Cost of bringing electricity to homesite is prohibitive

Like many baby boomers, I fell in love with Colorado decades ago. Now I am a few years from collecting Social Security.

I will soon begin building the small home in which I plan to spend the rest of my life. My lot is paid off, and I have my building permit.

Of course, I will need electricity. While I love the idea of off-grid solar, I recently learned from a local installer that it is something I cannot afford.

According to the folks at La Plata Electric Association, to get power to my Tween Lakes lot, the new transformer will cost $5,700. Running wires from the nearest transformer to mine will cost around $14,400 (about $18 per linear foot).

But, wait. I must also hire someone to dig a deep, 800-foot-long trench to my lot, and line it with sand, according to LPEA specifications. This will bring the grand total to about $25,000.

LPEA claims to provide electricity at the lowest reasonable cost. I am not alone in feeling that $25,000 is not a reasonable cost to get power within a Durango subdivision. This very large expense will have a dramatic effect on what I am able to spend to build my little house.

A few years ago, my Tween Lakes neighbors built a small home. LPEA installed the transformer at no cost to them. My neighbors paid around $2,000 to get electricity to their home. Why the enormous discrepancy between what they paid and what I am being asked to pay?

I suspect that I am not the only one in the community with this problem. I would like to hear from others who are in the same boat, and maybe together we can persuade the folks at LPEA to treat their customers much more equitably. As our sole electric provider, perhaps they can be convinced to make changes that will allow residents to have electric power that is truly affordable.

Andrea Powers