Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Utility Prices in Bethel

I thought I posted this last night, but turns out I forgot to write it. That makes it hard. There was a story on the NPR radio about electricity prices in Bethel, and how rates have doubled - tripled for utility subscribers. Really, it's par for the course; everyone's prices are going up, just some increases are more absurd than other people's increases. What hit me though is that some of the stated rate increases were so large that that kind of money could pay for a big commercial wind/solar system, with a little left over to burn diesel on bad days. Even if you didn't take your home entirely off the utilidor there, that would really quickly evicerate your power consumption.

It's not for a lack of wind resources. God knows that. And it shouldn't be for a lack of exposure. They had that big wind conference for the YK down there, where a lot of villages sent people to talk about what they could do to set up systems in their own place. Presumably some people from Bethel attended their own conferance. It could be that most people think electricity is the pervew of utilities, so it should be them putting up the systems. Which is like waiting for river to boil.

It's probably a capital problem, for most people who've considered it. Yeah, it makes finacial sense later, but while making the switch, you have to pay for both the equipment and the continued ultilites until you have it up. I wonder if small loans for just getting the project started would help.

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