Next step: find a way to make the electric company pay you. Image credit:PowerGuideReview
Electricity use in portions of the USA has fallen by several percent, with 2 to 10% reductions in consumption recently reported in the Tennesee Valley - other areas may see higher reductions, some lower. Whether the net cause of this trend is consumers cutting back in response to hard times, cutbacks done for environment sake, industrial closures and shift reductions in response to the recession, or some combination of these, is left to speculation. What we know for certain is that fossil fuel interests, their investors, and the politicians who ordinarily benefit from their campaign donations are going to see less revenue. Will Cap & Trade pass Congress fast enough to get the blame when electricity rate increases are proposed? If recent history is any guide, they'll sure enough find their scapegoats among those who have supported a climate bill. Chattanooga Times Free Press has some examples of the electricity consumption cutbacks.
As families and businesses look for ways to cut back, many are reducing their electricity use, according to local power distributors.I can readily imagine Washing DC lobbyists making certain that 2009 will not be a benchmark year for prospective cutbacks in GHG emissions.
And that's bad news for Georgia and Tennessee electric companies.
"Overall, across the valley, I think most power distributors are seeing a decline in sales," said Phillip Burgess, a spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association...The reduced demand has made its way up the lines, as well. The Tennessee Valley Authority released a statement last month saying the utility had seen an "unprecedented decline in sales revenue."...
More importantly, highly coal-dependent utilities such as those reflected in the Chattanooga Times story are going to have to balance the recently reduced revenue streams against the price increases presently forced upon them: see Coal State Electric Bills Rising 7% To 100% - Even Without Cap & Trade
And, finally, we can certainly expect utilities to show more angry-teeth over roof-top solar installation proposals. For explanation see: Trend Watch: Utilities Showing Teeth To Rooftop Solar Advocates ...
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