[SeMissourian.com] Overcast ~ 43°F  
River stage: 28.51 ft. Rising
Monday, Nov. 30, 2015

Editorial: New fee for less?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reducing electricity consumption is cheaper than building new power plants, and utility companies should be able to pass along the cost of promoting energy efficiency, according to Gov. Jay Nixon, utility companies, environmentalists, the states' public service commission and its utility consumer advocate. But it may be a hard sell for customers.

Nixon signed legislation this week that allows utility companies to charge for energy-reduction programs. The new law goes into effect Aug. 28. To qualify for the program, power companies must demonstrate that their programs actually reduce consumption.

Advocates say this approach is better than spending hundreds of millions of dollars for new power plants and passing along those costs to customers. If state and utility officials are correct, the overall cost to consumers over the coming years will be lower.

Another program provides free programmable thermostats to residential customers that can be controlled by the utility company during peak demand. Supporters of this program say this also reduces customers' bills.

Meanwhile, utility companies are planning new power plants, which means customers face paying for energy-reduction programs while the cost of electricity goes up to pay for construction.

Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

More *doublespeak*. Try to convince us they are saving energy/money, yet for some reason it costs me more money? If it's savings, then I should get some of this money back, not have to pay for it and let the power company reap any savings. I tell you it's like the old shell game...

-- Posted by Walkenstick on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 5:08 AM

I agree Walkenstick. Savings should be passed along. Now it seems that since utilities will make less money with reduced consumption, they've found a way to keep the money coming in.

-- Posted by stevmo on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 9:14 AM

Reminds me of the old saying ...

"Damned if you do; damned if you don't."

Surely no one expects a utility company to make less profits just because customers are conserving energy.

-- Posted by gurusmom on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 10:37 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: