As an electric cooperative, MVEA’s rates and structure are influenced by the principle that all members shall pay an equitable and reasonable investment back into the cooperative to maintain a sound financial position and reliable services. For a little over $1 per day, the grid access charge ensures each member is contributing to operating, maintaining and improving MVEA’s system for existing and future members alike.
Many services that we use in our homes or businesses have some form of a monthly charge to help cover the cost of providing the service, the infrastructure, and the support of the service. It might be called a service charge, basic charge, fixed charge or monthly minimum charge. At MVEA, we call it a grid access charge, and it offsets the cost to operate and maintain our system and to ensure our service is available to all members at the flip of a switch, independent of their monthly energy use.
What does it help offset? MVEA’s grid access charge helps offset many of the regulatory and business requirements associated with the costs of operating an electric cooperative and providing a service: the operation, repair and maintenance of MVEA’s entire system of lines (including materials), meter testing, pole inspection, tree-trimming, interest, depreciation, and property tax expenses, as well as insurance. These expenses are relatively fixed; they do not vary according to your electricity use. The advantage of having fixed costs covered by fixed charges is the ability to maintain a sound financial position and reliable services that are not influenced by fluctuating kilowatt-hour sales.