Federal Electric Power and Transmission:
Services that pay for themselves
Sales of Federal electric power and transmission repay all costs associated with generating and delivering that power. Thus, all of Western's costs and the power-related costs of the generating agencies are included in customer rates. While, in general, we receive annual appropriations from Congress to finance our operations, we set power rates to recover all costs associated with our activities, including operations and maintenance, purchase power and wheeling, as well as construction and rehabilitation.
Rates are set to repay, with interest, the Federal government's investment in building generation and transmission facilities. These rates must also cover certain non-power costs that power users were assigned by Congress to repay. These include irrigation costs that water users cannot repay.
Congress directed that power rates be the lowest possible to recover costs consistent with sound business principles. As a result of this Congressional direction, electric power is one of the few governmental services that pays for itself.
Western sells wholesale power and provides bulk wholesale transmission service to local utilities, and is not responsible for meeting the demands of retail customers' load growth. Rather, wholesale electric utility customers must supply their retail consumers' total electric requirements by obtaining resources from wholesale power providers like Western, purchases and exchanges from neighboring utilities and their own generation.