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Posted on: March 24, 2021

Information about the current Harrisonville electric utility billing and usage situation

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UPDATE FROM MAY 24, 2021:

The City of Harrisonville would like to update you about the current electric utility billing and usage situation.

Following what meteorologists have called a “polar vortex” in late February, the City saw incredible cost increases to power purchased by our energy provider (Missouri Public Utility Alliance), causing the City’s electric invoice to jump by nearly $1 million for the month.

On March 15, the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen voted to pay the overage cost of the increased invoice out of the reserves in the City’s Electric Fund, without taking on any new financed debt; and to subsidize a portion of the cost affecting City of Harrisonville utility customers.

During their meeting on April 19, the Board voted to subsidize the cost affecting utility customers by $500,000. The funds will be made available by delaying electric fund projects that were scheduled for this year.  This effectively splits the total increase in half, with the other portion of the funds to be collected as a supply-cost adjustment, based upon usage over a period of eight months.

This new cost will appear as a separate line on each customer’s monthly utility bill, beginning with the May bill that should arrive at the end of May and is due on June 1st. . 

As an estimate for what this cost will look like, please see the scenarios below reflecting approximate billing for a low-usage customer, a medium-usage customer and a high-usage customer.  The additional supply cost adjustment will be based on usage at a rate of $0.0083 per kilowatt consumed.  So just less than a penny.  

  • A usage of 1000 KW would see an increase to the bill of $8.30.  
  • A usage of 2000 KW would see an increase to the bill of $16.60.  
  • A usage of 3000 KW would see an increase to the bill of $24.90.  

These estimates are above the standard rate and energy charges that you will normally see. (Please understand that these numbers are estimates and are not guarantees of the exact cost that will appear on your bill.)

Once the cost is fully recovered, the extra supply-cost adjustment will stop being collected.

We have appreciated your patience during this time and your dedication to a strong and exciting future for the City of Harrisonville.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

   Dear Harrisonville Utility Customers,

The City of Harrisonville would like to make you aware of the current electric utility billing and usage situation.

As you may recall, a large portion of the United States, including Harrisonville, was hit by what meteorologists are calling a “polar vortex” in late February.

This storm caused incredible cost increases to power purchased by our energy provider the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. The extreme cold brought on by the storm caused the demand for electricity to exceed supply. These market pressures caused a steep increase in the price for electricity, as electric prices went from $20/megawatt hour to over $4,000/MWh.

This massive increase in the cost of electricity caused the City’s electric invoice to jump by nearly $1 million for this month which is approximately 3 times higher than normal

In response to the invoice, the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen held a special meeting on March 11. They voted to pay the entire cost of the bill out of the reserves in the City’s Electric Fund, without taking on any new financed debt; and to subsidize a portion of the cost affecting City of Harrisonville utility customers.

The guidance from the board to staff was to develop an additional Supply Cost Adjustment calculation to recover the additional power cost over a period of time. Once the cost is recovered then the additional Supply Cost Adjustment would sunset. Staff do not plan to burden customers by placing the full amount of extra cost on one single month’s bill. We understand that would be an unrealistic expectation for our customers. The City plans to spread any overage cost across multiple months. Once these decisions have been finalized, we will be sure to provide you with more detailed information.

Unfortunately, at this time, electricity prices have not fully returned to where they were before the polar-vortex event, so it is likely that the City will see further elevated invoices. We are cautiously optimistic that further invoices will not be near as high as the invoice received in February. 

Any final decisions about the payment of the increased electrical invoices will be made by the Board of Aldermen and not by City staff. 

To watch Harrisonville Board of Aldermen meetings, click on the “Watch City Meetings” link in the “Government” section of www.harrisonville.com.

          Sincerely,

   City of Harrisonville

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