Understanding Your Bill
The energy charge
The energy charge covers the cost of purchasing and delivering electricity to your home. MJM does not generate its own electricity. Instead, we purchase it wholesale from a generation and transmission cooperative in Indianapolis. Like other electric companies, MJM bases its energy charge on kilowatt hours. One kilowatt hour is equal to 1,000 watt hours. A watt hour is the amount of energy used by a one-watt load drawing power for one hour. For example, a 100-watt light bulb uses 100 watts of power in one hour.
Our current rate is 7.471 cents per kilowatt hour of usage for the first 1,000 kilowatt hours used. Any electricity used after that is provided at a rate of 6.853 cents per kilowatt hour used.
If your home uses electricity as its primary heating source, you are eligible for a discount on your rate during the winter months of November, December, January, February, and March.
The wholesale power cost adjustment
The wholesale power adjustment covers a portion of the cooperative's cost to purchase electricity. Like the energy charge, the wholesale power adjustment is based on kilowatt hours used. Our current rate is 5.2723 cents per kilowatt hour.
Total cost of electricity
Your total cost per kilowatt hour is determined by adding the energy charge and wholesale power adjustment. Using the figures listed above, MJM members currently pay 12.7433 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity used and 12.1253 cents per kilowatt hour for usage over 1,000 kilowatt hours.
The facility charge
The facility charge covers the cost of maintaining the equipment used to send electricity to your home. This includes the cost of transformers, meters, lines, and poles. Your facility charge remains the same each month and is based on your power needs.
Taxes and additional services
The remaining charges on your bill are taxes and any additional services you may have with MJM, such as a security light. Illinois Public Utility Tax is .0032 cents per kilowatt hour.
Is your bill higher than it was last month?
If you are experiencing a higher than normal bill, the first thing you should look at is what made this month different than last month.
Did you purchase a new big-screen television, dishwasher, or other appliance? Did you have more people in the house? Did unusually cold weather cause you to turn the heat up more than usual? Were lights left on all night? Any of these could result in a higher bill.
Meter malfunctions do happen, but they are rare. More often than not the reason for high bill can be found in how electricity is being used in the home. For tips on reducing your consumption of electricity, visit our $ave on Energy page.
If a cooperative is not-for-profit, why do rates increase?
A cooperative does not aim to turn a large profit but to provide its members with quality service. The cost of doing that job, like most things, rises every year. The price of copper wire, transformers, poles, and other materials has increased over the years.
In addition, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels means the cost of purchasing power also increases. Because of these factors, it is sometimes necessary for a cooperative to raise rates in order to maintain the funds necessary for daily operations.