Any upward rate adjustments, even modest increases, are unwelcomed news for all of us at Modern Electric Water Company (Modern). We understand the value of the dollar, and the impact that even a small rate increase can have on our customers.  Unfortunately, the costs to deliver power to homes and businesses have risen, and to be able to continue to offer the lowest rates in the area, a rate increase is necessary at this time.

Modern’s staff performed a rate-review analysis of all operating costs during this pandemic year. The effects of COVID-19 have been far and wide; the analysis showed the primary factors for increased costs to Modern, and its customers, are materials and supplies, wholesale power and transmission, business and environmental compliance, and fish and wildlife mitigations.

After much deliberation, Modern Electric Water Company’s Board of Directors is announcing a rate increase effective on all bills rendered on or after November 1st, 2020. Residential customers will see an increase of approximately 1/10 of a cent per kWh. For the average residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, this increase will add $1.03 to their monthly electric bill. Commercial electric customers will see an increase of 1/10 of a cent for the first 5,000 kWh per month and 2/10 of a cent for consumption over 5,000 kWh per month.

One way to offset the rate increase is to lower your electric usage by applying no-cost energy conservation practices.  Good habits of turning off lights when not needed, opening the curtains during cold weather on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the room, and remembering to close the curtains at night, lowering the temperature of thermostats and hot water heaters, along with unplugging devices that use standby power can lower your energy usage.  Additionally, energy efficiency can be achieved by taking advantage of new technology.  To assist our customers with the cost of upgrading or replacing existing items with new qualified energy efficient products, Modern, in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), offers numerous rebates.  To support its conservation rebate efforts, Modern has joined forces with Efficiency Services Group (ESG) which specializes in consulting, implementing, and managing energy efficiency programs.  For more rebate information, please  click here to be taken to our Energy Efficiency page, call 1-888-883-9879 or email rebates@esgroupllc.com

Please be assured that Modern has made every effort to keep its rate increases to a minimum while maintaining financial integrity, covering increased costs, and balancing out shares between service use and revenues amongst customers. Modern is committed to offering you the quality of service you expect and deserve.

As a not-for-profit, customer-owned utility, Modern is dedicated to providing affordable, safe, reliable, and efficient services at the most economic price. Please note that despite these rate changes, Modern’s customers still enjoy lower rates than other electric utilities in the greater Spokane area. For more information on the new rate structure please visit Modern’s Rate Schedule page at https://modernelectricwater.com/rate-schedules/.

 Change to Past Due Fee

To equably serve all our customers, service fees are in place to allow for associated business costs to be charged and paid for by the customers incurring the expense. Effective November 1st, 2020, the Past Due Fee on delinquent accounts will be assessed at 2% of the amount past due, or $5.00, whichever value is greater.  For your convenience, payments may be made online at modernelectricwater.com for immediate posting to account(s). Please note, after-hour payments for residential customers can only be made online.

New Residential Auxiliary Rate Code

Modern Electric Water Company’s Board of Directors voted at the October 2020 board meeting to approve the addition of the new Residential Auxiliary Rate Code Schedule 35x.  This new code applies to the secondary meters on parcels where the primary meter serves the residential dwelling.  For example, this would apply to meters on shops, sheds, swimming pools, etc. The monthly basic charge for these meters will increase by $5.00 per month.

Rate Code 35x will go into effect on December 1, 2020. Typically, auxiliary meters are do not have the same energy use as the true primary residential meter and are considered non-essential for dwelling purposes.  One way to keep use-based energy rates as close to “cost” (low) as possible for everyone is to attribute Modern’s ever-increasing fixed cost to only the fixed portion of customers’ bills. The additional cost to the auxiliary meter’s basic charge allows Modern to help recover some costs from non-essential services while keeping the larger number of residential services unaffected.