What is the Service Availability Charge?

The “fixed” or basic charge (called the service availability charge) is a flat fee designed to recover a portion of the cost of delivering electric energy to all members. The service availability charge is reflective of the investment in poles, wires, transformers and equipment that it takes to provide you with electric service. It also supports fleet, facility and customer service functions, such as line maintenance, right-of-way clearing and general administrative responsibilities and is similar to service or facility charges that other co-ops and utilities charge. Regardless of how often you flip on the light switch or the TV, these costs are part of the bill you pay so that electricity is available to you whenever you want it.

If one member uses only one kilowatt-hour of electricity and another member uses 100 kWh, Arrowhead Electric still incurs about the same cost to build the line, maintain the distribution system and deliver electricity to both customers. It takes just as much equipment to deliver one kilowatt-hour as it does 100 kilowatt-hours. This is why the monthly service availability charge is important to recover a portion of the cost of delivering electricity to all members and help maintain the financial health of your cooperative.

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