A message from David Schremp – General Manager/CEO, Ozark Border Electric Cooperative
We have just come through one of the longest, most bitter cold snaps we have experienced in several years. The frigid weather pattern set in on Christmas Day and did not really break until January 18th. There were a few times the temperatures were tolerable during the day but the nights were consistently miserable, with actual temperatures dropping to single digits and wind chills below zero. Many people have said they had several days during this time when their heat ran 24 hours a day without ever shutting off.
Ozark Border’s power is supplied by Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. Associated Electric’s three-tiered system delivers power to 51 distribution cooperatives (like Ozark Border) in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Associated Electric tracks the electric usage demand on an hourly basis. They have determined that all-time system usage peaks were set FOUR times in January 2018. This means record amounts of electricity were sold on a specific day in January, and this record was broken three times after that; all in one month.
What does this mean for Ozark Border members? The bills that will arrive in mailboxes in early February will be based on usage from December 21st to January 21st. This coincides with the period during which we had to endure the frigid temperatures. We fully expect these bills could be some of the largest our members have ever experienced.
It is important to remember that Ozark Border has not raised rates since September 2016. The increased bills you see in February are not the result of any changes in the rates – it is solely due to the extreme increase in usage during this bitter cold period. We have posted items on our Facebook page and website to make people aware of the increased usage, as well as tips and helpful hints to lower usage. We also recommend downloading our SmartHub app. SmartHub is an easy and convenient way to monitor your daily usage, compare usage month to month, pay your bill, and report outages. Instructions on how to download the app are available on our website at www.ozarkborder.org or in the monthly Rural Missouri publication.
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Rural Missouri is the statewide publication of MO’s electric cooperatives. Each month they bring you the people and places of this great state and celebrate the good life that all rural Missourians enjoy.