Tags: Household | Electricity | Rates | Skyrocket

USA Today: Household Electricity Rates Skyrocket

Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011 07:50 AM

Household electricity rates have skyrocketed in recent years thanks to rising kilowatt-hour prices and greater usage.

Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

Many appliances such as refrigerators and even air conditioners use less power, but people have moved into larger houses and are using more power.

"People have made a lot of money selling weight loss programs. It's the same for energy. Behavior is hard to change," says Penni Conner, vice president of customer care at NSTAR, a Boston-based utility, USA Today reports.

Higher fuel prices are to blame as well, as are rising costs of replacing old power plants to make them more environmentally friendly.

"The industry as a whole is facing higher costs because we're retiring our aging fleet" of power plants, says Duke Energy spokeswoman Betsy Conway.

Economic uncertainty, however, is driving oil price pressures down, as less economic activity cuts into demand for fossil fuels.

The International Energy Agency has cut its growth forecast for global demand this year and next by up to 200,000 barrels per day, putting the growth now at 700,000 barrels per day thanks to largely to the drag the European debt crisis is having on the global economy.

"Greater supply side flexibility is welcome, although it would be a pity for it to come about largely because of suppressed economic activity," the IEA says in a monthly report, the AFP newswire reports.

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Household electricity rates have skyrocketed in recent years thanks to rising kilowatt-hour prices and greater usage. Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of...
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Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011 07:50 AM
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