Use Less Electricity and Pay More?

Use Less Electricity and Pay More?

According to the Albuquerque Journal, a bill was introduced in the New Mexico State Legislature to allow utilities to recover some of the profits they lose when customers buy less electricity because of energy efficiency programs.  Utilities have argued that they should be able to make up the reductions in earnings that occur when customers buy less energy – either because they are using energy more efficiently or generating their own with alternative sources.  One utility proposes to figure how much per year the company and customers save through energy efficiency.  It would then add 15 percent of that to its proposed rate surcharge for energy efficiency. How this would get people to save electricity?  What is the incentive – paying more for the privilege of using less?  Homeowners often pay a premium to install energy efficient appliances and lights in their homes.  This proposal will reduce the homeowner’s savings on his/her electric bill.  As a result, it will increase the time needed to recover the investment, and may cause people not to invest in energy efficient products. 

NEMA supports federal government energy-efficiency product requirements based on industry consensus standards.  Many NEMA consumer and commercial products are covered by national energy-efficiency standards. A practical strategy for achieving the maximum proven efficiency in the shortest amount of time is to retrofit these products into existing facilities.  This proposal would undermine that strategy.

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