Yesterday’s CPI showed electric rates dropped dramatically in February year-over-year

Breaking News: Electric Rates Drop

Did you hear about yesterday’s Labor Dept. report of the Consumer Price Index?  The CPI rose one percent in February 2016, from February 2015.  So?

You may not have heard much about the numbers behind the CPI report.  You may not have heard that the average price American consumers pay for electric utility service (electric rates) dropped three percent.    

And what consumers pay for natural gas utility service dropped ten percent.  This is big news.  Electric and gas utility service is becoming cheaper before our eyes.   

Virtually every category of the CPI rose while utility rates dropped.  

Food was up one percent.  Housing was up two percent.  Apparel was up one percent.  Medical Care was up three and a half percent.  Recreation was up one percent. 

Education & Communications was up one percent.  The Other category was up two percent.

The only category of the CPI that dropped while utility rates dropped was Transportation.  Thank lower gasoline prices for that.

Where is the national and regional media on this?  They’re quick to talk about utility rate increases.  They’re silent when utility rates drop as in recent years.

And what about our own community?  We discuss and debate new business models, while the old business model delivers low rates and bills.  One can only hope the new models match the remarkable affordability of the incumbent.

These daily columns brought to you as a service of the magazine for commentary, opinion and debate on utility regulation and policy since 1929, Public Utilities Fortnightly.

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly
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Copyright © 2016 Lines Up, Inc., All rights reserved.

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