Most Americans are paying more for utility bills than ever before. According to experts, many reasons are contributing to the price hikes in utility rates. As it turns out, the middle class is the one who has to take on the burden of growing utility costs. As a result, the consequences of extremely high utility rates are severe.
This article will shed light on all the possible reasons playing a considerable part in rising utility rates in the United States and around the globe. In addition to this, we will also focus on the cost of fighting carbon emissions and producing renewable energies for the economy. Last but not least, how the authorities can shape their policies to reduce power consumption as a whole.
Reasons Behind The Increase In Utility Rates
There are many reasons why utility prices keep rising in the United States. Experts believe that increased demand, high fuel costs, high billing rates for heavy users, and expanded distribution and maintenance rates are playing pivotal roles in the constant increment of utility rates.
Increased Demand For Electricity
When there is an increased demand for any product, the price is bound to go up by basic economics principles. Most utility companies in the United States have to operate and provide their services at a reasonable price. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so when companies deal with an ever-increasing population.
With the increase in housing, offices, schools, and restaurants, the demand for utility services is reaching an all-time high. On the whole, air conditioning, the consumption of electricity by electronic products, and the push for electrification of all modes of transportation have put the utility services in a position where they constantly have to play a game of catch-up.
Rising Cost Of Fuel
Many factors determine the cost of fuel in any country. The rising cost of fuel can be potently responsible for the rapid price hikes in utility rates. Attributes such as international foreign relations, natural calamities, increases in transportation costs, governmental laws, and seasonal changes can trigger fuel costs.
Tiered Billing Rates For Heavy Users
In many states and countries, heavy users are enforced by a special tariff on their electricity during peak hours. Although advocates of these policies often tout these rates to save up money on the usage of the off-peak hours, it often results in higher utility bills for most consumers.
Distribution And Transmission Maintenance
With the installation of rapidly increasing homes and establishments, the utility grid also needs newer parts to sustain such a quick expansion of society. Therefore, many distribution and maintenance costs are involved in the upkeep of the existing and new components.
But the cost of these expansions can not often be subsidized. As a result, the people get the brunt of these price hikes.
Sometimes natural disasters such as hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes end up causing a lot of damage to many of the existing utility components. Repairing this damage is often costly and inefficient, which usually culminates in many unwarranted expenses out of the taxpayers’ money.
The statistics show that the southern and coastal regions of the United States saw the most rapid increase in utility expenditures over the last few decades. Looking at the data, one can easily extrapolate that the further a state is away from the country’s geographical center, the more rapid the utility rate goes up.
Part of the reason that is taking place is the increasing cost of transportation and maintenance to provide utility services to residential homes all across the country.
While states like Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and North Dakota are sufficiently supplied with many energy resources, the other states have to bear the delivery cost of transferring these resources to different parts of the country.
But with so many states now trying to move toward renewables and updated grids and power lines, it might be possible to keep the country’s utility prices at a level that is affordable for everyone.
Ways To Keep The Rising Utility Prices At An Affordable Rate
While you might have little to say about the increasing price hikes of utility rates, there are steps that one can take to put a constraint on their utility expenses. Putting in a little extra effort here and there throughout the day can go a long way toward reducing unnecessary utility expenditures.
Installing energy-efficient appliances is a great way to ensure that your utility bills do not necessarily skyrocket for no good reason. Most people have many unnecessary machines that end up racking many wasteful utility bills that are preventable. In addition, placing devices on power strips is also helpful when they are not in use.
One can also switch to LED lighting at home to reduce the average utility cost. Moreover, unplugging phones and laptops upon full charge, using a water heater with an alternative fuel source, and avoiding excessive utility use during peak hours can amount to a large amount of savings for anyone at the end of the month.
Using solar power is another efficient and productive way of driving down the cost of utility services. Homeowners can easily opt for solar panels that are easy to affix to the roof. As it happens, these panels have the potential to serve as a micropower plant on their own with no utility bills.
The trend of rising utility rates in the United States and worldwide has persisted for generations now. While an incremental hike in price is justifiable to keep pace with a healthy amount of inflation, the steep increase in utility rates is largely preventable with better plans, policies, and measures.
The state and federal governments across the states and many nations have an active role in moving toward renewable energy production to ensure an affordable utility rate for ordinary citizens. It is high time for all governments to invest more in energy-efficient technologies to achieve a utility rate that is more compatible with a standard inflation rate.