At the candidate forum last night for the KIUC Board election, I reiterated my campaign theme which holds up from three years ago...only more so. Especially that last bit!
I am distressed that our existing Board and management team seem satisfied with current efforts to keep rates fairly steady, apparently on the notion that this is the best that we can expect. Not.
We CAN expect a future of energy abundance with low electricity costs, yet the only way to get there is through a much more aggressive strategy of direct investment in renewable generation.
This means switching away from the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) strategy that KIUC has been pursuing-- with limited results-- for the mast 6 years.
We can illustrate the profound differences in approach with this example from our household sector:
Say you put solar panels on your roof to generate all your own electricity, and you could pay-off the cost in seven years with payments roughly equal to your present utility bill.
So, what happens in the 8th year? (Can you say FREE?)
Alternatively, you can rent your roof to someone else who makes the investment. Then what happens in the 8th year? Sadly, as you continue paying through the term of your deal, that money goes right to your investor's bottom line.
Just so, by relying on PPA, we may lock in steady rates for now, yet we give up the possibility of lowering them later, when this investment is paid off.
Got it? Got questions? Feel free to chime in!