Even though I work in the energy industry, like most people, I still don’t think much about the electricity I use. I expect the lights to turn on when I flip the switch and the coffeemaker to work each morning. Because electricity is so abundant, we don’t think much about it. Since many of us have been spending more time at home over the past few months, we have likely been using more energy. And yet, we still expect an endless supply of power with uninterrupted service 24/7. The only time we really think about electricity is when the power goes out or perhaps when the monthly bill arrives.
Given how electricity powers our modern lifestyle every day, it’s a great value, especially when compared to other common services and expenses. For example, think back to the cost of a gallon of gasoline 20 years ago. Consider the cost of groceries or a cup of your favorite specialty coffee from a few years back. In comparison, the cost of electricity has remained largely flat, unlike most other consumer goods.
Like many of you, I have a cell phone to stay connected, and I subscribe to cable channels so I can enjoy more viewing options. Many of us consider these necessities for modern day life. We can see what we’re getting for our money, and we pay the price for those services. In contrast, when we use electricity, we don’t necessarily “see” all that we’re getting for our money.
But considering what electricity does for us, it’s a tremendous value for our quality of life as well as our budgets. For comparison, consider that the average rent increase was nearly 4% (from 2014-2019) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI). The cost of medical care was increased 3% during this time, and education was not too far behind at 2.6%. So, where did electricity rank? According to the CPI, electricity increased by less than half a percentage point, 0.4%.
The bottom line: electricity brings everyday value. Considering that electricity is something that we all use around the clock, I’m very proud of our track record. At the same time, we are striving to increase our service reliability, reduce those brief interruptions and reduce costs. We are continually working to improve our operations to ensure a smarter grid and exploring more renewable energy options where possible.
Consumers Energy provides the reliable service you expect and deserve as valued members of the co-op. And as your trusted energy advisor, we want to help you save energy and money. We recognize that the past few months have been challenging for many of our members and we’re here to help. If you have questions about your account or are looking for ways to save energy at home, please give us a call. Consumers Energy is your electric co-op and our sole purpose is to serve you and the needs of our community. That’s everyday value.