How Not to Set Electricity Rates

Clare McGuire, former attorney for the Georgia Public Service commission and Georgia Watch, contributed to this post. Electricity rate setting is a hornet’s nest full of accounting, policy-making and politics. People love power companies when rates are low, and they sometimes even love them when rates are high. The thing that really riles electric customers [...]

VEC Utility Customers More Informed Than Most

Not all electricity bills are created equal, and today we’d like to commend a local utility company on providing their customers with an exceptionally detailed one. Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC) provides information and advice beyond what the average national utility bill presents. Last November, John Wilson, SACE’s Research Director, shared with you a study about [...]

What your electric utility bill is NOT telling you

A fascinating new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy takes a look at what’s on the bills that electric utilities send to their customers. OK, you have got to be an energy geek to appreciate this kind of insight, but here are two observations. ACEEE’s report, “The State of the Utility Bill,” [...]

Duke Energy leads Southeastern utilities in avoiding taxes

According to a new study from Citizens for Tax Justice, Duke Energy led five other Southeastern utilities in avoiding federal corporate income taxes. Compared to the statutory 35% corporate tax rate, Southeastern utilities paid about 10.5% of pre-tax profits in federal taxes during the 2008-10 time period. Duke’s effective tax rate of -3.9% (that is, [...]

Driving energy efficiency too slow

Just a brief update for those who are interested in why Florida is moving so slowly on energy efficiency. As recently noted by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, “regulators in Florida … took actions to render their energy savings target ineffective.” Similarly in response, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is protesting [...]

A fresh look at the buyer of last resort, PURPA

For over a decade, states have been coasting along with policies that affect the market for key energy resources: small renewable energy generators and companies that practice cogeneration (also known as energy recycling, or combined heat and power). As advocates for consumer-friendly energy efficiency, we’ve learned that these same policies affect energy efficiency, particularly what [...]

Want to pay an extra $258 per year for Plant Washington coal power?

Me neither. Unfortunately for ratepayers, a report published by consumer advocate Georgia Watch on June 22 suggests that customers of Power4Georgians member EMCs (Cobb, Central Georgia, Snapping Shoals, Upson and Washington EMC) could see their electric rates jump 10-20% when the proposed coal-fired Plant Washington comes online. The report, which only includes the impact of [...]

Why the Southeast needs to catch up on energy efficiency

Recently, we shared the great news that most utility customers across the Southeastern states that we focus on have or will very soon have access to meaningful energy efficiency programs. By 2015, these efficiency programs are projected to achieve energy savings ten times what they were just a few years ago. We’re excited about that [...]

Report: New Investment in Coal is a Risky Proposition

A report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists adds to the growing body of knowledge about the danger of our over-reliance on coal as our primary source of electricity.  The new report, “A Risky Proposition: The Financial Hazards of New Investments in Coal Plants” highlights the financial risks that utilities and ratepayers face [...]

TVA final Integrated Resource Plan leaves key decisions for Board of Directors

On Friday, the Tennessee Valley Authority released its final Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): TVA’s Environmental and Energy Future. It marks the culmination of 18 months of analysis, public engagement and stakeholder review to produce a recommended strategy for the agency, but it also leaves several critical decisions for TVA’s Board of Directors. For years, SACE [...]