While 2020 has been a difficult year for all, retail and wholesale customers of Nebraska Public Power District have some good news ahead for 2021. During Thursday’s monthly meeting of the NPPD Board of Directors electric rates for 2021 will remain stable from 2020.
For the eighth consecutive year, NPPD retail customers will see no increase, on average, for the upcoming year effective this February. At the same time, wholesale customers (public power districts and municipalities) that purchase electricity from NPPD will see a fourth consecutive year with no base rate increase.
“As we all know, many Nebraskans have had to face some difficult economic times during this prolonged pandemic. Our team has worked hard at cost controls and increasing efficiencies in our operations to meet our obligation of providing affordable electricity to our customers.” said NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “While we have been able to achieve many of our goals, at no time have we impacted service, reliability, or jeopardized the safety of our employees and customers.”
And adding to no rate increases for 2021 on the wholesale side, rural public power districts and municipalities will see a production cost adjustment (PCA) credit providing a one-year average bill reduction of 10.2 percent below base rates for the next year, beginning in February and ending in January 2022. NPPD’s Board voted to return $73.2 million in rate stabilization funds back to its wholesale customers – 46 municipalities and 24 rural public power districts and rural cooperative – through the PCA.
NPPD will enter an eighth year without a base rate increase for its retail customers which includes residential, commercial and industrial customers in 79 communities in NPPD’s service territory such as Scottsbluff, Kearney, York, Norfolk and Plattsmouth. Those NPPD retail customers who receive a bill directly from NPPD will continue to see a PCA credit on their monthly bill between February 2021 through January 2022, which results in an average bill reduction of approximately two to four percent below base rates depending on the customer class and electrical usage.
“Our wholesale electric rates continue to be very competitive when compared to more than 800 other power suppliers we benchmark against,” Kent pointed out. “On the retail side, NPPD has kept its electric rates stable for end-use customers for seven years straight and 2021 will make it eight years.”
NPPD benchmarks its wholesale rate with roughly 800 members of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation’s (CFC) on a yearly basis. Several years ago, NPPD established a goal of being in CFC’s lowest quartile (below the 25 percentile mark) and was at the 29.5-percentile mark in the most recent benchmarking conducted in 2019. “We continue to be close and will work towards reaching that goal in the future,” Kent added.