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How ‘Going green’ could lower electric bills

By   /   March 6, 2012  /   Comments Off




I’m a free market kind of guy.  While I’m sympathetic to the environmental movement in a lot of ways, I find much of what they want is borderline ridiculous at best.  One thing we’ve been hearing for years is that “conservation” is a good thing.  Well, the good folks at Water, Gas & Light have made many in the community question that.

You see, after we had less revenue was generated, which is what happens if you use less electricity, WG&L officials announced that utility prices would increase.  Essentially, we did what they’ve been saying for a large chunk of my lifetime, and we’re getting the shaft over it.  It can certainly look like “being green” just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

However, there’s a quirk in state law that is at least partially the cause for this one.  You see, by law, there can only be one company that can provide you power.  That company is Georgia Power.

As a free market kind of guy, I’m not big on government mandated monopolies, especially when there are ways that you and I could, theoretically if nothing else, lower our power bills.  For example, imagine if a company wanted to set up solar cells on your roof to offset your expenses?  As things stand, it’s illegal.  However, Senator Buddy Carter has proposed SB 401 which would make this kind of deal perfectly legal.

The fact of the matter is that I really don’t see huge solar farms being the future of power creation. Instead, I see people’s homes serving as the source of their power and the idea of contracting with a company to set up and service the solar cells – to say nothing of selling any excess power to power companies or other customers who need more power – may just be the key to clean, efficient energy.

I have no illusions that my readers here are environmentalists.  You’re not, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  However, this is a rare circumstance when the free market and pro-environmental measures stand side by side.  It’s actually kind of an unusual alliance really, but a logical one.

I do believe that a significant percentage of this paper’s readership believe in free markets.  I believe in competition, and I think competition ultimately makes things better.  We don’t have any competition in the realm of power creation in this state, and I can’t envision any circumstance in which that is actually a good thing.

I’d like to urge all of our readers to contact your state representative and state senators to ask them to support this new legislation.  If conservation will not keep our power bills lower, then there needs to be alternatives.  In a free market, that’s how things work.  If you aren’t happy with your service or current rate, you are free to find someone else to provide your service.  All I’m suggesting here is that we should be free to be able to do the same.

While it’s entirely possible that we will hear arguments from Georgia Power and its supporters that prices will increase, I ask so what?  After all, it’s clear that prices are going to increase regardless of what we do, so why not make the playing field open for competitors so that we can find someone who will provide service for a price we can live with.

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