Area Electric Bills Soar 33% in 5 Years

Posted By on December 21, 2011

Think Potterhill Homes energy efficient homes won’t save you big bucks on your utility bills? Think again…

Article originally printed in the Hamilton-Middletown Journal

Area electric bills soar 33 percent in 5 years

Officials blame increase on new state limits, mandates, cost of coal.

 

Nick Daggy/Pulse-Journal

By Dave Larsen, Staff Writer, Hamilton-Middletown Journal Updated 7:51 AM Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ohio’s average electricity rate has gone up 33 percent in the past five years, a reversal from previous decades when electricity costs remained fairly stable, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis.

The increase means higher bills for local customers, many of whom are paying above state and national average rates.

Local energy company officials attributed the recent price hikes to increased costs for power distribution and meeting environmental limits, among other factors.

The average Ohio residential price for electricity jumped to 11.32 cents per kilowatt hour in 2010, up from 8.51 cents in 2005, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. That rate is below the 2010 U.S. average of 11.54 cents per kilowatt hour.

Dayton Power & Light’s average residential rate increased from 9.4 cents per kilowatt hour in 2006 to 13.11 cents so far this year, a 39 percent increase.

Coal is used to generate most
of DP&L’s electricity and higher costs for the fossil fuel were a factor in the company’s higher electricity rates, said spokeswoman Lesley Sprigg. State-imposed energy efficiency standards and renewable mandates that began in 2009 accounted for another 5 percent increase in residential bills, Sprigg said. “We work to hold or reduce those costs that we can control to ensure affordable electricity for our customers.”

Duke Energy officials also cited higher fuel and environmental costs as factors in their residential rates.

Duke’s rates jumped from 9.81 cents per kilowatt hour in 2006 to 13.49 cents in 2010, a 37 percent jump.

Duke Energy customers
should see lower rates starting in January after a three-year rate plan for the supply and pricing of electric generation service expires on Dec. 31, said Sally Thelen, a company spokeswoman.

The previous rate was approved before the economic recession, when there was higher electricity demand from large industrial customers, she said.

“We are anticipating an average residential customer that uses 1,000 kilowatt hours on average a month is going to see an 11 percent decrease, or $14 on their bill,” Thelen said.

Ohio Edison, which has customers in Clark and Greene counties, increased rates 4 percent from 2005 to 2008, but are now 2 percent below 2005 rates, said Mark Durbin, a spokesman for Ohio Edison. He attributed the reduction to lower electricity generation rates from alternative suppliers in an open market.

Ohio Edison’s current residential rate is 11.25 cents per kilowatt hour, down from a high of 12 cents in 2008, Durbin said.

The wholesale price of electric power has been lower at recent energy auctions because of “an excess glut of generation on the market, so that has translated into lower prices for consumers who choose to shop,” Durbin said.

He said people can help lower their electric bills by reducing energy use at home, such as turning off computers and televisions when they are not in use.

Area customers typically use between 750 to 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, officials said.

Energy consumption by household appliances nearly doubled between 1978 and 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration. Increased use of consumer electronics has partly offset the efficiency gains of major appliances, officials said.

“If somebody had a bill from five years ago or even 10 years ago, they would notice that they are using more kilowatt hours per month, which would translate obviously into a higher electric bill,” Durbin said.

Teresa Campbell of Dayton has seen a “noticeable”
increase of about $10 a month in her electric bill during the last several years. Campbell runs the same appliances as usual, but “the bill has been a little higher,” she said. The higher cost has forced Campbell to cut back on her budget. “I am more conscientious of turning off the lights and unplugging things,” she said.

 http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-news/area-electric-bills-soar-33-percent-in-5-years-1301583.html

 

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As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+