June 23, 2009

Santee Cooper Is Cooping Us in Their Incentives: Consume and Waste

Santee Cooper's incentives = consume and waste. A higher percentage of consumption and waste and the utility receives more revenue. To reduce and conserve derails such revenue...So "crank the air condition as high as you can, especially during peak hours," is their rhetoric. The utility is not promoting the need for energy efficiency, or even, how to be more efficient during the summer days. Mollie Gore, spokeswoman for Santee Cooper, could preach more efficient agendas: "Even as temperature rises into the triple digits, South Carolinians need to watch their AC use, and try not use as much as possible!" Wasting and consuming snow balls -- the revenues from this summer will be allocated toward the proposed coal plant and not Santee Cooper's renewable energy. More pollution means more costs. "Crank up the air condition, don't conserve!" and Santee Cooper gets more revenue to build polluting plants. We, as consumers, control whether or not Santee Cooper collects such revenues. If only the Santee Cooper would help.
The State
Economy may hold down power comsumoption
Chuck Crumbo
June 19, 2009

Power companies serving South Carolina’s 2.4 million customers say a sour economy and growing conservation efforts could temper electricity consumption this summer.The utilities report consumption is either flat or down as much as 6 percent among residential customers compared to this time last year.

It’s difficult to project what the impact on the company’s bottom line will be, said Rhonda O’Banion, spokeswoman for Columbia-based South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

“It largely depends on how committed customers are to conserving energy and on just how hot it will get,” O’Banion said.

Nationally, power consumption fell 3 percent during the first three months of the year and is projected to down nearly 2 percent for the year.

But power bills, triggered by higher fuel costs utilities pay to generate electricity, are expected to climb 5 percent for the year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

Despite conservation efforts, people are bound to turn up the air conditioner when the heat makes them uncomfortable, said Mollie Gore, spokeswoman for state-operated Santee Cooper.“When the temperature gets into the high 90s or triple digits, we think people will still want to crank up that air conditioning,” Gore said.

The price of gasoline could impact power consumption, said Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan.

“Last year, when gas prices were really high, we had some anecdotal evidence that customers were reacting by adjusting the thermostat,” Sheehan said. “They could not control energy cost at the gas pump, but could at home."

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