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Soaring fuel costs cause increase to Wholesale Power Cost

Due to ever-rising fuel costs needed for the generation of electricity, Central Florida Electric Cooperative will be increasing the Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment (WPCA) from $5.50 to $23 for members beginning in the month of September. Members using the industry household average of 1,000 kWh of power will pay $149.50, a $17.50 increase from the previous 1,000 kWh average of $132.

The additional amount each member pays each month will vary based on the amount of electricity used. The increase in WPCA was approved by the Board of Trustees at the Aug. 22 board meeting as a necessary effort to combat the rising cost of power.

The WPCA is used to “adjust” the amount charged to members when the price of fuels used to generate electricity rise and fall throughout the year. CFEC’s generation cooperative, Seminole Electric, relies on natural gas and other fuel sources to produce the electricity they provide to us and many other distribution co-ops across the state of Florida. Soaring natural gas prices have made electricity more expensive to produce, and therefore, more expensive for CFEC to purchase from Seminole.

When the cost of power from Seminole is greater than the amount included in the CFEC base rate, the WPCA is a charge. When the cost is less, the WPCA is a credit.

The Board of Trustees and management team at CFEC have done their best over the years to protect members from the volatility of fuel markets. Despite the steady rise in price of natural gas in 2021, the Board of Trustees was able to maintain the WPCA as a credit on utility bills. The Board insulated Members from rising fuel costs for as long as possible before having to finally pass the increase in cost on to members with an increase in WPCA in June of this year, making the WPCA an additional charge on the utility bill rather than a credit for the first time since 2011.

“As a not-for-profit electric co-op, we’ve worked really hard over the years to stay on top of natural gas pricing in order to maintain our costs and provide affordable electricity,” Central Florida Electric General Manager/CEO Denny George said. “From my past experience developing natural gas power plants, I always felt I had a good handle on not only the energy markets but specifically natural gas.”

“This current market has been perplexing to keep up with, predict and adjust for,” he said. “We are in desperate need for restoration and reform in our energy policy that works on behalf of fixed income and lower-income Americans. With Seminole Electric having done everything they have been asked to do to improve emissions of power plants, it is sad to see that we are unable to keep prices where they were a year ago – almost 30 percent lower than they will be with this latest increase.”

While this adjustment to the Wholesale Power Cost addresses recent increases in fuel costs and subsequently the cost of power, fuel is not the only commodity necessary for power production and distribution that is facing price pressures. A recent rate study has indicated that members should anticipate an increase to base electric rates and other utility-related charges (or fees) soon as costs associated with materials, equipment and labor continue to climb.

Despite these challenges, the cost of electricity remains a great value considering how greatly we depend on it for daily life, and CFEC remains committed to providing reliable electricity to our members at the most affordable price possible.


Local_news
Levy County 4-H hosts End of Year Recognition Banquet

FANNING SPRINGS — On Saturday, the Levy County 4-H program celebrated the accomplishments of active 4-H members at the annual End of Year Recognition Banquet. Members are recognized for their participation in 4-H clubs and projects throughout the year. This year, the program recognized over 90 members and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to Levy County 4-H.

The 2021-2022 Levy County 4-H Youth Council presided over the ceremony this year, which included special guest, Dr. Charlotte Emerson, director of Student Development and Recruitment within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida. Levy County 4-H Youth Council officers for the 2021-2022 Year included: President Carson Meeks, Vice President Elle Fugate, Secretary Elexis Pinkard, Treasurer Melody Roberts, Reporter Regan Varnes, Historian Liam Meeks and Sergeant at Arms William Conquest.

The Florida 4-H Standards of Excellence program allows youth and clubs to set and achieve personal goals throughout the year. There is a series of events and activities youth must successfully complete to accomplish the desired level of excellence. Each tier becomes increasingly more involved and demands impeccable planning. Receiving a Standards of Excellence Award is one of the highest honors for our members and clubs, and recipients should be extremely proud of their efforts.

Standard of Excellence Award Recipients

Clover Award: Kade Sache, Patricia Blake, Sadie Sache, Harmony Trainor, Maci Mills, Ryan Brault, Jettson Weatherford, Jaxson LeMieux, Weslyn Sache, Will Keith, Braylen Odom, Brooklyn Craig, Tucker Whitehurst and Parker Whitehurst

Bronze Award: Jade Thomason, Chase DeWees, Aidan Campianolo and Cooper Craig.

Silver Award: Gage Strong, Corbin DeWees, Eli Prevatt, Jacob Cannon, Paisley Madden, Jadyn Mathis, Raegann Jerrels, Hallee Bird, Vaden LeMieux, Darbi Davis, Abby Claire Locke, Caraline Jerrels, Caidynce Blake, Kensley Haire, Bailey Bird, Lilly LeMieux, Hallee Craig and Skyla Brooks

Gold Award - Emmalee Sache and Maybree Whitehurst

Emerald Award - Elle Fugate, Regan Varnes, the Williston Wranglers 4-H Club and the Wekiva Run 4-H Club.

Also recognized at the banquet was the Levy County Junior Cattlemen’s Quiz Bowl team. The team consisted of Levy County 4-H members: Ryleigh Locke, Nox Hobby, Reagan Hancock and Bailey Bird. Youth studied the ins and outs of the beef industry for months.

This included: reproduction, nutrition, management, forages and health. The team competed in Plant City on June 4, where they were named first in the state of Florida in the Intermediate Division.

The 4-H program is an all-inclusive youth organization that offers a variety of youth involvement ranging from school-based programs to community clubs. Students are encouraged to join 4-H and find their passion by exploring the many opportunities the program has to offer.

Enrollment is now open for the 2022-2023 year through the Florida 4HOnline web portal – florida.4honline.com.

For more information about the Levy County 4-H Program, please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Office at 352-486-5131.


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