Columbus Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Columbus Currents

Tri-State Generation & Transmission
Association announces 2017 Rate Increase

On September 20, 2016 Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association (Tri-State) provided notice to its 43 members, as well as the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, that 2017 rates are proposed to increase by 4.23 percent

Tri-State is an association of 43 independent, not for profit electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts that includes Columbus Electric Cooperative. Tri-State mitigates risk for members by purchasing and generating power from a myriad of resources to ensure the reliable delivery of power to each member.

Tri-State began making investments in power plants and transmission infrastructure to meet the needs of its members. The average annual increase of Tri-State's rate has been 3.1 percent.

Tri-State explained in a brief, that they understand the impact rate increases can have on the membership and their member-owners, but went on to state this rate increase is needed to allow the association to reliably serve the members' needs and meet its financial goals.

In the Tri-State brief, it describes the primary rate drivers as: (1) one of their wholesale power suppliers, Basin Electric Cooperative, announced an unplanned mid-year rate increase of approximately 12 percent effective August 1, 2016, resulting in additional, unbudgeted power purchase costs of $12 million in 2016 and $13 million in 2017; and (2) Tri-State's member electric sales are projected to grow over the next five years, requiring the need to continue investments in new infrastructure

While the cooperative business model helps mitigate risk, Tri-State is not immune to increased costs to meet the needs of members. However, when compared to other economic indicators, Tri-State's wholesale power rate continues to remain competitive

What does this mean to the consumers of Columbus Electric?

  • Sixty-four cents of every dollar collected by Columbus goes to pay our power bill.
  • The increase will average approximately $0.004/Kwh multiplied times the average residential consumption of 600kWh/month = an increase of $2.45 per month.
  • Columbus is not proposing any adjustments to our distribution rates in 2017, therefore members will see this amount passed on through the bill line item described as Fuel and Purchased Power Cost Adjustment (FPPCA).

This increase would go into effect for the energy consumed beginning January 2017, billed in February.


Electric co-ops have long had a special affinity for veterans. Perhaps because they are both so closely aligned in outlook, focusing on service, mission and country. Maybe it's because a disproportionate number of veterans come from rural communities and return to their hometowns following active duty. Or, maybe it's due to the shared work ethic of teamwork, cooperation and a "get it done" attitude. Most likely, it is all of the above.

This Veterans Day let's all take a moment to remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have valiantly fought to make America the greatest nation on earth.


We will be launching our new website
on December 1st