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Rising power, operational costs force MPE to raise rates in 2024 

GRANBY, CO – As anticipated, Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. (MPE) has been notified by its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Inc., of an upcoming rate increase to begin in January 2024. Based on information received from Tri-State, MPE expects this increase to be 9%. 

As such, during its meeting on August 10, the MPE Board of Directors voted to approve a rate increase beginning in January 2024 to offset the expected increased cost of power from Tri-State and the inflation of internal operating costs experienced since 2016. This rate increase will end a seven-year run of unchanged retail electric rates for MPE members.  

The new rates will be divided between the monthly service availability charge, 30% of the total increase, with the remaining 70% attributed to kilowatt hour (kWh) and demand charges. For MPE residential members, the average monthly electric bill will increase by approximately $10.92. 

MPE’s new rates that will begin in 2024 are comparable to the current rates of other Colorado co-ops with similar mountainous terrain. MPE’s monthly service availability fee will be $33.22, and the kWh charge will be $0.11737. Neighboring Yampa Valley Electric Association, headquartered in Steamboat Springs, has a monthly service availability fee of $45 and a kWh charge of $0.1110. Gunnison County Electric Association has a monthly service availability fee of $35 and a kWh charge of $0.13268.  

“As a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative, we always strive to keep our rates as affordable as possible while still providing safe and reliable service. We are proud of the fact that we haven’t raised rates in seven years, despite hyperinflation and significant cost increases,” said MPE Board President Liz McIntyre. “We are now at a point that we must raise rates in order to ensure our continued commitment to excellent service and to maintain a financially healthy organization.” 

Anticipating an increase on its wholesale power cost from Tri-State, the MPE Board and management started communicating to members in December 2022 regarding the need for upcoming rate increases. In February 2023, MPE communicated to members that the coop would likely see mid- to late-year rate increases from Tri-State that would result in MPE raising retail rates prior to 2024. 

Not only have the power supply costs increased for MPE since it last raised its rates in 2016, operational costs resulting from inflation have also gone up by an average of more than $1.8 million annually, or 13%. From 2020 to 2021 alone, MPE’s non-power supply expenses jumped 7.5% due to the skyrocketing costs of materials and supplies.  

“The entire management team here at MPE is sensitive to the fact that rate increases are a burden to our member-owners, which is why, since 2016, MPE has done several things to cut operational costs to help offset the need for rate increases,” noted MPE General Manager Virginia Harman. “Compared to more than 10 years ago, MPE operates with fewer staff despite delivering electricity to more than 1,850 new services. Technology has been added where it makes sense while still providing reliable electric and customer service. We will continue to find ways to keep our operational costs under control.” 

To help mitigate future anticipated rate increases from Tri-State, MPE has spent the last two years exploring alternate power supply options. In January 2023, MPE provided Tri-State the required two-year notice to terminate its wholesale power contract, effective Jan. 15, 2025. MPE is currently working to secure a more stable power purchase agreement to follow its exit from Tri-State.  

Over the next few months leading up to the implementation of the rate change for 2024, MPE will continue to share with its members tips on how to save energy, cut costs and find energy assistance resources for those in need. For questions or more information, please contact MPE at or 970-887-3378.