SDCEA Returns Franchise Fee Assessments to Buena Vista Residents and Businesses

(Buena Vista, CO May 30, 2023) – In October 2022, the lapse of the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA) and town of Buena Vista franchise agreement resulted in a one-month error in franchise fee collection for residential and business accounts. SDCEA will refund these charges in full to all eligible Buena Vista residents and businesses on bill(s) in May (bill received in June).

SDCEA collects the franchise fee on behalf of, and remits those funds back to, the town of Buena Vista under the franchise agreement between the two. Accounts located outside of the Buena Vista town limits are not assessed the fee. Members who paid more than $20 in October for the franchise fee have already received their refund via check, mailed directly to their service account address.

SDCEA and the town of Buena Vista ratified a new franchise agreement effective April 1, 2023, that changes the franchise fee collected for the town from 1% to 2% of member bills. Since the change was not reflected in SDCEA’s rate tariffs, but the full 2% was assessed in April, eligible accounts will also receive a refund of 1% on their May bill. Rate tariffs will be updated to reflect the updated franchise agreement and the new fee will be effective August 1. SDCEA will ensure full payment to the town as per the agreement.

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the unintentional errors and do not expect them to happen again,” SDCEA Chief Financial Officer Sarah Crites said. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact SDCEA at or call toll-free 844-395-2412.

SDCEA is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving 14,000 member accounts in Chaffee, Fremont, Custer, Lake, and Saguache counties.