Monday, July 06, 2009

Think using less electricity will save you money?

(Via the Drudge Report)

I can remember the old public service announcements in the 70s exhorting everyone to save energy and save money at the same time. Fast forward to a new century.

Some Missouri residents and businesses soon could see a new charge on their electric bills — a fee for using less energy.

Though it might seem illogical, the new energy efficiency charge has support from utilities, most lawmakers, the governor, environmentalists and even the state’s official utility consumer advocate. The charge covers the cost of utilities’ efforts to promote energy efficiency and cut power use.

The assumption is that charging consumers for those initiatives ultimately will cost less than charging them to build the new power plants that will be needed if electricity use isn’t curtailed.

I note they used the word "assumption", not "logic".

We have seen similar moves relating to gasoline taxes as consumers shifted their behavior by buying more efficient cars in response to high gas prices. The reduction in gas tax collections have caused some states to attempt to enact a "per mile driven" tax scheme in addition to the gas tax. This nonsense has been overcome by the application of voter outrage, as voters shifted their behavior from being fleeced like sheep to growling like wolves.

Perhaps the voters of Missouri need to do some growling of their own. Government needs to understand that its our money, not theirs.

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