Editors Blog

Taking Care of Business: Economy Boost: Cutting Utility Costs 25 Percent

January 16, 2008
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No, I’m not boozing it up or making ridiculous headlines to attract your attention (unlike a certain editor-in-chief who uses “snow bunnies’ and sexy photos to boost his sagging readership). I am talking about a fantasy I had the other day (no, not a snow bunny fantasy.)

I tried to rationalize a way that our sagging U.S. economy could get a real shot in the arm - at least temporarily. At the same time this shot could momentarily slow down the obscene profits that utility companies and energy providers are enjoying (can you spell Exxon-Mobil and BILLIONS of profit?). It can also go a long way to silencing talk of the “R” word (recession), which seems to creep into our conversations.

I propose that for one full year, oil companies reduce the prices of oil used for gasoline and home heating by 25 percent, natural gas companies reduce the price of therms by 25 percent, and electric utilities reduce the cost of kilowatts by 25 percent. When you stop laughing consider what an impact it would have on your own business or personal expenses.

You would probably be able to maintain your hourly rates and enjoy some extra revenues on the plus side of the ledger, i.e., more profits. With that you can afford to pay your employees better (attracting the top notch performers), reinvest in new equipment such as service vans and computer software, wireless gadgetry, etc., pay for additional training for your employees (and yourself), and actually put a little more in your own personal bank account.

And speaking of personal, that 25 percent savings will be reflected in that remodeling project you’ve been putting off, the new washer and dryer you’ve wanted, a new car, money for kid’s schooling, an extra trip, and just an extra contribution to your nest egg.

A 25 percent reduction in energy costs could fuel new construction, new research and development, and more jobs. Too simple and too easy.

Pass this along to your local energy seller and service provider. They just might listen. Now, isn’t that better than reading about “snow bunnies?”

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