Low Rates and Quality Service Too
Waunakee Utilities strives to offer water and electric rates that are not just competitive with neighboring communities - but that are affordable to our own community.
As a not-for-profit, community-owned utility, we're proud to provide quality service at a practical cost.
An overview of our current rates
What is PCAC?
PCAC stands for “power cost adjustment clause.” The PCAC provides a way for the utility to reflect the previous month’s actual cost of wholesale power (see definition) in the amount charged to customers. The bulk of the cost for wholesale power is included in the “energy charge,” but as wholesale power costs fluctuate from the amount included in the “energy charge” the PCAC reflects the difference.
Each time local rates are adjusted the average PCAC is “reset” to zero as the average wholesale power cost expected for that year is rolled into the energy charge. The longer a utility waits between local rate adjustments, the higher the PCAC can become in an environment where wholesale power costs are rising. By waiting 6 years since Waunakee Utilities last local rate adjustment, the PCAC got relatively high. This was rolled into the energy charge on March 1, 2011 and the PCAC was “reset” to an expected average of zero.
Some months the PCAC is a charge that adds to the amount of the customer’s bill. Other months the PCAC is a credit that reduces the amount of a customer’s bill. Fluctuations in the PCAC typically follow a seasonal pattern, being the highest during the winter and summer months when the demand for electricity is highest, and the lowest during the spring and fall months when the demand for electricity is lowest.
What is Wholesale Power?
Waunakee Utilities purchases all the electricity needed for the community at a wholesale power rate. The electricity is purchased through Waunakee Utilities power supplier, WPPI Energy. (Waunakee Utilities is a co-owner of WPPI Energy.)
Some of the electricity is generated with renewable resources, but the majority is generated at power plants in and out of Wisconsin that use natural gas, coal, and nuclear resources. The power is then delivered to Waunakee over a transmission system.
About 70–80% of a customer’s bill is to pay for wholesale power costs. Waunakee Utilities power supplier, WPPI Energy, works hard to keep purchased power cost as low as possible, but many of the cost increases are beyond their control.
In summary, how is PCAC related to Wholesale Power?
As described above, the bulk of the cost for wholesale power is included in the “energy charge” (a rate applied to each kilowatt-hour of electricity used by a customer) that each customer pays. As the wholesale power costs fluctuate monthly from the amount included in the “energy charge,” the PCAC reflects the difference.
Each time Waunakee Utilities adjusts its local electric rates, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission adjusts the “energy charge” to include the average wholesale power costs for that year. As a result, the average PCAC is reset to zero for the ensuing year.