Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Pay My Bill Online?
The Fairport Municipal Commission offers the option to pay your bill online through our Customer Service Portal.
How do I upgrade or change my service?
Information on how to upgrade or change your service can be found in our Service Specification.
Can I get Fairport Electric?
The Fairport Municipal Commission has a 26 square mile franchise that covers all of the Village of Fairport and most of the Town of Perinton. Click here to view a searchable map of our franchise. Unfortunately, if your home or business is outside of our franchise the Fairport Municipal Commission will not be able to serve you.
How are Fairport Electric service area boundaries determined?
Until sometime in the 1940’s, nearby unserved residents could contribute a fee to install utility poles to their home and opt into electric service. When electric service became more common in the 1940’s the New York State Public Service Commission established exclusive service areas for each electric utility, including Fairport Electric. Once established, these boundaries are almost never changed.
Why is Fairport Electric so cheap?
Fairport Electric's rates are typically 1/3 less than that of other utilities in the region because electricity comes not only from the availability of hydropower, but also because Fairport Electric has not-for-profit status, and is small and well-managed.
Fairport Electric receives an allocation of low-preference-priced hydropower. That hydropower is generated at the Robert Moses Generating Facility at Niagara Falls, owned and operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA). As a condition of generating power using the waters of the Niagara River, NYPA must sell a portion of its generation to municipal and investor-owned utilities at a low, preference price. Fairport Electric is a non-profit enterprise and can resell that power to its customers at a below-market price.
How is Fairport Electric, a municipally owned electric utility, different from investor-owned electric utilities like Rochester Gas & Electric or New York State Electric and Gas?
Fairport Electric is “owned” by the residents (and electric customers) of the Village of Fairport and most of Perinton. An investor-owned utility is owned by shareholders.
Fairport Electric’s operations are overseen by an appointed, five person Commission of local residents. An investor-owned utility is overseen by a Board of Directors.
Does Fairport Electric purchase other electricity besides hydropower?
Yes, by contract the New York Power Authority (NYPA) must supply up to about 77.6 megawatts per month of hydropower to Fairport Electric. When its customers use more than that during a month, Fairport Electric must purchase other electricity, called incremental power. At present, incremental power is purchased in quantity ten months of the year.
Incremental power is much more expensive than hydropower. In some high electric usage months, 30% of Fairport Electric’s purchases are incremental power, but that power cost is 60% of the total power bill. Customers pay for that high-cost incremental power through the Purchased Power Adjustment factor on their bills. In some months, that factor adds over 1 cent or more per Kilowatt-hour to what customers pay.
How many municipal electric systems are there?
In New York State there are about 50 municipal electric utilities including two others in Monroe County; the Village of Spencerport and the Village of Churchville. Others in New York include the Villages of Bergen, Holley, Silver Springs, Theresa and Arcade; the Town of Massena; and the Cities of Plattsburg and Jamestown.
Approximately 2% of New York States’ population buys power from a municipal electric system.
Nationally there are 2015 municipally owned electric utilities vs. 249 investor-owned utilities. Municipally owned systems (including rural cooperatives) serve about 25% of the United States population.
Does Fairport Electric have an assured supply and price for electricity into the future?
Fairport Electric has two power contracts, one with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for 77.6 mw of hydropower which expires in 2040. The remainder of our power requirements is purchased from a contract with the New York Municipal Power Agency (NYMPA). NYMPA is a joint action agency of 34 municipal members with electric systems similar to Fairport.
Will Fairport Electric rates continue to be as low as they are currently?
Fairport Electric customers’ bills are computed using two factors. The first is called the base rate. For residential customers the base rate is $.03958/kilowatt hour for the first 1000 kWh used monthly. The base rate is different for commercial and industrial customers and residential customers with usage above 1000 kWh/month in winter.
Fairport Electric base rates were last changed in August, 2017.
The second factor used in computing customer electric bills is the Purchased Power Adjustment factor. That factor adjusts for the higher cost of incremental power used and ISO (Independent System Operator) charges. In addition, the cost of hydropower increased about 3.5% per year. These increases result in an additional charge or cost on each customer’s electric bill.
As new homes and businesses are built, and existing customers use additional power, Fairport’s incremental power purchases necessarily increase. That fact, and the hydropower price increases, means Fairport Electric customers can expect their electric bills to increase perhaps 5% per year.
What can be done as to not exceed our hydro contract limit?
Energy conservation and consumer education is the most effective way we can reduce our need for incremental power purchases. We have been promoting energy conservation with a number of programs. Some of these programs included promotion LED bulbs, energy star application rebates, energy audits for seniors, and attic insulation programs for electrically heated homes where other fuel alternatives are not available.
What is PPAC (Purchased Power Adjustment Clause)?
Purchase Power Adjustment Clause (PPAC)
The Village of Fairport is one of only 43 municipalities in the state that has a Municipal Electric Department/Commission and a contract that allows us to purchase hydro power, the cheapest power available. The Village is limited in the amount of hydro power that we are allowed to purchase and any electric purchased over the limit is supplemented by power purchased from the New York Municipal Power Authority (NYMPA), which is much more expensive. The PPAC rate reflects the amount of the supplemental power purchased plus charges for transmitting the power, ancillary charges, and loss factors. The Fairport Municipal Commission is regulated by the Public Service Commission who continually monitors our calculations and collection of these charges.