A dumb bunny asks: Why does the power company want me to use less electricity?

To the Editor:
Do you receive National Grid’s home energy reports? I’ve received them routinely for years. They usually point out that I am using more electricity than some of my neighbors here in East Berne.

The report that arrived today says that my electricity use is good but not great. It goes on to ask if I know why my power usage is 17 percent higher for December 2023 than it was in December 2022. It suggests I consider the purchase of a low-cost energy assessment.

Gee whiz, I’m just a dumb bunny living in the hills. You expect me to know why I used more juice in December than a year ago? Its not like I started mining Bitcoin.

Wanting to be a little less dumb, I spoke with an acquaintance, an aspiring government-efficiency consultant. She suggested various methods to find opportunities for energy conservation.

Yes, but I’m wondering why National Grid doesn’t thank me for using more electricity? After all, they are in business to sell electricity. Why would they want customers to use less? What kind of business plan is that?

My consultant friend says that power companies are monopolies that work on a cost-plus basis with a guaranteed return on investment. If electric use declines, they may get rate increases to offset the lower sales volume.

But government wants us to use more electricity instead of burning fossil fuels. Isn’t electric power the preferred energy for preserving the planet and slowing climate change? Governments are subsidizing electric cars, trucks, buses, and renewable electric generating equipment like solar panels and wind turbines.

But the power company wants me to use less electricity? What? Are they running out of the stuff?

The aspiring consultant thinks that New York State wants, or even requires, National Grid to send home energy reports to customers. Why, I asked.

She said that our state government might be trying to help us avoid waste and save money. She suggested that our government leaders may be smarter than dumb bunnies like me.

Well, if I weren’t a dumb bunny, I would have figured this out long ago. I have been using electric power willy-nilly, with no concern about the cost or other consequences.

I mean, who thinks about avoiding stupidity and waste? I keep the incandescent lights bright, the AC ice cold, the heating system cranked up like hell-fire, the hot water scalding, avoid insulation like COVID-19, live to burn money and rely on government to do my thinking!

Doesn’t everyone?

Thank God for those smart government people in Albany. We know that government is expert in practicing efficiency and preventing waste. What would all of us dumb bunnies do without them?

JB Houle

East Berne

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