Facing a Drop in Energy Use, Utilities Fight Back With Steep Fees

Wall Street Journal: “Electric utilities across the country are trying to change the way they charge customers, shifting more of their fixed costs to monthly fees, raising the hackles of consumer watchdogs and conservation advocates.” “Now, many utility companies are seeking to increase their monthly fees by double-digit percentages, raising them to $25 or more a month regardless of the amount of power consumers use. The utilities argue that the fees should cover a bigger proportion of the fixed costs of the electric grid, including maintenance and repairs.” “The problem for utilities is that many consumers are using less power these days, in large part because appliances and equipment are getting more energy efficient. Even though U.S. homes are getting bigger, energy consumption per square foot is going down, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. The rise of rooftop solar power in some parts of the country also is chipping away at power sales.”
Topics: wonk-wire