UDWI Asks Members to Brace for Rising Energy Costs
BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (Dec. 7, 2022) – Record high energy prices, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and events across the globe are having a significant impact on the cost of electricity and will affect UDWI members as we begin 2023.
Starting with February billing, UDWI expects a 4% increase for the average member, resulting in about $6.50 more per month, based on current models and trends. UDWI has been proactive to cut costs across all areas so that the co-op absorbs as much of the cost increase as possible, however, it cannot sustain operations with the current price of energy without members sharing in some of the cost.
UDWI purchases its electricity from Hoosier Energy, a generation and transmission co-op. Electric generation requires a fuel source, primarily natural gas, and coal. Coal prices are up nearly 300% since this time last year, and natural gas prices have increased more than 100% year-over-year. This has resulted in wholesale power prices increasing more than 175%.
“There are certain strategies we can implement to minimize rate changes, but our costs will always be variable and dependent on fuel sources and the market price of power,” said UDWI CEO Doug Childs. “In July 2022, the power cost we paid to Hoosier Energy increased by 6%, compared to the previous quarter. We were aware at that time additional increases may be coming and began to work even harder to ensure the impact was minimal to our members.”
Unfortunately, due to the cost of power from Hoosier energy, UDWI has no option but to pass this cost directly to members. UDWI does not, and will not, benefit from this increase, as it will be used to pay Hoosier Energy for the power that is purchased for our members.
The UDWI website contains suggestions and tips on ways members can continue to be mindful of daily electric usage and how to save energy around the house. Several programs are available to help members optimize energy consumption like budget billing, and daily usage monitoring via the UDWI smartphone app or website. There are also assistance programs to help pay for utility bills, including the federal Energy Assistance Program.
The global nature of power supply costs is making it difficult to predict with certainty how long prices may remain elevated. However, UDWI expects the challenging environment to continue into the foreseeable future, possibly the next few years as prices around us continue to rise for most goods and services.
“We will continue to work for our members and do what is within our power to help control costs,” said Childs. “Prices are up on nearly everything from gas to groceries, and we understand that the overall effects of inflation are hitting everyone hard. We are here and we are listening.” Members can visit UDWI’s website (https://www.udwiremc.com) or call the office at (812-384-4446) for more information.