"More than anything else, we hear from people who are frustrated by the size of their electric bills."That may be so. We have do the highest rate for electricity in the country. But that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. For one thing, KIUC was cursed from the get go by taking on $240 million in debt to acquire the failing Kauai Electic utility a decade ago. We still owe $190 million - significantly more than than the company was worth. Paying off that adds to our bill every month. KIUC has done little over the last decade to destroy demand. We live in one of the most isolated places in the world. It costs extra to get fuel here. Despite that, KIUC encourages us expect to our electric juice 24/7/365 and in copious American sized servings. Is that to pay off the burdensome debt? KIUC lost a decade in moving towards alternatives to diesel fuel. Only recently have they begun serious efforts to incorporate photo-voltaic as a power generating source, but only after third parties demonstrated the practicality PV. KIUC has been behind the curve all the way. The KIUC plan to provide 50% alternative energy by 2023 is too little tool late. My prediction is that in the next few years it will become impossible for KIUC to finance large energy projects. Consequently KIUC will never reach generating 50% of what we use today with alternative sources. Here on Kauai it is likely that oil will become too precious for us too burn for power on demand 24/7/365 . That means that unless you have PV panels or a wind generator on your roof you'll have access to less than half the energy your using now. Maybe that is the secret of KIUC's program for demand destruction. Constant power - Constant movement The central thrust of KIUC's planning for the future is the continued 24/7/365 reliability of the power grid. This is not surprising. That is how power utilities are run throughout America. It's not unlike America's commitment to the 24/7/365 access to nation-wide interstate highway system - Boston to Pheonix without a stop sign. That may have been the way of the second half of the 20th century - but it is not the way of the future. KIUC has done little to understand or accommodate that future. It's probably because, as KIUC is currently operating, there is no place for them in the future. The KIUC press release also states;
"Opinions disguised as facts are amplified, repeated and distorted in letters, on blogs, on the radio and in public meetings. It's no wonder people are confused about what we're up to."... "Just don't expect to get the whole story from bumper stickers, YouTube videos and letters to the editor."Well if it were not for the blogs, letters to the editor, and public statements of individuals we would have little knowledge of:
- Dateline 2009 - The weakness of the Pacific West Energy deal to sell cane sugar based ethanol to KIUC from the converted Kaumakani mill.
- Dateline 2010 - That in preparing for building another fossil fuel generator and increasing its debt load, KIUC relied on out-dated demand forecasts. A setup for bad decision-making.
- Dateline 2011 - The Free Flow Power/KIUC hydro-electric power deal that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission called a "type of unwarranted 'claim-jumping'".
- Dateline 2012 - The possibility of staff member appointments to Board Committees would have VOTING RIGHTS on the committees - diminishing the little influence members have on board decisions.
"We represent you, so please read Currents, check out our website and sign up for our emails."If you represent us then you should be listening us , not telling us using expensive PR blitzes. You do end your letter with what must be a reluctant request - "Talk to us". But that is exactly what we are trying to do. Since you make it difficult to do so in your public meetings it will mean you have to hear our blogs, letters to the editor and radio commentary. See also: Ea O Ka Aina: KIUC Power Play 4/24/12 Ea O Ka Aina: Say NO to KIUC/FFP Deal! 6/13/11 .