To The Daily Sun,
If you get your electricity from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, you've no doubt noticed the Member Service Charge portion of your bill. It's a fixed monthly charge that is paid by all co-op members, regardless of whether you use one kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month or 1,000. No single charge on your monthly electric bill attracts more attention than the Member Service Charge, so allow me to explain its intent and clear up some common misconceptions, some of which have been expressed recently in the local media.
Every business has operating costs and the co-op is no different. The co-op recovers the large majority of its costs with two charges that appear on your monthly bill – the Member Service Charge and the Delivery Charge. While the Member Service Charge is fixed and equal among all residential members, the Delivery Charge is a per-kWh charge that varies depending on how much electricity you use. Every four years, NHEC conducts or updates a Cost of Service Study (COSS), which we use to evaluate our rates and fees. Our 2013 COSS calculated it costs a little under $50 per metered account, per month to serve all our residential members. This is our cost to provide service to your meter. It covers expenses related to the maintenance of our electric distribution system so that we may have an infrastructure that is available to serve you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter how much power you use.
At present, the monthly Member Service Charge is $26.06. In the past, the Member Service Charge was lower than it is now — about $9 per month, but the Delivery Charge was about twice what it is now. In 2004, the co-op's Board of Directors made the decision to increase the Member Service Charge and lower the Delivery Charge. When the Member Service Charge was increased in 2004 and the Delivery Charge decreased, it resulted in an overall bill decrease for about two-thirds of co-op members. Similarly, if the Member Service Charge were decreased today, it would result in a bill increase for two-thirds of our members.
Another important reason for the current rate structure is its impact on the co-op's energy efficiency efforts. With a lower Delivery Charge, there is less incentive for the co-op to sell more electricity to make more money. While it can seem counter-intuitive, this effort by an electric company to sell less of its product, our current rate structure means we can fully support our members' energy efficiency efforts and maintain financial strength.
Bottom line — NHEC is a non-profit cooperative, and our rates and charges are designed to more equitably allocate costs. Your NHEC Board has determined that the best way to recover our actual costs is by appropriately balancing the fixed monthly cost (Member Service Charge) with the kWh charge (Delivery Charge). We believe we have developed a rate and fee structure that is fair to all members and will continue to review that rate structure to ensure it is appropriate.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
Over the last six years Messrs. Boutin, Wiles, Earle, Channing-Eddy, Meade and others have pounded out letters and op-eds with dire warnings about what the Democrats and President Obama are doing and have done over. Whine, CAPITALIZE, faithfully repeat talking points from the corporate-funded right wing and Fox. Lather, rinse and repeat.
Sky-high piles of negativity. Collectively these critics give us snippets of this and that, usually more fiction than fact. If we took them as the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of today we'd be hiding under our beds or locked and loaded in underground bunkers, awaiting the apocalypse.
It's a good thing that their crystal ball is usually more of a fog machine. We keep waiting but most of their rants and predictions turn out like the Mayan calendar end of the world hoax. It reminds one of the fairy tale from our children's book about Chicken Little who ran around town squawking "The sky is falling, the sky is falling'....only to be proven wrong about the world coming to an end.
Here are a few facts for these critics can chew on while gathering information for their next letter to the editor.
In January 2009 the Dow stood at 7,949 compared to 16,4590 today. Unemployment was 7.8 percent compared to 6.7 percent today. GDP growth was minus 5.4 percent compared to plus 4.1 percent today. Deficit GDP was 9.8 percent compared to 3.3 percent today. And consumer confidence has risen from 37.7 to 78.1.
Oh, those pesky facts. Well Done Mr. President. Especially considering that the Republicans in Congress, from Day One, made it their Number 1 purpose and priority to oppose ANYTHING (see, we all can use caps) that President Obama proposed.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:36
To The Daily Sun,
Did I miss the memo that Congress and the Senate are just going to concentrate on getting re-elected regardless of what issues real Americans are facing?
I have become more and more aware of decisions being made purely for political reasons and not for the good of the American people. Weren't congressmen and senators elected to their positions in our government to work together and make decisions that benefit the American people and the United States of America?
The two biggest issues that come to mind at the moment are the Keystone pipeline and the Affordable Care Act. There is also the issue of select committees investigating issues and having absolutely no resolution after a year or two of investigation, i.e., Benghazi, the IRS issue, etc. Not one person has been held accountable.
Why is it that if you work for the government you cannot be fired, you don't have to tell the truth or you can plead the Fifth? Don't these people owe the American people answers? After all, we pay their wages, benefits, healthcare, fund their pensions which they get no matter what and provide expense accounts which they abuse. Aren't we entitled to something for all that? Are they so important they shouldn't suffer consequences for bad decisions like real Americans?
As I see it, Democrats are busy delaying issues with the ACA in order to enhance their political chances of re-election. Republicans are not rocking the boat, trying not to do anything that can be used to make them look like the bad guy. President Obama is saving the "political capital" of signing the Keystone pipeline until it will benefit the Democrats the most politically and getting a head start on destroying any potential Republican candidate facing Hillary.
In the Senate, why must we suffer a leader who uses his position to make slanderous statements without the threat of prosecution and who has refused for years to bring many legislative issues to a vote?
Is this the year of the Senator or Congressmen? Did I miss the memo? Where is the celebration and how much are the tickets? Oh, it's April first. Let me get my dress ready.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:12
To The Daily Sun,
This is a request for voter support of Article 23 at the Moultonborough Town Meeting.
Article 23 requests a modest reduction in the permissible hours for all regulated noise as currently defined in the Town's Noise Ordinance.
As the ordinance already defines fireworks and what other activities create excessive noise, this proposed article does not in any way change those definitions. All it does is reduce the hours when such noises will be allowable. The new hours would be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. On July 4th there would be extended hours for fireworks.
I do hope the voters will consider that the very early morning and late evening usage of chain saws, leaf blowers, fireworks, etc. is unnecessary and that this article should be adopted.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:09
To The Daily Sun,
Here we go again with an increase in the gas tax.
My reply to Mr. Jim Jalbert is to encourage the voters in the Seacoast area to oppose the Northern Pass as it is proposed, and support the burial of this HVDC line under New Hampshire rights of way such as Interstates 93 and 89 and other state-owned rights of way.
Why give Public Service of New Hampshire some $80 million-plus free dollars? Bury it along I-93 and the state gets the revenue for our roads and bridges. This is a no-brainer for New Hampshire. Don't we pay enough for a gallon of gas as it is?
Here are some facts: Average gas price per gallon today $3.39, heating oil $3.79 per gallon, propane $4.54 per gallon. I pay the New Hampshire Electric Co-op a $26-a-month co-op fee. Why? When is it all going to stop?
I am not against Green energy, but to put more than 1,000 135-foot towers for 184 miles through New Hampshire in going back in time instead going with the future (burial).
Some will say (i.e., PSNH) burial is too costly. Well, those people haven't done their homework. Northern Pass is all about filling their stock holders pockets with profit. Let's give those profits to the State of New Hampshire.
Help us support burial of the Northern Pass. This benefits the whole state not just one small section (PSNH).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:06