The real focus should be on high energy costs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Enough! Drop the Electric Department transfer issue. Look at the fuel factor. It offers the best payback.

Once the bill is paid, how it is shuffled around by the city is of no concern to most.

A more critical component within the electric bill is the “Fuel Factor.” Energy costs are increasing daily; so will the electric bill. Residents care about that.

Can Franklin city government provide relief? It’s time to drop the transfer issue, shake hands and work together providing that relief. If we reduce or improve the city’s energy costs, then that is what good government is all about. Focus on that now. An energy czar can help Franklin residents immeasurably.

How to begin? I suspect that smaller, older homes in general are not nearly as energy-efficient as larger, newer homes. I also suspect that older, less energy-efficient appliances are generally found in those same older, smaller homes.

I suggest that the average monthly energy bills are within 30 percent of each other. The electric bill has about 18 percent as a transfer percentage and 14 percent as the current fuel factor. With an average electric bill of approximately $175, the dollar cost per home suggests approximately $378 as transfer cost with a fuel factor cost of $294 annually.

As I said, once the resident pays his bill he forgets about it. That will change dramatically in the future as energy costs soar. Regardless of how the electric bill is apportioned, it will get larger every month.

The fuel factor is an influence that can be attacked, providing relief to the resident. Focus on that increasing fuel factor. Burdened at the gas pump, grocery store and everywhere else, citizens need relief. We have an opportunity to help the residents become more efficient by creating an energy czar.

The energy czar’s primary thrust could be securing federal assistance in energy matters. Start by updating old energy burdensome appliances, getting proper building insulation, windows and doors, etc., into older homes.

Secure federal energy saving assistance for individuals that reduce energy costs across the board.

Let us not forget the renter who has no way to deal with poor building insulation, windows and doors, etc.

They are also stuck with old energy-inefficient appliances supplied by the owner. The rental property owner has no financial incentive to upgrade anything since all energy cost is paid by the renter.

An energy czar can help all our citizens’ bottom- line cost of energy in the future.

John D, Murphy