The Distribution Charge is designed to partially recover the fixed cost of building and maintaining the distribution system that delivers electric energy to cooperative members whenever they choose to “flip a switch.” Firelands Electric’s fixed cost includes meters, wires, poles, transformers, property taxes, depreciation, distribution and generation capacity and other items needed to provide electricity on demand.
The fixed cost of owning the distribution system exists whether a single kWh is delivered or not. The most fair and equitable approach for recovering this cost is to charge each member for his or her fair share of the distribution system cost each month. Basically, each member shares the cost of building the substations and installing poles and wire that make up the electric distribution system; clearing trees in the rights-of-way; installing and maintaining the transformers and meters serving each account along with all the other pieces of the total distribution system. This investment is necessary to provide the safe, reliable, high-quality electric service Firelands’ members expect and deserve.
One of the advantages of being a Firelands member is that you have cost-based rates. That means cooperative members' rates are based on the actual cost of providing electricity, not on what the market will allow. As a non-profit business, Firelands Electric Cooperative sets its pricing as close to "at cost" as possible, while maintaining a reasonable margin for maintenance, expansion, improvements and contingencies.
Firelands Electric, A Touchstone Energy Partner, is member-owned and provides electric service to approximately 9,000 member-owners. The cooperative maintains 992 miles of line in the rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain and Richland counties. If you have questions regarding the cooperative's distribution charge, or any other item on your bill, please contact us here or call 1-800-533-8658.