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  • Consumers to Pay More for Saving Energy

    Congratulations, Missourians. For saving electricity, you could have an additional fee show up on your energy bill:

    Some Missouri residents and businesses soon could see a new charge on their electric bills — a fee for using less energy.

    Though it might seem illogical, the new energy efficiency charge has support from utilities, most lawmakers, the governor, environmentalists and even the state’s official utility consumer advocate. The charge covers the cost of utilities’ efforts to promote energy efficiency and cut power use.

    The assumption is that charging consumers for those initiatives ultimately will cost less than charging them to build the new power plants that will be needed if electricity use isn’t curtailed.

    One of the company’s more popular energy-saving initiatives has provided free programmable thermostats to about 34,000 residential customers in Missouri and Kansas. KCP&L can remotely control the devices to reduce the frequency at which air conditioners run during peak demand times. The power company overrode customers’ air conditioners four times last year and twice so far this summer, Caisley said.

    “It will allow us to spend a great deal more on energy efficiency, because it holds us harmless” for the cost, Caisley said.”

    It holds the utility companies harmless but holds the consumers hostage. With all costs passed on to the consumer, it’s no wonder why utilities are content with this proposal. There is no reason consumers should be forced into buying products they do not wish to purchase. Clearly, those 34,000 programmable thermostats were not free.

    If the prices are low enough and programmable devices and other energy-efficient technologies will save consumers on their electricity bill, they will buy the products without the government or utility companies telling them to do so. As with most new products, especially technology-heavy ones, prices tend to be high. But prices often come down quickly for new technology, and consumers should be able to make their own cost-benefit assessment

    If these new energy efficiency measures are as economically viable as the politicians, environmentalists, and utility companies purport them to be, it will be an easy decision for consumers. Then they won’t be forced to pay for saving energy.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Consumers to Pay More for Saving Energy

    1. Spiritof76 says:

      The time of reckoning is upon us. We need to separate out the crowd that is anti-liberty and hence anti-American. They abound in the Democrat, Republican, left-wing nut jobs in the environmental movements and the like.

      At some point we need to take our gloves off, name the names and publically go after them exposing their agenda. Either that or we lose our very few freedoms still left. We are becoming serfs of the state and special interest monopoly.

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Such peak demand is because real needs exist. This is the worst possible time to shutdown someone's power. What can be done? Builders can return to Victorian home designs that exploit ventilation or start building more power plants, hopefully nuclear.

      PS: My home was poorly planned and constructed with the cheapest materials in terms of efficiency. It doesn't even have central air or heat. I use open windows, electric fans and draperies to combat summer heat. Warmth is provided by oil filled electric space heaters turned way down and insulated clothing. And I still pay relatively high energy bills. I can't imagine anyone needlessly wasting energy unless they're just careless about spending money.

    3. ozzy6900 says:

      Not unlike my Natural Gas Company! Last year I removed my old oil furnace and installed a 96% efficient gas furnace. Now that the heating season is over the furnace does not operate, yet I have to pay the Gas Company $13 a month even though there is no gas flowing through the meter!

      We are going to pay for using the energy and we are going to pay for not using the energy thanks to the Obama Administration and the Democrat buffoons! Everyone of them has bought into Al Gore's "Let's rip off America" campaign with his Global Warming BS and it is beginning to really stink like an backed up sewer plant!

    4. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 07/06/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

    5. Josh Shultz says:

      In the Heritage piece on the new cap and trade bill, the author mentioned that this bill would not have a substantive influence on the environment.

      An EPA article from 2003 (Tools of the Trade: A Guide to Designing and Operating a Cap and Trade Program for Pollution Control) said that a cap and trade policy had the highest potential to limit total emissions among the three forms of energy trading proposed.

      Has the Heritage Foundation found a more effective way to reduce CO2 emissions?

    6. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    7. Normca says:

      Mr Schultz: Try to reduce your CO2 emissions by not breathing your hatred and misdirected effort to change nature. CO2 emissions ? What we need to do is every other minute; do not breathe. As far as the EPA, we all know by now they disciplined an author of a paper that down played so called Global Warming.

      The utility companies establish a budget which includes their income so they can plan expenditures. When we cut our usage, it cuts their income, so they raise rates. That is the AGORE way.

    8. Steve,rhode island says:

      National Grid in RI with the blessing of the Public Utilities Commission has been offering equipment at way below cost to consumers changing from oil to nat gas. This program is also funded by energy fee on everyones bill. This program also

      violates Robinson Packman anti trust act giving favorable pricing by National Grid. The public is not being served by the PUC.

    9. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Once again it's difficult to respond to an article such as this without resorting to obscenities, but I will try.

      The economy, especially that portion dealing with energy prices, is no longer related to the principal of supply and demand and this is due to the fact that the energy companies have a monopoly in this country. We have more natural gas in this country than we can use. It's readily available here in the continental U.S. and we have the infrastructure in place for its delivery and consumption and yet the price continues to increase. Americans are driving less and switching from SUVs to more fuel efficient cars. We have had no recent natural disasters that have shut down our refineries. We have an unimpeded flow of oil from all oil producing countries and yet the price of gasoline is again nearing $3.00 a gallon, but the media happily reports that it's still down substantially from last year's high ($4.00+ a gallon) as though we should be thankful for the cheap $3.00 price).

      All of this is price manipulation by the oil companies and their refineries. They limit production to artificially create a greater demand and higher prices. Why isn't our government filing anti-trust lawsuits against the oil companies? Where is the competition? I love hearing about how we need to reduce our dependency on 'foreign' oil. Do American oil companies sell their product to Americans at a lesser rate per barrel than they do to other countries? If all oil consumed in the U.S. was produced only by American oil companies from supplies pumped from American soil, do you think it would result in lower prices at the pump?

      Why does Mr. Obama want to pas cap and trade legislation that would drive up all energy prices even higher? It certainly isn't to stop pollution, because cap and trade allows anyone to pollute all they want, if they will buy "carbon credits". Ultimately, the polluters will continue to pollute, purchase these "carbon credits" and pass the price along to all of us. Further, Mr. Obama's energy plan doesn't not include increased reliance on nuclear power. We need to build nuclear power plants to reduce pollution and reduce our dependency on all oil, not just foreign oil. Nuclear power is ok for all of Mr. Obama's friends like Iraq and the European nations he loves to apologize to, but not for the U.S. I wonder what he has against us here in America.

    10. Barb mn says:

      It seems the government thinks people do not have the intelligence to use energy within their own means. So, the simple answer of government is to take that freedom/liberty away FROM ALL!

      If you are amongst those of integrity that pays the bills, then you are the ones to be punished. Increased costs will help the government form more needless "make-work" and results in more of the government take-over. Must stop!

    11. Angel, Ohio says:

      Jerry from Chicago. Nicely said!!!

    12. Josh Shultz says:

      Normaca,

      I apologize if my comment appeared rude, that was definitely not my intent. I was actually curious what our other options were. That EPA report was under Bush's administration, and a lot of the research into carbon, capture, and storage started under his administration. I know Republicans have answers. That's how they get my vote.

      I saw the author they disciplined and his graphs on FOX News. The graph stopped at 2002, and did not show the trends from the previous 40 years. Although global warming can never be completely proven, since it's based on correlations, there seems to be a preponderance of evidence supporting climate change. It would be nice if more contrary studies existed, but unfortunately they do not at this point. If it was truly BS, Bush and McCain would have firmly announced global warming does not exist instead of saying we can find another way to adjust our emissions without the Kyoto accords.

      Just recently some states have started to deregulate their electricity companies (It hasn't gone to well for them aka California). For the most part the government has always controlled electrical power company rates because they are a natural monopoly, just like any other utility. I'm not certain if the same applies to natural gas utilities or oil corporations. (If I had to guess though, I don't think oil companies are profit regulated at all.) It's unfortunate, but our ability to meet our oil demand with our own production ended many years ago. It's becoming more and more difficult and expensive to extract oil here in the States.

      The reason electricity rates increase with consistently less usage is because power plant operating/maintenance costs and their initial costs to build (like the mortgage on a house) don't go away just because people are not using them. They still have to pay the bills just like the rest of us.

      Get this:

      Look closely at your bill after a heavy power use month. SOME companies charge a higher fee after you cross a certain threshold of usage. It's hard to stay under that amount during the summer, but I suppose they're trying to give us an incentive to use power wisely already.

    13. David VanNorman Wi says:

      Soon We will be forced to buty co2 when they take so much out the air that the trees don't have enough.

    14. Andy says:

      The bottom line here is that efficiency is the most cost-effective way to save money on energy. With energy prices skyrocketing over the last decade, helping people cut their home energy bills will save consumers money, create local jobs that can't be exported, and improve our national security by reducing our dependence on expensive, foreign oil. Upgrades and improvements in our energy system are a much-needed investment in the future of our country and our economy – and efficiency is one that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are getting behind because is makes so much sense.

      Andy Mannle

      New Leaf America

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