by the numbers
Tarentum Borough is able to provide customers with a safe, reliable, and competitively priced service. Contrary to popular belief, the cost of electric is directly competitive with investor owned utilities.
Your Bill and Rates Explained
Below is a snippet from a sample Tarentum Borough utility bill. The bill reflects the various charges for Borough utilities. This includes Electric, Sewer, Trash and Water fees. For purposes of this analysis, we will focus solely on the electric bill.
Under the Electric section you will see a breakdown of the charges in the black box. The Monthly Customer Charge is a flat rate of $10.00 as set forth by Resolution #17-01. Every account holder pays this flat monthly fee.
The second charge is listed as Next ### kWh @. In this example, the customer usage was 485 kWh in the monthly period. The rate for this sample bill is $0.1134 cents per kWh. (Note: As of January 1, 2019, the rate has been increased to $0.12 cents per kWh.) The applicable rate is for both service and distribution combined. In the sample comparison bill further below, you will see how other utility companies will separate these fees.
The total dollar amount for electric usage for this period is $64.99. If you wish to gather your true rate for the month, you can divide the total dollar amount paid by the amount of consumption. ($64.99 / 485 kWh) The resulting rate, including the $10.00 flat fee, is roughly $0.134 cents per kWh.
The rate charged to customers does not fluctuate from month to month. The applicable rate of $0.12 cents per kWh is charged for all residential accounts. However, your true rate can fluctuate depending on the total amount of kilowatt hours used in a given time period. The sample bill below will show an example of 1,052 kWh usage, and the resulting true rate is $0.123 cents per kWh.
The sample bill below uses a consumption amount of 1,052 kWh. Using the same calculation above, the total electric charge of $129.30 for 1,052 kWh amounts to a $0.123 cents per kWh true rate. Because the consumption is higher, the true rate is closer to the actual rate of $0.1134 cents per kWh.
485 kWh Bills
The bills to the left compare use of 485 kWh for a monthly bill. The comparison uses a West Penn Power (WPP) sample bill.
On the top bill, please note the Service rate is 6.08 cents per kWh. This is not the total rate for electric service. As you will see, there are distribution charges, taxes and fees added on to this rate. Therefore, as highlighted in blue, the total rate on this particular WPP bill is 12.8 cents per kWh.
Let’s compare this amount to the Borough bill. Note that the Borough rate on the sample bill is 11.34 cents per kWh. After factoring in the $10.00 flat service charge, the total amount indicated in blue highlighting is 13.4 cents per kWh.
The total dollar difference between the two bills is minimal. When using 485 kWh, the WPP total comes to $62.06 compared to the Borough total of $64.99.
We believe it is important to note the differences between the two billing structures. Many customers compare their Borough rate to an investor owned utility, such as WPP. Quite often we find that customers believe their Borough rate is more than double the WPP cost. Generally these customers look at the domestic service rate on the WPP bill, and do not examine the full cost. We hope that this comparison assists our customers in understanding the differences.
1,052 kWh Bills
The bills to the right compare use of 1,052 kWh. The comparison uses a West Penn Power (WPP) sample bill.
On the top bill, please note the Service rate is 6.56 cents per kWh. See the comparison above for more information about this rate. In the previous example the rate was 6.08 cents per kWh as compared to 6.56 cents per kWh in this bill. Under an investor owned utility such as WPP, the service rates can fluctuate from month to month. This does not occur in Tarentum Borough.
As highlighted in blue, the total all-in rate on this particular WPP bill is 11.43 cents per kWh. The Borough bill has a total rate of 12.29 cents per kWh.
The total dollar difference between the two bills is roughly $9.00. When using 1,052 kWh, the WPP total comes to $120.26 compared to the Borough total of $129.30.
Certainly the two previous examples show the Borough rates being slightly higher than WPP rates. While this may not be a drastic dollar amount, it nonetheless shows slightly higher totals. However, it is important to keep in mind the true use of your electric payment.
Based on the 2019 Tarentum Borough Budget, over 20% of your payment contributes to the general fund. In a general sense this means that roughly $20 of every $100 paid toward your electric bill is actually being used for items such as police patrol, park maintenance, snow plowing, or road repair. While this is not absolute, and could certainly entail further discussion, it is noteworthy to mention that your electric bill payment contributes to the upkeep and welfare of our community, something that does not occur when paying your investor owned utility bill.