Our electric co-op, LPEA, must charge users enough to cover the cost of buying electricity and delivering it to us. However, it can choose how to apportion this amount among users, and it has chosen a way that penalizes small businesses, people who conserve electricity and people who install alternate-energy generation.
Your electric bill is a combination of a base charge – a fixed amount you pay each month – plus a per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge that accounts for your usage. LPEA has chosen to raise the base charge and plans to continue raising it for years to keep the kWh charge low. This means that conservation, using more efficient appliances and alternate generation will save you less money, because you will pay the increased fixed amount no matter how much electricity you use. What’s worse is that the base charge for small businesses is more than double the residential rate, even though the infrastructure, which is what the base charge is supposed to cover, is for the most part already in place.
The LPEA board of directors election is an important opportunity for us to make our voices heard. I believe that your electric bill should reflect your electricity usage, rather than be largely a fixed monthly amount that you can’t decrease through conservation, efficient appliances or solar/wind generation. Four candidates for the LPEA board, one in each district, agree with me: Bruce Baizel, Britt Bassett, Heather Erb and Kirsten Skeehan.
Please vote for the candidate in your district who will help guide LPEA to fairer and more sensible pricing policies.