Q: What is the facilities charge on my power bill?
Clearwater Power Company’s service territory is more rural and has a lower population density than the typical investor owned utility (IOU) that serves in urban areas. Because of this sparse density (averaging only 3.6 members per mile of power line), only about 40% of your power bill goes to the actual purchase of electrical energy...
The other half goes to maintenance of the power lines, poles, substations, rights-of-way and the other fixed costs of operating the utility including depreciation, interest expense, insurance, taxes, trucks and equipment, billing, administrative and miscellaneous services. The facilities charge is a contribution toward those fixed costs of operation and maintenance.
The amount of electricity you use may vary from month to month but these facilities costs are fixed. They occur whether you use the power or not. According to a recent analysis at Clearwater Power, the facilities cost for each residential account averages a little more than $78 per month, per account. At Clearwater Power, we compromise and only charge a facilities charge of $19.75 per month (This fee will increase to $21.75 per month effective January 1st, 2014). The rest of the fixed costs of operation and maintenance must be recovered in the energy rate.