Letter: CPW commissioners asked to clarify operating costs

Published on Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dear Mr. Howell,

As a Greer CPW customer, I have a question about the recent announcements following your December budget meeting. CPW announced an operating cost increase for 2015 of 3.7% which is double the actual rate for 2014 and still well in excess of predictions for 2015 (inflation in 2014 was 1.8% and the expected rate for 2015 is 2.1% according to Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts). 

Perhaps even more concerning was the statement that "CPW also anticipates an increase of over 11% in the cost of purchased power and natural gas."

Compare this to the US Energy Information Administration's forecast (published online at this link) which shows energy cost reductions expected in almost all sectors except electricity with a modest increase of less than 1.5%

Also, Friday's announcement by Piedmont Natural Gas tells a similar story. Plus, I hardly need to ask if you've visited a gas station to fill up your car recently...

So, it seems that CPW is expecting it's normal operating costs to increase at around double the rate of inflation PLUS a whopping 11% increase in the cost of power and natural gas over the next 12 months. 

I think it would be prudent of the commission's board to comment on the basis for the budget, and state clearly the reasons for such a significant disconnect in the board's forecast and those of other institutions, including the US Government.


Keith Challenger 




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