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Serving Baker, Union, Grant, & Harney Counties

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FAQs

How do I contact OTEC?

OTEC has four county offices:

Baker County (Headquarters)
4005 23rd St.
Baker City, OR 97814
Phone: (541) 523-3616

Union County
2408 Cove Ave.
La Grande, OR 97850
Phone: (541) 963-3155

Grant County
400 Patterson Bridge Road
John Day, OR 97845
Phone: (541) 575-0161

Harney County
567 Piece Road
Burns, OR 97720
Phone: (541) 573-2666

Which counties does OTEC serve?

  • Baker County

  • Union County

  • Grant County

  • Harney County

 

When was OTEC founded?

1988

How many consumers (meters) does OTEC serve?

30,414

How many miles of line does OTEC maintain?

3,032 miles of line and 43,667 power poles.

How much does OTEC pay in property taxes?

$135,309.48

What is OTEC's gross earnings (revenue) tax paid?

$1,016,437

How much does OTEC pay in city franchise fees every year?

$1,295,739.97

In 2016, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative gathered nearly $1.3 million in franchise fees and delivered them to local city governments. These fees are essentially a tax levied on OTEC by the 21 cities we serve in Baker, Grant, Harney and Union counties in order for us to have the right to provide electricity to residents and businesses located within the cities’ limits.

 

What is OTEC's total plant investment?

$153,708,964.00

When are OTEC Board of Director Meetings?

Fourth Tuesday of each month

What does the Delivery Charge include?

The Delivery Charge is a fee to recover costs for bringing service from the energy source to the point of delivery (your meter).  It includes many fixed costs that occur regardless of the amount of usage at the location including: line maintenance, depreciation on substations and power lines, tree trimming, metering, billing, customer service, interest and taxes. These costs are spread equally to each member within each rate class based on a cost of service study that is performed by industry consultants. It does not include requested changes in service or upgrades to the existing facilities.

The actual usage of your meter is billed separately through the kWh line on the bill.  Hence, if there is no usage, the fixed delivery cost remains the same.  We still need to be able to provide power to you at any given time and need to charge for the cost of that service. A good example is rent or mortgage…even if you’re not there, it still must be paid.

The way OTEC determines the Delivery Charge is by reviewing financial history and conducting a Cost of Service Study by class of service (residential, commercial, etc.) then dividing that by the number of meters in that class.  In actuality, the Cost of Service Study to a residential meter is higher ($34.46) that what OTEC charges ($25.50). So, if you do not use enough kWh you are still not paying the actual cost of delivery.  If you have more than one meter, you receive a Delivery Charge per meter.  This is fair and equitable treatment with the costs spread equally to each member within each rate class.

Cooperatives are not-for-profit, and members share equally in the costs. We only charge the bare minimum of what is needed to keep the electricity flowing to power your lights and heat your water. We are committed to keeping electric rates as low as possible for our member-owners.

What things has OTEC done in the last several years to lower costs? 

During a time when external costs outside the control of OTEC are continually increasing such as fuel, insurance, construction materials and equipment, etc. your cooperative has also continually tightened its belt.  Our members have the benefit of this effort by continuing to enjoy low electric rates.  Here are a few of the ways OTEC remained a low-cost leader in the state:

  • Adding new technologies and implementing many best-practices, OTEC has reduced staffing levels by 13 percent the last 8 years, thereby eliminating the associated salaries and benefits.  We, indeed, are doing more with less. 
  • Other savings have resulted in minimal rate impact, averaging a mere .04 percent rate increases from operational expenses (does not include BPA’s cost of power) yearly for the last 13 years.
  • OTEC is proud to have the 2nd lowest rates in Oregon, as compared to other electric cooperatives. 
  • The Key Ratio Trend Analysis report (KRTA) prepared by the Cooperative Finance Corporation, OTEC’s bank, compares controllable costs with other electric cooperatives in Oregon. OTEC’s operating costs are continually 26% less than other Oregon cooperatives, an indication that transmission, distribution, customer service and administrative costs are under control and reasonable. 

OTEC works diligently to be good stewards of our members’ resources as reflected throughout our daily decision-making and financial processes.  We understand that keeping our rates low while at the same time offering a great service to our members serves an important role in contributing to the economic growth of the communities we serve. If you have any questions, please give us a call at your local OTEC office.