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Utility bills

I'm surprised there have been no posts about the serious increase in the utility bills that came out last week. Or was it just mine that almost doubled?

How much longer will we stand for this?

Comments

solo 3 years, 4 months ago

What exactly do want us to do about this?

It's hotter than heck and unless you are willing to live without a/c your bills are going to go up. yes, Rates are high but energy costs are sky rocketing everywhere, not just Baldwin. I am afraid high utility costs are a fact of life in the early part of the 21st century and we better figure out a way to live with it. Personally I am just grateful the power is on and we aren't having rolling brownouts like we did about a decade ago in the middle of another hot Kansas summer. As long as the power and the a/c stay on I am not going to gripe too much. I still have control over my thermostat.

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hyperinflate 3 years, 4 months ago

I think it's staggeringly funny that posters like Bloggerboo apparently think that the utility should lose money while providing power. Then when the utility finally runs out of cash, it can be the City of Baldwin taxpayers that bails out the utility. That way Bloggerboo can use all the electricity he wants and have you and I subsidize it for him. What a plan!

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 4 months ago

It would be nice since we pay more as a city the more we use to have incentives to use less. Like reverse metering for those who generate their own power. Or rebates for replacing old ac's etc.

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think I would be quite so upset if it weren't for the fact that the bill was for June, which was not nearly as hot as the last three weeks have been. So, now I know my next bill will be possibly triple my usual bill.

Yes, I do understand I can adjust my thermostat. And I have. What good has that done? It has made us all hot and cranky 24 hours a day. And still the bill is astronomical.

I like the idea of some sort of incentives, though.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't need a loan to fix my house nor do I need an energy audit for $100 for someone to tell me to spend more money. My house is less than 10 years old and has low E glass, R40 in the attic a tankless hot water heater, etc. I am talking about real incentives like KCPL gives. Net metering where you sell the excess power back. Or the rebates they give for buying a new effecient AC. they are giving $850 right now. Last year my parents got a total of $2500 from two rebates. The more we lower our usage as a whole town the better off we all are on price. And a 15 watt CFL will not solve our problems, However Lawrence was giving them away free to help them win the Take charge challenge.

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uapinochet 3 years, 4 months ago

Good for you, nwyt. I hope you can persuade KCPL to help our municipal utility to pass those incentives on to the residents here in BC. Also, I think net-metering will be a great incentive for the 2% of the population that actually generate their own electricity.

However, for those that don't have R40 in there attics or those that don't have lo-e coatings on their glass, and for those that have a low SEER AC, these incentives can be a great way to cut consumption and their costs. There are people, like bloggerboo, that want to lower their energy bills and these are the programs that the state has offered.

As far as CFL's go, if you do the math, they are the best when it comes to savings to investment.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 4 months ago

" I hope you can persuade KCPL to help our municipal utility to pass those incentives on to the residents here "

That was my point. If we had KCPL we would already have it. Net metering is required by law for all companies except government owned.

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NanCrisp 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it's not true that the more we lower our usage as a whole town the better off we all are on price. Because our system is stand-alone, the City has to maintain some very expensive equipment to keep everyone's power running and available at all times. They have to provide for peak power transmission even when less is being used. The excess/unused is waste and the City is not compensated for that waste. So, the less we use, the more we will pay per kilowat of electricity or gallon of water.

Overall, we can lower our individual bill up to a point, but the more people conserve and upgrade their efficiency, the more the City has to make that up in higher rates. Ironically, the current push for everyone to increase efficiency may get the City some kind of grant money, but the more successful it is (i.e., the more people successfully decrease their usage), the more it's going to drive up the price per unit of utility usage. It's, yes, a zero-sum game.

It's time to abandon the ultra-expensive luxury of our stand-alone municipal utilities. We are in a metro area where other cities provide much cheaper utilities through larger providers. This town is not capable of maintaining the system we currently have, and that is just the plain truth. I'd estimate that already 50% of the residents cannot afford to help the City keep the municipal utilities afloat. As that number grows, there will be less and less support for the status quo.

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 4 months ago

No cost is too high to ensure perfect comfort for the kids - right, Blog? Better turn your air back up. It's for the kids.

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 4 months ago

Ok, so why exactly am I being vilified here? Because I supported the Bond issue along with a majority of BC citizens? Because I am tired of paying more for utilities than should reasonably be expected?

You folks are awfully quick with an attack. I'm sure you needed it to feel better about yourself though.

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solo 3 years, 4 months ago

Blogger---I have no beef with your past support of the Bond issue--not sure what that has to do with this discussion anyway---- I just honestly don't know what you want us to do about high utitlity bills. High energy costs are something that we are going to have to live with. Do you honestly think we here in Baldwin are the only ones dealing with this problem? Energy costs are soaring everywhere. What exactly do you think is a "fair" amount?

You asked what we are to do about it and my response is do what you can to control your own usage. I am not sure what else you had in mind. Do we shake our fists at the sun or is what you really want us to do is start villifing our city leaders because you blame them for your high utility bills?

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 4 months ago

Here are some interesting reads from our very own Signal. I do not have the answers, nor claim to. However, I feel that it is the City's job to do their absolute best to keep rates low knowing that we are all going to get slammed over the summer months. You all act like I don't know its hot out. I know that, and that is precisely why I am upset that more hasn't been done to prepare for this by the City admins.

http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2011/mar/31/city-council-candidates-address-high-electrical-ra/ (Notice several of the candidates at the time were against the rate increase...we got it anyway.)

http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2010/oct/07/city-council-review-new-peak-demand-rate/

And going way back: http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2001/feb/14/mayor_talks_electricity/ ( I like the part at the end where he says it will bring us low-cost electricity.)

Folks, I don't expect the city to lose money so we can have cheaper rates. I expect them to manage all of this efficiently, with foresight, and make decisions that keep it low knowing we will always have these Kansas summers to deal with. Am I asking for too much?

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hyperinflate 3 years, 4 months ago

Well good for you. The only "job" for the City (as owner of the utility) is to ensure the viability of the utility. That includes concepts like general upkeep, transitioning to cleaner and more efficient technologies, complying with environmental regulations, and planning for the future. Just because you got used to a bunch of cheapskates who looked to get by on as low as rates as possible (and damn near toppled the utility into a useless pile of junk) doesn't mean the rest of us don't appreciate the fact that this council and city leaders are trying to ensure a viable future for us.

Don't come out swinging with invective and broad-brush attacks if you can't handle the heat when someone calls you on it.

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 4 months ago

Hyperinflate, you and I share the same sense of humor, apparently. I just luuuuv those who happily spend everyone else's money but whine and cry when they have to spend their own to take care of themselves. Here I've often thought Blog would be much happier in Johnson County, but perhaps one of the more socialist countries would be a better choice. Sweden, perhaps?

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't happily spend everyone else's money. I pay the same as everyone else. Not to mention, the majority felt like I did. If you think that improvements we've made to this district haven't been worth it, why don't you point out why, instead of taking pot shots at me. Engage in a real discussion, rather than starting your own Speakout clique.

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citymole 3 years, 3 months ago

My thermostat and water usage didnt change that i was aware of my that month but my utility bill, especially water, seemed to be at an all time high this last bill that came out... funny that you mentioned it too.... :)

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straub 3 years, 3 months ago

I do sympathize with everyone on this issue. However, the solution is not to critique everyone who expresses a discomfort with something. I can assure you Bloggerboo may be the only one to express discomfort outwardly on the site; but there are many more unhappy with the rate increases who: a) either fear harsh comments. b) do not have the luxury or know how to blog. c) know nothing at all about these sites. d) figure why bother knowbody can fix it so why should I get involved or care.

Many in this town can afford the luxury of running the A/C day & night. Some may be on financial assistance. But there are many who due to higher gas prices & grocery store increases, may no longer be able to sustain the cost.

My question is do we want those who are falling upon hard times to fall between the cracks? For example: those loved ones who live on a fixed income. Some have been through hard times before and will just shut the system off trying to stay cool as long as they can survive the temperatures. But what happens if this person does not realize what is happening to their body and die?

So please start a dialogue to address methods to improve the City Utilities. Let me start by offering an idea to better work with all of our community residents:

  1. Since utility bills always increase substantially in the summer, why not allow the City Utility Company to print out the individual resident utility bill for an entire year, divide it by 12 months so the bill can be averaged out? Kansas Gas Service does this and the following year will either go up a bit or down a bit.

  2. Why not look into the ability of selling electricity back to the City.

  3. What about rebates for securing new energy.

Can anyone tell us how much of a savings Mid-America Bank has realized from the solar roof?

What does Baker University pay per kilowat hour for energy? Has the rate they pay gone up to adjust to increases over the years? Is Baker trying to come up with alternative or better methods of their use of utilities?

OKAY EVERYONE START A SOLUTIONS SITE AND MAYBE JUST MAYBE THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL READ IT AND IF NOT LET'S GET THEIR NAMES AND PHONE NUMBERS OUT TO EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY TO CALL THEM!!!!

We all care about this community and this is what make Baldwin Special. We care about each other and try to help where we can, we look out for each others young and old. We reach out to those who are to proud to ask for our help. We are BALDWIN CITY RESIDENTS, WE CARE!

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oldman 3 years, 3 months ago

I think we should have a payment plan. Like other cities have. This would help with the high cost we have in June July & Aug.

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