North Fork of the Blackfoot River

Breaking Down The New Rate Design

Posted: May 1, 2022

Did you know electricity delivered to your home has to be generated at the same time you’re using it? If you think about it, when a majority of our members use electricity at the same time, it creates a peak in electric consumption. Take, for instance, road traffic. There is a peak in traffic at certain times of day – when people head to work from about 7 a.m until 9 a.m, and again when heading home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The same can be seen with electricity. These peaks happen when our members are getting ready for work, returning from the office, doing household chores, etc.

This means that during certain times of day, which we refer to as peak times, your neighbors may be using more electricity than you, and it costs the Co-op more to purchase electricity during these peaks. It costs more because of the way in which MEC is charged by our wholesale power provider, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The Co-op pays a premium for power used during BPA’s peak hours.

MEC is…

Doing The Right Thing.

  • The way the Co-op’s wholesale power provider, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), charges MEC has evolved in recent years. MEC currently pays a premium for power used during peak hours.
  • The power we purchase from BPA is not sold at a flat rate. During certain times of day, when demand for power in the region is high, the price of electricity goes up.
  • Introducing peak charges will collect these costs more accurately and fairly from our members.
  • We will collect less from members during the hours falling outside the peak.

Putting The Power In YOUR Hands.

  • The new residential peak charge will allow members to control their bills!
  • In the past, the only way to reduce your bill was to use less energy. Now, members can avoid using large appliances during peak times (7 – 10 a.m. and 6 – 9 p.m.) to lower their energy bills.

Preparing For The Future.

  • Emerging technologies are changing and will continue to impact the way our members use energy.
  • Adding a peak charge will help MEC collect costs associated with growing demand.
  • The new rate structure will ensure that homes with onsite generation, like solar panels, are charged and compensated according to the costs to serve these loads.









  • Your daily peak is the greatest hour of usage during MEC’s peak hours, measured in kilowatts (kW).
  • Your monthly peak, used for billing, is the highest daily peak during the billing period, measured in kW.
  • Your peak charge is calculated by multiplying your monthly peak by $0.27/kW.



  • In the past, the only way to reduce your energy bill was to use less energy. Now you can “level your load!”
  • Shift your energy use to off-peak hours and/or avoid using large appliances at the same time to reduce your peak and decrease your bill.


7 – 10 AM










6 –  9 PM