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How To Advocate for Lower Utility Rates 

Energy costs are continuing to rise across the U.S., due to a variety of factors like the price of natural gas, the war in Ukraine, and other global issues. Plus, experts predict we soon won’t be able to meet the global demand for energy. Demand is growing overall, yet old energy generating sites are going offline faster than the rate of new ones being built. This creates higher prices.  

These price hikes can have a big impact on household finances, and in 2022 home energy costs reached a ten-year high. This has also affected small businesses. For example, at certain quick-service-restaurants, the biggest monthly expense used to be food—now it has shifted to the utility bill. 

These increased rates can be devastating. One Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma saw its utility bill jump from an average of $700 a month to $2000 a month. This is one of countless examples from business across the country, as utility bills double, triple or even quadruple. 

There are a few significant ways to fight these growing rates. Of course, one of the most impactful ways to keep energy costs down is simply by using less energy. Using energy efficient appliances such as LEDs and high SEER heating and air-conditioning units can help slash consumption and keep bills from skyrocketing. 

Another way to help is by advocating for lower energy rates with your state government. That’s because utility rates actually have to be approved by the government. When utilities want to increase these rates, they must put in requests to the state legislature first. 

Often utilities are seeking rate increases to offset costs for necessary infrastructure updates, and recently they also cite lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation boosting the cost of materials. With higher rates, they can essentially make customers pay for these projects and lost profits. For example, after huge wildfires in California, utilities wanted to increase rates to help pay for better infrastructure in the state—even though at that time they were making record profits. There were similar increases after Hurricane Sandy. 

Yet, the government isn’t obligated to approve these increases, and you can petition your state lawmakers to reject these proposed increased rates.  

Budderfly has experienced this firsthand. When there were increases on the table in California, we wrote a letter to the state government as utility customers ourselves (and created a template our customers could also send) to put pressure on lawmakers to reject rate hikes and to help their constituents manage costs.   

It’s also worth noting that increased energy costs are largely driven by fossil fuels markets, such as natural gas and coal. Urging lawmakers to prioritize and incentivize renewable energy is another way to fight rising rates—and to help reduce the U.S.’s emissions and impact on climate change.  

If you want to learn more about fighting rising energy costs, contact Budderfly the leading energy efficiency as a service (EEaaS) provider and speak directly with one of our experts. We help small and medium-sized businesses lessen their dependence on energy by providing and installing premium energy-efficient equipment—such as lighting, HVAC and refrigeration controls—and solar panels, with no upfront cost. This reduces energy consumption of businesses to combat utility rate increases and reduce your carbon footprint. 


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