LES Wants More of Your Money

January 31, 2008 at 2:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln Electric System wants to raise rates by 5.5% (see the info sheet [PDF]). The Lincoln Employers Coalition and the Lincoln Independent Business Association disagree, preferring a 4% or 4.5% increase. (Well, I’m sure they, like all of us, prefer a 0% increase, but it doesn’t sound like that’s a viable option.)

One of the points of contention is LES’s sustainable energy program. Both the LEC and LIBA support a voluntary program—not unlike Lincoln Cares, I presume—in which folks decide on their own whether or not to give to the program.

My barrier at this point is a lack of information. I’m not sure what the sustainable energy program entails, and why it needs funding of $1 million. If that $1 million will actually do something—like generate sustainable energy or directly assist in cutting costs—great. But if it’s primarily an informational fund (“You should install CFLs!”), you can probably count me out. I’m reasonably happy with LES’s current informational campaigns, and to me, an extra million isn’t likely to have sufficient results to justify the costs. But again, I don’t have details right now (and I don’t see any on LES’s website), so this is all hypothetical.

What are your thoughts on the rate hike? Should we fight it, live with it, or consider it a bargain?

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The Comments

Dave K January 31, 2008 at 4:14pm

Fight it!  Last year they had a convenient excuse to raise rates, and this year they’re just blowing smoke where it doesn’t belong. They need to prove that the extra money we’d be paying would go towards better electricity/service.  But if my lights are on, they’re on.  It’s not like I look at my lights and say ‘Gee, I wish I had some better electricity lighting my light bulbs’.

net_nut January 31, 2008 at 5:03pm

Off the top of my head I’d say it’s a bargain.  Looking through the info sheet (quickly…may not be accurate) it seems that for residential customers it’s one of the best, if not the best, in the area.  But, for large customers it’s not so hot.  Maybe to attract larger industry (as a bargaining chip) we need to sacrifice a little of the residential rates for the industrial rates.  So many commenters (especially on the LJS site) say “attract industry to Lincoln.”  Put up or shut up?  I dunno…

Mr. T January 31, 2008 at 5:32pm

I’d like more info too. In principle I’d be willing to pay more if the results lead to greater use of more efficient, renewable or cleaner electricity generation (i.e. wind or nuclear). I just need to know more if the hike really does this.

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