Thayer Mayor Earl D. "Buddy" Rogers, city aldermen and city employees met Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at city hall with two representatives from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA). They were Floyd Gilzow, director of Member Relations and Public Affairs, and Peggy King, energy analyst.
They were at the meeting to answer any questions the mayor, aldermen or city employees had about the city joining MoPEP (Missouri Public Energy Pool). The city has been with MoPEP since Oct. 1.
"We offer more than electricity," Gilzow said.
MPUA is a partnership that contains the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) that MoPEP is under. MPUA also contains the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities (MAMU) and the Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri. MPUA offers services such as water and wastewater regulatory support, electric power supply, natural gas supply, operations and planning support, municipal financing, education and training, information analysis and marketing support, customer relations and government relations.
There are cities across the state that are members of MPUA.
MJMEUC is an instrumentality of Missouri, which began in 1979 by authorization of the Missouri Constitution and established by municipalities. It was created so municipalities could pool their resources and provide members with a cheaper, more efficient way of providing power and energy needs, and helps manage power supply costs.
The representatives explained that MoPEP has diverse power resources from gas to coal to wind power. MoPEP, however, is not a power supply company, but pools all its power resources together to offer its members lower rates on electricity in the form of credits against bills from the supplier of the local transmission of power, such as Entergy. All members of MoPEP share the same cost.
Gilzow and King pointed out that ordinary electric cooperatives have raised their rates over the past years making an energy pool like MoPEP more desirable to cities. Empire District Electric raised its rates by 7 percent in 2007 and rural coops raised rates by 12 percent in 2008.
Alderman Bob Freeman asked whether the city would have to pay a $50,000 entrance fee to MoPEP. Gilzow said the new entrance fee to start services took effect after Thayer came on board. Thayer only pays $10,000 for service start up.
The mayor and some alderman had questions about the cap-and-trade bills that are going through the Senate and if rate would be raised if it passes. Gilzow said it was hard to tell. "If it does pass, it will affect everyone, not just us," Gilzow said.
The mayor and aldermen thanked King and Gilzow for meeting with them. They said anyone from the city can call them anytime with their questions.