"How Should Utility Companies Spend Your Money? A Debate Rages"

"Unless you’re an energy nerd like me, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about how utilities spend the money you pay them each month. You used a bunch of electricity or natural gas, and that’s what you’re getting charged for. Right?

Not quite! In addition to fuel costs, you’re also paying for repairs to old power plants, construction of electric wires and gas pipes, subsidies for energy-saving lightbulbs, discounts for low-income households, shareholder profit margins of about 10%...

And somewhere, buried so deep you might never know it, the cost of your utility’s memberships in trade associations.

Why does that matter? Because those industry groups take public policy stances that are sometimes controversial.

The Edison Electric Institute, for instance, says it supports clean energy but has at times supported groups that have opposed clean air rules. The American Gas Assn. has been involved with political efforts to block cities from banning gas appliances in new homes, a growing battleground as climate activists push for a nationwide transition to all-electric heating and cooking."

Sammy Roth reports for the Los Angeles Times May 13, 2021, in his weekly Boiling Point Newsletter.

Source: LA Times, 05/14/2021