Posted: 10/18/2022

Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)


  • The Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) is the difference between the Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s rate, your energy charge, and the actual rate paid for wholesale power.

    • If your statement has a positive PCA, then the wholesale power cost was higher than the rate for your service and the PCA is making up the difference.

    • If your statement shows a negative PCA, then the price of power was lower than the rate and you’re getting credited that difference

  • Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC), our wholesale power provider is seeing higher costs to generate power because natural gas and coal prices are high; both natural gas and coal are used as fuel to generate electricity. This is what causes the fluctuation in PCA.

  • Rising fuel costs directly affect electricity bills because they are a pass-through expense. They are charged to ECEC by DPC, and in turn, ECEC charges or credits members for that cost difference.

  • The prices of energy including gasoline, coal, renewables and other fuels change rapidly, and these fluctuations impact our industry.

  • We are all experiencing the impact of rising costs—at the gas pump, at the grocery store and on everyday items. Unfortunately, electric co-ops are not immune to this impact.

  • Eau Claire Energy Cooperative's cost of wholesale power is 65% of our total expenses so it is critical that your cooperative makes sure that it recovers all of its wholesale power costs in retail sales. For every $1 we spend, 65¢ goes straight to DPC for purchasing the power we distribute to our members.

  • PCA has been listed, as needed, on the bill statements for many years. This has been a credit in recent months because the cost of power on the wholesale market has been relatively flat. It is higher now that it has been in many years due to rising costs of generating power for all of the reasons listed above.


  • We do not know how long this will last, or if it will happen again, but we are always working to reduce other operating expenses where we can.

  • Our goal at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative is to do everything we can to protect our members from rising costs, while still being a safe and reliable energy source to our members.

  • ECEC is a Cooperative, and part of that means that we are a not-for-profit organization. We only collect what is necessary to support our members. We return any profits (margins) to the members each year through capital credit allocations and retirements and not to investors or shareholders.


  • Members can help offset rising costs by taking energy efficiency steps. Members can get customized energy efficiency tips, energy savings ideas and other tools and programs available at www.ecec.com

  • Members can sign up and use SmartHub, where they can monitor their usage and pinpoint where high demand happens in their home. Comparing month to month etc.

  • Members can apply for energy assistance. There are resources listed on our website where members may be able to get help paying their bills, if need be.