San Miguel Power Association Rate Tariffs

San Miguel Power Association's rates are designed to meet expected revenue requirements and to equitably distribute the cost of service to members while maintaining the financial stability of the cooperative.

Recently, our wholesale electricity provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, filed a rate case with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that proposed to raise wholesale rates by over 6% in 2024. This, in combination with inflationary pressures on the prices of tools and materials, prompted the SMPA Board of Directors to approve a small increase to its monthly access charge.

The revenue raised by this increase will not be enough to meet the projected requirement.  Learn more about how SMPA will cover anticipated costs in 2024.

Rates Frequently Asked Questions


Complete Current Rate Tariff Sheets

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Although the energy rate is staying the same, the access charge is proposed to increase by approximately $2 per month or $24 per year above the current charge for all consumers, starting in January, 2024.

The energy rate is an amount charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. The billed amount varies with the amount of electricity used each month. The current rate is $0.134725 per kWh. There will be no change to this rate next year.

The access charge, however, is a fixed monthly fee that each member must pay regardless of how much energy they use. This fee covers costs that SMPA incurs even if it sells zero kilowatt hours. It is used to recover expenses such as:

  • Trucks, wires, transformers, power poles and labor needed to build and maintain the electric distribution system
  • System investments that improve both capacity and reliability
  • Insurance, interest, depreciation and taxes

At the beginning of 2023, SMPA raised the monthly access charge by $2. Before that, SMPA had raised its access charge by $2 in 2018.


SMPA is facing a number of challenges that are driving the need for a rate increase. One challenge is the rising cost of wholesale power. SMPA's wholesale power provider, Tri-State, is raising its rates in 2024. This increase will cost SMPA an additional $1 million per year.

Another challenge is inflationary pressure. The cost of goods and services that SMPA needs to operate its business is increasing.

SMPA is also facing a number of other challenges, including the need to invest in fire mitigation, vegetation management, and large capital projects needed to sustain reliable eletric service to members.

SMPA is proposing to keep changes to retail rates minimal by using deferred revenue to temporarily make up the difference between the proposed rate increase and the actual increase in costs. Deferred revenue is money that SMPA has collected from customers and other sources in the past that can be recognized in a future year in order to help SMPA meet its minimum required financial ratios.

Without the use of deferred revenue, the 2024 proposed increase to the monthly access charge would need to be closer to $6, or $72 per year.

SMPA is committed to keeping its rates as low as possible, and is working hard to find ways to reduce costs. SMPA is also committed to collecting revenue from rates fairly and equitably. The proposed rate increase is necessary to ensure that SMPA can continue to provide its customers with safe, reliable, cost effective and environmentally responsible electric service.

2024 Cost Profile

The $2 increase to the Monthly Access Charge for each rate class equates to a projected $350,000 in 2024.

Through strategic financial planning and the use of deferred revenue, SMPA has been able to buffer against recent inflationary pressures. Over the past few years, SMPA has experienced modest load growth, due to population growth in our service territory. This increase in electricity sales has helped strengthen SMPA’s economic bottom line and help keep impact to rates minimal.

The Value of Electricity compared to other needs Comparison of price of electricity against other commodities


While the SMPA board of Directors has discretion on the timing of a Member Dividend retirement, SMPA generally cannot circumvent the obligation to return Member Dividends to the membership. Returning Member Dividends is fundamental to our business structure, as a member-owned cooperative.

While increasing the energy rate might incentivize some people to conserve energy, such a move forces the cooperative to rely on volumetric energy sales in order to cover fixed expenses. Currently, the SMPA Board of Directors seeks to further the cooperatives efforts to promote more energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. Matching fixed charges with fixed costs such as materials, labor, tools, and maintenance, keeps SMPA’s financial interests in line with this strategic objective.

The fixed costs associated with each rate class, described as “Customer Cost”, is captured in the following table. At a $25.00 monthly Access Charge, SMPA is recovering 48 percent of fixed costs through a fixed charge for the Single-Phase rate class.

Rate Class Present Customer Cost As Percent Proposed As Percent
Single Phase $23.00 $51.56 45% $25.00 48%
Single Phase - Demand $33.50 $57.38 58% $35.50 62%
Three Phase $44.00 $97.46 45% $46.00 47%
Three Phase - Demand $49.25 $139.24 35% $51.25 37%

The access charge is fixed, but there are still many actions member-consumers can take to reduce their monthly energy expense. These can range from simple home projects like caulking windows and replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, to more involved projects, like insulation or replacement of appliances. SMPA offers numerous rebates to help with these types of upgrades.

Many members in SMPAs territory are reducing their total monthly budget with the replacement of a gasoline-driven vehicle with an electric vehicle (EV) or other electric device that may increase the electric bill slightly, but which eliminates other monthly expenses in order to realize a net savings. Please call (970) 864-7311 if you are interested in exploring options.

Additional Questions?

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