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Sep 29, 2022

From the Manager’s Desk - Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Rate Adjustment

Petit Jean Electric Cooperative is your local, member-owned electric energy provider. The cooperative’s purpose is not to make profits for shareholders but to provide you, the member-owners, with the most reliable electric service at an affordable cost. Due to the increasing costs of doing business today, and after careful consideration, a rate adjustment of approximately $12 per month per meter has been approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission and will be effective Oct. 1, 2022.

Like many of you and other organizations, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative has experienced higher costs over the past few years. There are some costs we can control, but many that the cooperative simply cannot. Since the cooperative is not-for-profit, we continuously seek to manage expenses and increase efficiencies in operations. However, there are some costs we simply have little or no control over, such as wholesale power costs, which are driven by the price of coal and natural gas. The price of critical power line materials (such as wire, poles, transformers, switches, etc.) has risen drastically due to post-pandemic inflation and supply constraints. We are mindful of your family and business budgets and only adjust electric rates when necessary to maintain the reliability and quality service that you expect from Petit Jean Electric Cooperative.

To put this rate adjustment into perspective, over the past 40 years, Petit Jean Electric’s service availability fee has increased from $8.46 per month in 1981 to $16.50 per month today, a cumulative $8.04 per month increase. Compared to the total national cumulative inflation rate of 259.6% from 1980 to 2022, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator (usinflationcalculator.com/#), Petit Jean Electric has operated below the national inflation rate. Today’s prices are 3.6 times higher than in 1980 ($1.00 in 1980 = $3.60 in 2022). Adjusting for inflation means that a service availability rate of $8.46 per month in 1981 would be $30.42 per month in 2022. Petit Jean Electric has operated below the average inflation rate these past 40 years. This is a testament to Petit Jean Electric’s ongoing efforts to improve operational efficiencies.

Since 1940, Petit Jean Electric has provided power to our growing number of members throughout nine counties in North Central Arkansas. We serve 20,547 members with 3,555 miles of line. We strive to provide reliable and affordable electric service to our membership. Like most rural electric cooperatives, we have the disadvantage of a low meter density in relation to the many miles of line we serve. Even with this challenge, your electric cooperative has kept rates at or below the Arkansas cooperatives average and about 20% lower than the national average for electricity. This will still be the case even with this rate adjustment.

The principle on which Petit Jean Electric was founded – to serve our local communities with reliable power at an affordable rate – is just as strong today as it was when we opened our doors more than 80 years ago. The Board of Directors and employees of Petit Jean Electric are committed to serving you, our members. As members, you do more than just trust us to provide the energy you need – you count on us.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Petit Jean Electric Cooperative at 501-745-2493 or 800-786-7618, and we will be happy to assist you.

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