Ask Bob – March 2023

Bob Pierce headshot

Bob Pierce answers questions about energy efficiency, consumer products, and cooperative governance. He is Clearwater Power’s Chief Operating Officer and welcomes your questions on our Ask Bob page.

Q: Why is my January bill higher than my December bill, even though I used less kilowatt-hours?

A: In December 2022, Clearwater Power Co. had a temporary rate reduction, which made your December bill much lower than normal.

Your January billing was calculated at the normal rate, causing it to appear higher in comparison.

The December rate reduction was influenced by stronger-than-anticipated sales in 2022. Since we are a not-for-profit cooperative, our board of directors chose to give some of those margins back to the members in the form of a rate reduction on the December bill.

For one month only, the energy charge was reduced by 25%. The reduction in your December bill is equivalent to an instant rebate—money in your pocket right during the holiday season. Your January billing cycle is back to normal rates, and the good news is we don’t plan to have any rate increases in 2023.

Your cooperative also gives back money in other ways.

Every year since 1988, the board of directors has approved sending checks to members who have capital credits on our books. This has totaled more than $15 million returned to CPC members and former members. Capital credits are one of the great differences between a cooperative utility and other investor-owned utilities.