Comments about ‘Utah electricity rates to increase in the fall’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 7 2012 6:42 p.m. MDT

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sorrytowakeyou
Heber City, UT

Here we go, firmly on the path of "skyrocketing electricity rates" just like obama always wanted.

The increased regulation on our coal plants is making electricity more expensive. Thanks barry.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Yup, I knew I'd find a hate Obama comment when I opened this.

Me, I kind of like being able to actually breathe.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Because Utah relies on coal for about 80 percent of its power needs, the state only faces price increases going forward. Sadly, due to the regulated monopoly nature of electricity, we consumers have very little say in what types of resources are used to keep the lights on, and so we're stuck with a polluting resource that will face increasing carbon and emission costs for us to maintain.

The other issue is the cost of railroads -- the only form of transport for coal. Utility executives have told me that railroads represent a significant cost component for coal-fired power. With only four railroads in the nation (using price volatile diesel fuel), they can charge significant rates for power companies with no other transport option.

A lot of Utah businesses and government bodies are working to avoid those looming cost and pollution risks going forward, however, with cheap Chinese solar panels -- from eBay to IKEA to the City of Salt Lake -- all are installing their own energy resources that will pay for themselves relatively quickly and stablize their energy costs and shield them from carbon taxes and rising costs to dig for and ship coal.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

one old man,
did not BO say electricity rates would skyrocket under his administration?

We give him credit for speaking the truth and you accuse us of hate?

Too bad the article does not give more detail on the reasons for the rate increases. Was it transition to natural gas, or additional scrubbers to reduce particulates from coal fired plants (I have not problem with additional scrubbers), additional windmills or solar farms? We don't know.

More plants are natural gas fired, which have their advantages and disadvantages. They fire up faster than coal, but natural gas does not contain as much energy as coal. Natural gas has to be imported from countries that hate us; we have plenty of domestic coal. A single shoulder fired missile hitting the valve of a natural gas supertanker offloading at a US port would do as much damage as a nuclear blast when the gas explodes. more gas used for electric plants increases demand, which increases the cost to heat my home.

Baron,
cap and tax was rejected; the carbon and emissions costs of which you speak were artificial and were not enacted. When solar panels make economic sense, sign me up.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

Well, oneoldman, I hope you think that charging more for electricity makes the air more breathable and cleaner. I highly doubt that it does. And you've got to admit, Obama promised this as part of his "change you can believe in" campaign. So........enjoy having less to spend on other things (food, for example).

If you don't like nergative Obama comments, maybe Obama ought to do something positive for a change. Wouldn't that be nice?

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

@ lost in DC

I find a couple of your comments to be incredibkle. For example, there is at least a 75-year supply of natural gas available in this country; we don't need to import a single cubic foot of it. If you think a natural gas explosion is comparable to a nuclear blast, you have no concept of a nuclear explosion. The latest natural gas costs have been going down, not up, like electricity.

One of the greatest reason for power shortages and costs is infrastructure. There are many generating plants that run at about 35% capacity, maximum, because there are not adequate transmission lines in place to carry more power to customers. But have you observed what happens when an electrical utility proposes a new transmission line?

Raising rates will decrease consumption a little, but very little.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

toosmartforyou
the comments you found incredible.

From the US Energy Information Administration, in 2011 we imported 3.5 million million cubic feet of natural gas. Most, 3.1 million million cubic feet came by pipeline, but the rest, 349 million million feet, came by tanker as liquified natural gas.

According to Marathon Oil’s web page, the average tanker carries 800 million cubic feet.

A nuclear explosion is equal to 4 tons of TNT (per Wikipedia) or 2.5 tons of TNT per nuclearweaponarchive’s webpage.

Wikianswers says one ton of TNT is 3,966,000 BTUs, so 2.5 – 4 tons of TNT produces 9.915 – 15.864 million BTUs.

Wikianswers also says one cubit foot of CNG produces about 1000 BTUs, which I confirmed at the natural gas industry’s webpage.

So if the gas in an 8 million cubic foot tanker were to explode, it would produce 8 BILLION BTUs, considerably more than the 9.9 million – 15.8 million BTUs from a nuclear blast.

As for the cost of gas going down, yes, but the conversion from coal to gas costs money, as you indicated in your comments about infrastructure.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

I wish they would say why the increase was needed. We just had Questar lower the natural gas rates. Since SLC and other smaller power plants in the area run on natural gas, wouldn't you expect the power rates to decrease or at least stay constant when there is a decrease in the cost of natural gas?

gee-en
Salt Lake City, UT

Article is only partially accurate when it says we pay 8 cent per kilowatt hour in Utah. Actually we have some kind of a tiered system where we pay for the first block of electricity at 8+ cent. However, the second tier is more expensive at about 10+ cents. Then there is a third tier that is 12+ cents. In the summer we always go into the third tier with the high usage of air conditioners, so we seem to average 10 or 11 cents per kilowatt hour...probably just above the regional average. Article also doesn't state whether any other comparing states also have a tiered systems, making it difficult to actually compare "apples to apples"

mcgilm
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Lost in DC

Do your sources say why we imported natural gas? Our local natural gas suppliers have taken a beating on the cost of natural gas due to massive surpluses from our own resources. If we imported natural gas, I can only guess it was for the same reason we were exporting refined gasoline while our prices were going up. That reason being it's a market commodity. That NG may have been purchased some time in the past at a fixed price, or any other number of things.

Ultimate bottom line is that we don't actually need to import NG. We have plenty of our own.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

mcgilm,
no, the federal agency webpage I accessed did not say why we import NG.

google the US Energy Information Administration, that is where I got my information. Maybe you can find something there.

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