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FAQs

What is a kilowatt-hour?
A kilowatt-hour is equal to 1,000 watts used for one hour. Your electric energy is measured and bought in kilowatt-hours. KWH is the abbreviation often used for kilowatt-hour.
The security light I rent from the cooperative burns all the time. Is it making my electric bill higher?
No, it isn’t. Security lights owned by the cooperative and rented monthly to our members are not wired through their electric meters.
My security light doesn’t come on when it gets dark. You guys know when my light is not working don’t you?
No, we don’t. Malfunctioning security lights (burning constantly or not at all) should be reported immediately so that repairs can be made. Tri-County has no way to know if your security light is functioning properly or not.
What is the “facility charge” on my bill?
The facility charge is a fee you pay to have the facilities, everything there, ready and waiting for the switch to be turned on. If a member does not use any kilowatt-hours during the course of a month, they will still be charged a facility charge to cover the cost of that service being ready for use. It is very similar to a minimum bill for water usage or a line charge for phone service.
Why am I charged a “wholesale power cost adjustment” on my bill?
The WPCA is a fee appearing on member’s bills based on the cooperative’s wholesale power cost from Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC). When the average cost the cooperative pays on a kilowatt hour basis varies from .055 cents per kilowatt hour the increase or decrease will be shown as a line item on member’s bills. Tri-County made the decision to utilize a wholesale power cost adjustment rather than trying to guess what the correct rate change(s) would be. It is strictly a “pass through” of any variance from the 5.5 cents per KWH that the cooperative has to pay for wholesale power.
What types of things impacts the Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment?
The major factor is the prices our wholesale power provider (SIPC) has to pay for fuels such as coal, carbon and natural gas to run the power plant. Another factor is the cost to transport coal and carbon to the power plant. Sometimes SIPC has to buy power from the open market when the load exceeds their capacity to generate power or when they are unable to generate power due to expected or unexpected reasons. Obviously, other power producers are facing the same challenges regarding higher costs of fuels to generate electricity thus resulting in higher prices. Weather is another factor that impacts the WPCA. A very mild month with only a few extreme temperature days can skew our cost per KWH. An extreme temperature day can cause a high peak demand. Couple that with lower than normal usage during mild days and it results in a higher cost per KWH on the wholesale power bill.
Can I pay my bill over the internet?
Yes. Simply click this link or go to the home page of our websiteand click the “Pay Online” button and follow the instructions to register for the service.
Do you offer Budget Billing?
Yes. To learn more about our Budget Billing program click here or contact our office.
I own my own security light. Will Tri-County fix it for me if it goes out?
Yes, TCEC servicemen can repair the light. However, a nominal fee may apply to cover the cost of the trip to your location and any parts needed for the repair.
Will you conduct an energy audit in my home to determine ways I might use electricity more efficiently?
Yes. Tri-County Electric Cooperative offers free energy audits of your home to help pinpoint areas you can make improvements to your house to enhance your energy efficiency. We also offer a Certified Comfort Home program to members building new homes. Contact our Member Services Department for more details.
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