Over eight months ago I wrote about the city conservation charge for electricity that was not detailed on resident’s utilities service bills. At the invitation of Mayor Steve Hiatt I brought this to the attention of Kaysville City Council five days later.
From Kaysville City minutes of 1 June 2010:
Richard Willoughby stated that he has a concern with how the City bills for electricity. He explained that billing is on a tier system. If the bill goes over 1,000 kwh in a month the customer pays an additional amount, which is about 20.6%. That is not explained on the bill. To make it more clear, a software change should be made so that there is a better explanation on the bill. (Public Hearing Minutes)
Finance Director Dean Storey said at the meeting, if I recall correctly, that this change was already being planned before I brought up the issue. From the same minutes:
Dean Storey explained that he is looking at revising the utility bill to include additional information and historical usage. He explained that residential meters are on a two tier system where people pay more after 1,000 kwh to promote conservation. It also costs the City more to buy additional resources.
At the meeting it was also stated that the utility bill was being redesigned and would make it clear at what rate(s) electricity was being paid.
- Eight months ago the change was already in progress. Is this update more complicated than it first appeared?
- The redesigned bill of January 2011 (see image below) has no reference to the conservation charge. Is another redesign planned?
- Is there an estimate available for the implementation of the planned software change? Note that the calculations are already in place, they are just not printed on the bill.
- If you have any answers to the questions above, or just want to add to the discussion, please comment and I will insert a summary of any answers here.
- I will also be glad to correct any part of this post that is in error.
Understandably, this is not a high priority. However, it would be helpful for residents to have Kaysville City remind them that there is a conservation charge being levied. This is best accomplished at the time of billing, as is the practice of other power companies.
I am appreciative of the hard working Kaysville City employees and understand that not every request by residents can be implemented, but…
Trying to incentivize residents with a hidden conservation charge has little chance of success.
Sources and Notes
- Consolidated Fee Schedule 2010 (PDF), see page 10 for electricity rates. If no longer available, try this link.
- Public Hearing Minutes 1 June 2010.
- Comic created using Strip Generator.
10 March 2011 — A question arose about the new utilities service bill. On the January and February 2011 bills there is an “Energy Use Tax” that has a dollar amount of “.00” as the second entry in the “Description of Current Services.” Is this the conservation charge or some other fee/tax to come later? The conservation charge is still currently hidden within the “Electric” entry.
For example, looking at my electric bill of $96.29 (excluding sales tax of $3.66):
(1,000 kwh X .09 = $90.00) + (58 kwh X .1085 = $6.29) = $96.29
So the new bill is worse than the old in that it can give the impression that there is no energy surcharge for exceeding 1,000 kwh whereas there is an additional markup of 20.6%.