By Jim Stanford on August 31, 2011
In a small victory for the poorest Jackson Hole residents, Lower Valley Energy has dropped a plan to impose a significantly higher electricity rate in winter.
Instead, all residential users will pay 1 percent more year round, according to a News&Guide report.
Lower Valley’s board of directors had voted in June to create a new pricing system, in which residents would pay a higher rate for power during winter, when demand is greatest. The board opted not to charge more to the heaviest consumers of electricity, who drive up costs for the cooperative as a whole.
The decision sparked a sharp backlash. Among the hardest hit would have been low-income renters, who are more likely to be living in older, poorly insulated homes heated by electricity.
According to the News&Guide, Lower Valley reversed course because of continued uncertainty over how Bonneville Power Administration will price electricity it supplies to the cooperative. The board plans to revisit the rate structure next summer.
Mark your calendars once the date of Lower Valley‘s annual meeting is set next spring, and be sure to make your voices heard.