The latest update from EQ Research on utility rate cases is a reminder that power companies are still asking for increases in the mandatory monthly fixed fees consumers pay on top of charges based on usage. As PV Magazine reports, “of the 10 utilities in seven states filing rate cases during the third quarter, nine sought fixed charge increases of at least 20%, and the average was 45%.”
While utilities commissions are still often rejecting the increases on fixed charges that power companies propose, “the general direction of fixed charges is going up, not down, and by continually asking for fixed charge increases, utilities are slowly ratcheting up such charges across the nation.” A review of all 2017 utility fixed charge proposals with commission decisions reached a similar conclusion last year, and noted concern of a ‘war of attrition’ driving an unwarranted upward creep in fees.
Enter a new animation on utility fixed fees. For anyone involved in considering a utility proposal for higher mandatory fixed charges, it explains what electric utility fixed charges are, why higher fixed fees are harmful to those who don’t use as much electricity, what the right way is to determine a power company fixed charge, and how donuts help illuminate it all.