet all of our customers’ needs. Since we do not own our own electric generating resources, our nonprofit utility depends on contracts with others to deliver the electricity that lights our homes and powers our businesses. The PCAC rate is determined by how much the monthly power cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) is above or below the power cost included in the base rate. This is calculated by dividing the bill from Alliant Energy (where we purchase our power) by the overall consumption in the Village, then less the base rate, which is 0.0890 per kWh. For example, in June 2022, the PCAC calculation was $56,131.18/408,493kWh= 0.1374; 0.1374—.0890= .0484. Therefore, if you used 1000 kWh’s, the PCAC charge would then be 1000X.0484= $48.40.
In general, the cost to generate power is rising throughout the utility industry. Overall increases in costs associated with producing power at the generators for consumption has seemingly caused a rise. We understand that it can be confusing and frustrating to see such an increase, but we hope this helps to explain the matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further questions, 608-759-3721.