Using Electricity Safely and Efficiently
The Rising Cost of Power
Higher electricity costs are
on the horizon as growing
demand and environmental
regulations stress rates
By Megan McKoy-Noe
Megan McKoy-Noe writes on consumer and
cooperative affairs for NRECA. Steve Johnson
and Jennifer Taylor contributed to this article.
Thirty-five years ago, disco was king,
personal computers were born and
Americans needed more electricity.
To meet this demand, not-for-profit,
consumer-owned electric utilities—in
partnership with their wholesale power
suppliers—built or invested in power
plants, mostly coal or nuclear.
Unfortunately, many of these plants
may be forced to make expensive changes
to meet increasing environmental regulations—and as electric demand climbs
again, new generation will be needed to
keep the lights on.
Some coal-fired power plants may
require modifications so severe it will be
more cost effective to shut them down.
Adding more plugged-in devices daily,
consumers already are paying more for
electricity. The average annual residential
electric bill has risen $263.40 since 2005,
with electricity use outpacing efficiency