Explaining Pioneer’s Proposed Three-Part Rate


What makes up the three-part rate?

Customer Charge: A fixed charge that covers the operating expense incurred by Pioneer Electric for some of the administrative and infrastructure costs needed to provide energy service to members. It has always been listed on members’ bills and will not change.

Energy Delivery Charge/Demand Charge: A charge to appropriately allocate costs to build, maintain or upgrade the infrastructure (power lines, transformers, substation upgrades, etc.) needed to ensure enough energy is delivered to meet members’ needs. The charge is determined by the maximum demand of energy at any point within the billing cycle multiplied by the determined rate for a members’ specific rate class.

Energy (kWh) Charge: The cost for the total amount of energy, measured in kilowatt hour (kWh), used within the billing period. It is calculated by taking the total kWh used by the member and multiplying it by Pioneer Electric’s kWh charge for the member. This charge will decrease with the implementation of the three-part rate structure.

Three-part rate structure and how power is delivered:

Pioneer Electric’s goal is to provide energy service safely and affordably to its members. Pioneer Electric is a distribution cooperative that purchases generated power on behalf of its members and then distributes it to homes, farms, and businesses in its service territory. Pioneer Electric is a not-for-profit cooperative, operating at cost to provide service while working to fairly allocate those costs.
The proposed three-part rate separates the Customer Charge (a set charge for providing service), Energy Delivery Charge/Demand Charge (the rate at which a member uses electricity) and Energy (kWh) Charges (cost per kWh of the total electricity used) assigned to a member’s energy service.
These charges are not new and are a part of Pioneer’s current rate structure. Transitioning to a three-part rate gives Pioneer Electric a more accurate representation of the individual costs of providing its members’ energy service and keeps members with a lower demand from having to help offset the cost of those with higher demand.

What is demand?

Demand is the rate at which a person utilizes electricity. Demand increases when many large or power-hungry appliances operate simultaneously. In these instances, Pioneer Electric must have the infrastructure to ensure enough power is available to the members’ home or business to satisfy their current need for immediate electricity. Pioneer Electric’s system must be built to supply energy at maximum demand for each member. It is important to remember that demand is not the total amount of energy used; it is the rate at which it is being used.

What can members do to manage their demand?

The energy needs of members are not the same. The three-part rate is a transparent look at members’ costs and allows them to see the direct impact of their energy habits. For some, convenience may outweigh the desire to reduce demand. However, those looking to reduce their demand may do so by evaluating their current energy habits. Take time to review if power-hungry tasks can be spread or done throughout the day rather than all at once. The goal is to balance and reduce the rate you are using energy to lower demand. Stagger the use of large appliances (dishwashers, laundry machines, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, etc.) or use delay start or appliance timers to have them run throughout the day. This may potentially reduce your energy costs.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please attend the meeting on September 23, 2022 at 9:00 a.m., or contact our office at 620-356-1211 or 1-800-794-9302. You may obtain a complete summary of the proposed rate redesign at Pioneer’s office or by visiting www.pioneerelectric.coop.

Co-op 101: Cooperative Trustees

A cooperative’s success depends on three crucial groups – members, employees and elected trustees. The three must work in partnership to ensure our service territory is powered with safe and reliable access to electricity every day.

As a member of Pioneer Electric’s board of trustees, trustees act as representatives, and the collective voice, for the cooperative’s nine districts. Cooperative trustees are tasked with managing the business aspects of the cooperative. We rely on their talents to make informed decisions regarding the cooperative. It is a responsibility that requires providing input and guidance on budgets, infrastructure, economic development and the co-op’s goals and direction.

Cooperative trustees are members elected to serve by their fellow members and must meet the requirements outlined in Pioneer Electric’s bylaws. To serve as a member of the board of trustees, candidates are expected to:

  • Be willing to promote and safeguard the interests of the Cooperative among the members and the general public.
  • Shall represent the membership on an impartial basis for the good of and in the best interest of the entire Cooperative.
  • Support all decisions and actions made or taken by the majority of the Board.
  • Review and study the information contained in reports submitted to the Board.
  • Oversee the Policy and Bylaws of the Cooperative.
  • Objectively evaluate and consider the challenges and opportunities facing the Cooperative and work with the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Staff to develop appropriate strategic direction.
  • Maintain an awareness of the attitudes of the members and general public toward the Cooperative.
  • Serve as an ambassador for the Cooperative’s viewpoints, objectives, programs, and services.
  • Is encouraged to, as personal schedule permits, attend Board-approved national, regional, state and local industry-related meetings and training to better understand issues challenging Cooperative and overall electric industry, etc.;
  • Provide full commitment to carrying out the responsibilities of the office of Trustee and agree to serve the term of office for which elected until a successor has been appointed or elected.
  • Not use the position as Trustee to further political ambitions.

The 2022 board of trustee elections will take place during Pioneer Electric’s 78th annual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15. Members are encouraged to cast their vote for board representation at the annual meeting or in advance through a mail-in ballot. Members with questions may call 620-356-1211 during regular business hours.



Pioneer Electric’s Annual Meeting is September 15

The count down to the 78th annual meeting is on! Pioneer Electric Members are invited to join us at the Grant County Civic Center on Thursday, September 15.
Registration for the annual meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the South Room. Members will need to enter the South Room through the former Civic Center Office door, signage will be in place to direct members to the entry. Members that did not submit a mail-in ballot will need to register to vote at the meeting. Members who have already voted by submitting a mail-in ballot are asked to register in order to receive their annual report and attendance gift. Once registered, members will be able to go through the meal line and find a seat inside the auditorium. The business portion of the meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Trustee Elections

Each year, members are appointed to serve on the Committee on Nominations. This committee, acting as the members’ voice, is tasked with selecting candidates who would make qualified trustees. Those nominated to the ballot must reside in the district they wish to serve and meet the qualifications outlined in the Cooperative’s bylaws.
Candidates selected by the Committee on Nominations are placed on the trustee ballot for election at the Cooperative’s Annual Meeting. The 2022 committee on nominations met on July 13 at Pioneer Electric’s headquarters and selected the following nominees for this year’s election:

Fred Claassen (incumbent)
David C. Light (nominee)

James N. Bell (incumbent)
Michael O. McCulley (nominee)

Charles E. Milburn (incumbent)
Donald W. Beesley (nominee)

Casting Your Vote

Each member is entitled to one vote on each matter presented on the annual meeting ballot. Pioneer Electric members may cast their ballot one of two ways:

  • Vote by mail.
  • Vote in person at the annual meeting.

Members who opt to submit a mail-in ballot will not be permitted to vote in person at the annual meeting, but are still encouraged to attend.

Vote By Mail

Members received a mail-in ballot attached to their annual meeting notice in August. Votes cast by mail must be returned to Pioneer Electric’s office properly sealed, no later than Sept. 10 to be considered valid. Instructions on returning your mail-in ballot are included with the annual meeting notice.

Vote At the Annual Meeting

In-person voting will be available upon registering at the annual meeting on Sept. 15. A marked ballot box will be open for members to place their ballots in once they have finished voting.