What does the basic charge cover?

Overhead transformer

$4.7 Million: Overhead transformers (25 kVa) cost $625 a piece, and TWEC has 7,605 of them on our system.

When you flip the light switch on, you don’t want to think about what it takes to get that light on, you just want the room to be brighter.
When you plug in your cell phone, you don’t think about the miles of electric wires or poles or transformers it takes to get you the power you need, you just want your phone to turn on.
But, you might start thinking about those things when your monthly bill comes, and you see that Basic Charge and wonder, what is that?
The basic charge offsets the cost of maintaining reliable electric service to our members. This charge covers maintenance of poles, wires, transformers, meters, substations, and equipment, among many other expenses that are necessary to make sure your lights stay on.

bucket truck

$1.5 Million: Bucket trucks cost about $190,000 per truck, and TWEC has 5 large bucket trucks and 3 digger units.

The charge is the same within each rate class for members, regardless of the amount of electricity they use.
TWEC has 2 primary sources to collect money and pay our bills: the basic charge and the kWh rate. In simplest terms, the kWh rate pays for the power and the basic charge covers the expenses to get you the power. A basic charge that is fair to all members helps offset decreased revenue brought on by the kWh sales that are impacted by changes in the weather.
TWEC does regular cost of service rate studies to help determine and make adjustments to the basic charge.
Some examples of our costs, include approximately $1 million invested in new residential meters.  TWEC has installed more than 8,000 residential meters, and more than 11,500 meters overall in the past year.  We also invested $1 million in the new Sebeka substation.  TWEC will be building another new substation in 2017, and we have 14 substations on our system.

Installed pole

$44,000-57,000: The approximate cost PER MILE OF LINE (depending on type of electrical wire and type of poles) which includes the cost of electrical wire, poles, hardware, labor, and equipment. TWEC has 20 poles per mile on our system and 2,250 miles of line.

The photos show a few more examples of what it costs to keep the power on at your house, but there is much more going on behind the scenes that members don’t see, that keep your system running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Check HERE for more on the value of electricity.

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