Bluebonnet is a distribution cooperative, which means it purchases power wholesale from another entity, then distributes that power to its members. Bluebonnet buys the bulk of its power from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). The PCRF is the part of your electric bill that directly reflects the fluctuating cost of generating power.
Whenever you see the PCRF charge go up or down, it means Bluebonnet is modifying it in order to purchase the power needed to provide electricity to all of its members.
Part of Bluebonnet's rate is used to recover a set amount of its power cost, or electric generation. As the cost of purchasing power rises above that set amount, Bluebonnet adjusts the PCRF in order to recover the additional cost. So, our rate doesn't change — the PCRF does.
It's much like the cost of your car — your monthly car payment stays the same, but as gasoline prices at the pump change, so does the cost to use your car.
The main advantage to having a PCRF that's responsive to fuel prices is that whenever fuel costs fall, Bluebonnet members aren't stuck with a higher PCRF because it falls, too.
Investor-owned utilities can only adjust their rates for fuel cost fluctuations twice a year, and only with the approval of the Texas Public Utility Commission.
As a member-owned electric cooperative governed by an elected Board of Directors and not regulated by the Public Utility Commission, Bluebonnet can modify the PCRF whenever the need arises in response to fuel prices. Bluebonnet definitely isn't alone in dealing with increased fuel costs; almost every electric company across the country faces the same issue. Demand for energy grows annually.
You can help curb the impact of high-energy prices by working to conserve energy within your home or business. Take a look at some energy- and money-saving tips.