Higher Power Bills Bring More Need for Affordable Energy

When I opened the newspaper this morning I saw a headline in the Las Vegas Sun: “Why your electric bill, all of a sudden went up $10.25”…

This made me think to myself that for many years we have been talking about alternative energy sources and looking for ways to bring energy to Americans at a much cheaper cost. However, somehow this seems to be lost on the majority of the public and corporate America. Yes, every now and then you’ll see a story about someone looking to put up some solar panels in the desert, and of course the hybrid car is selling at decent numbers now.

What I’m getting at here, is that now is the time for all of us to join a cause to find more efficient ways to bring energy to our homes and businesses. In Las Vegas, the majority of the power is owned by huge corporations that make millions and pass much of that money on to their high-paid executives. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about folks getting big paychecks if they can land those types of jobs–good for them. What I am not all about it watching the little guy–the average tax-payer continuing to get hammered by increased fees, taxes, higher-utility rates, and of course those prices at the pump.

In these times rising costs are particularly troubling considering that almost everyone is suffering. With unemployment at all time highs, many businesses closing their doors, and sales at many small businesses plummeting–now certainly isn’t the time to be sticking it to consumers. As far as I’m concerned it’s like kicking somebody while their down! Many states in this country have been hit hard by this recession, but no CITYhas been hit harder than Las Vegas…so, to wake up and read that our power bills are going up just ticks me off!

I think first about my parents who are on a fixed-income and the impact a $10.25 increase per month hits their bottom-line. While I’m not good at math, I believe that’s another $123.00 a year they won’t have. When utility companies raise rates, they usually have a great excuse and try their best to sell it to the general public. In the Las Vegas Sun today, there was this great quote from the Nevada Public Utilities Commission:

…The PUC said it wanted the most accurate growth forecasts possible so as to “not place unnecessary burden on ratepayers during this unprecedented economic downturn.”

I don’t think I could have said it much better and commend the PUC’s comments, but the rate is still increasing. When I suggested that we all get involved in a movement to help consumers save money on energy, I’m walking the walk. Many months ago, I joined Citizens for Affordable Energy–a company started by former Shell Oil Executive John Hofmeister. Below is the Mission Statement for CFAE:

Educate citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan affordable energy solutions, Environmental Protection, energy alternatives, efficiency, infrastructure, public policy, competitiveness, social cohesion, and quality of life.

As you can see, this mission statement says it all about what needs to be done. Their website is: http://www.citizensforaffordableenergy.org

I would urge you to join them in their valiant fight to help all Americans gain control of our energy needs. This is an opportunity for all of us to really do something–instead of just complaining about it, we can get involved! Stop watching your power bill, gas bill, water bill, cable bill, and gas bill go through the roof–try and do something to change the way we have been doing business!

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