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Dave Olson, Published January 16 2014

Cass Electric gives customers belated Christmas gift

FARGO – Cass County Electric Power Cooperative is giving its customers a belated Christmas present.

Because of lower-than-expected costs and greater-than-anticipated profits in 2013, the cooperative is giving customers a break on their December power bills.

The total value of the discount is about $1 million.

Breaking it down, a household with average power consumption will likely save $20 to $25, said Chad Sapa, the cooperative’s chief financial officer.

Sapa said the cooperative’s growth in the Fargo and West Fargo areas, combined with a cold winter that is generating a lot of energy use, contributed to the cooperative’s profitability.

Sapa said customers are the owners in a cooperative and the co-op’s board of directors felt it was appropriate that customers share in the windfall.

“We’re really happy we can do that,” he said, adding that the cooperative did something similar about a year ago for the December 2012 billing cycle.

The mechanics of the rebate involve dropping to zero a portion of the monthly bill called the “purchase power adjustment,” which fluctuates based on what Cass County Electric pays for power.

Normally, that part of the bill is about 1 cent per kilowatt hour, but for the month of December customers will see a PPA holiday, Sapa said.

He said depending on how the early part of 2014 goes, the cooperative may consider another PPA holiday before the end of the year.

Cass County Electric has about 39,800 customer accounts and serves a 10-county area in southeastern North Dakota.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555