What are the Current OPPD Rate Setting Principles?

    The District’s Strategic Directive 2 (SD-2) states the principles that OPPD shall adhere to when setting rates: 

    • Maintain fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates as stated in Nebraska Revised Statute 70-655;
    • Equitably assign costs across and within all customer classes; 
    • Monitor affordability indicators;
    • Pursue rate process and structure changes to reflect the cost of energy when it is used;
    • Offer flexibility and options; and 
    • Be simple and easy to understand.

    What are the three fundamental rate elements?

    Demand charges – recover fixed costs based on maximum electricity demand - or the highest amount of power, measured in kilowatts (kW), during a particular period of time.

    Energy charges – recover variable costs based on energy from OPPD. This charge varies based on the total amount of energy, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), used by a customer over a billing period.

    Customer service charges – recover fixed costs associated with being a customer, such as customer service, billing and metering, and the infrastructure that connects a customer to the electric grid. These costs do not change regardless of energy or demand needs.

    What is a rate principle?

    Rate principles are foundational guidelines used to design how expenses are recovered. Some examples include sufficiency, fairness, efficiency, stability and understandability.  

    What is rate design?

    Rate design is the framework utilities use to set prices to provide electric service. It is the process of determining how the revenue from a rate class will be recovered through the customer charge, demand charge and energy charge.

    Is OPPD raising rates?

    The rate design project is not associated with a decision on annual rate increase. This project is to align on rate principles and identify rate designs, projects, services and solutions that support the principles. 

    A formal rate case will be done in October/November 2022 to determine if a rate increase is needed for 2023.

    What is the difference between my bill and rates?

    A rate is a standard unit charge for service rendered by a utility to its customers. A customer’s bill includes the customer’s usage, rate and other applicable charges or fees, and displays the amount of money owed for services. For more information, please see the NARUC website.

    How do I read my bill?

    For more information on how to read your residential bill, please click here. Commercial and industrial customers may receive different bill formats depending on their needs.

    How do I know what my rate is?

    On a standard residential bill, the rate is provided on the bill. Please refer to the “How to Read Your Bill” instruction on oppd.com. Currently, OPPD offers two types of residential rates and a net metering rider option. When looking at a residential bill, the rate is provided under the address box. The following provides examples of some of the rate language commonly seen on bills:

    • Residential: Rate 110 refers to standard residential service. 
    • Res. Conservation Heat Pump: Rate 115 refers to residential service provided to qualified heat pump customers. 
    • Residential Net: Net meter rider bill for residential customers producing their own energy using solar panels, wind turbines or other forms of renewable energy.

    Can I choose what rate I’m on?

    Customers must meet applicable criteria to take service on any rate.  

    Is this project going to affect all customers?

    Three of OPPD’s customer classes, Residential, Commercial and Industrial, are invited to participate in the outreach portion of the project. Depending on the recommendations of the findings of this project, some outcomes may only affect certain customer classes or all customer classes.

    When may the rate structure change?

    When implementing changes to rate elements, a utility must conduct analysis to ensure stability for those impacted by the changes. Analysis of the particular change will help determine the timing and transition. Each rate change may have a different implementation strategy. 

    To support a rate offering, OPPD will begin piloting new rate structures in phase 2 of the project, which will begin in 2023. This will allow customer feedback on the rate before OPPD will proceed with offering it to all applicable customers. 

    When there are rate changes, how will you communicate rate changes to customers?

    OPPD is committed to engagement, education and transparency around our rates process. We understand that some customers desire a deeper understanding. The utility offers opportunities to work with customers, providing more information, and addressing rate-related questions. Through OPPD's Speaker's Bureau, as well as digital channels such as social media and emails, and direct contact with our large customers and key stakeholders, OPPD is able to share information about assistance programs and other ways customers can help control their utility costs. OPPD plans to continue communicating and educating customers to help them understand and adjust to rate changes in their bill, if that happens.

    2022 OPPD rate increase frequently asked questions

    OPPD's Board of Directors approved an average rate increase of 2.5% across its five customer classes to cover a budget deficit of nearly $26 million in 2022 to improve and modernize its electrical system. This rate design project does not have anything to do with the 2022 rate increase. However, please visit OPPD.com for more information about the 2022 rate increase, including frequently asked questions.