ECA Policy Review

Current outlooks suggest that Energy/Power Cost Adjustment (“ECA”) charges could be higher than historical average throughout 2022 due to the projected rising cost of electricity in the wholesale market.  This projected increase comes from rising fuel prices for generation resources, primarily natural gas, and could result in higher-than-average bills throughout 2022 for our consumers.

We want to ensure that our consumers are aware of this potential increase and draw attention to Southern Pioneer’s ECA procedure. The ECA is not a new charge; Southern Pioneer implemented its use in 2009 to avoid general rate increases due to wholesale power fluctuations. This notice is to provide consumers with a review of the ECA policies practiced by Southern Pioneer. Consumers may direct billing questions to our customer service team at 800.670.4381.


What is the ECA?

The ECA charge is separate from base electric rates and is associated with the fluctuating costs of procuring wholesale power for Southern Pioneer consumers. Using an ECA helps Southern Pioneer avoid a general base rate increase with every change in wholesale power costs.

Southern Pioneer is a not-for-profit distribution utility and does NOT generate its own power; it purchases wholesale power directly from Sunflower Electric Power Corporation (“Sunflower”), a generation and transmission cooperative. Wholesale power costs fluctuate daily depending on Sunflower’s own generation resource fuel costs, operation costs, and the prices at which Sunflower buys and sells electric energy in the regional market. Southern pays Sunflower directly for the actual cost to procure wholesale power for its consumers. When the actual cost of wholesale power exceeds the amount built into base rates, there will be a positive ECA (or a charge) on your billing statement. When the actual cost of wholesale power is less than the amount built into base rates, the ECA will be negative and reflected as a credit on your billing statement. This ensures that Southern Pioneer collects no more and no less than the actual cost of wholesale power it pays to Sunflower every month.

Scholarship Application Now Open

Southern Pioneer Electric is offering $21,000 in general scholarships to 2022 high school graduates attending school and residing within any of our area schools.  Students must also have plans to attend a postsecondary education institution during the fall 2022 semester to qualify.

Completed applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. on February 1 including the required one-page resume and seventh-semester transcripts. Southern Pioneer Electric will accept transcripts via mail or through email sent by a school staff member.

Southern Pioneer Electric also offers scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in power line technology. Students planning to enroll in a power line technology program next fall may submit their applications separately. Students may not apply for both scholarships.

Information regarding the 2022 scholarship contest, a list of qualifying schools and the applications to apply can be found by visiting Southern Pioneer Electric’s Scholarship page.

Southern Pioneer H.U.G.S. Grant to Fund New Stop Signs

Sublette., Kansas – Members of Southern Pioneer Electric’s H.U.G.S. team awarded the City of Sublette with $2,000 in grant funds on Nov. 11. The grant was matched by Southern Pioneer’s financial partner, CoBank, through its Sharing Success program that matches the charitable contributions of its customers. Together, the contributions will help purchase two new illuminated stops signs, replacing the flashing stoplight located at the US Highway 56 and Inman Street intersection in Sublette.

“The current stoplight that runs across the intersection can be difficult to see,” said City of Sublette Superintendent, Daylen Elsey. “The stoplight also has to be temporarily removed when large or tall loads pass through Highway 56.”

Elsey says the stop signs will draw more attention for drivers, increasing safety for schools and businesses located near the intersection.

“Southern Pioneer Electric’s H.U.G.s program assists projects emphasizing community improvement,” said Anita Wendt, vice president of energy services at Southern Pioneer. “This project not only improves the community, but it also makes it safer. We’re proud to be able to assist the city of Sublette with purchasing these stop signs.”