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Just over a year ago, the board of SDCEA (Sangre de Cristo Electric Association) proposed a new rate structure that was so unpopular they rescinded it a month later. Now, they’ve shown how out of touch they continue to be with a proposal for rates that benefit only large consumers of electricity at a time when SDCEA should be encouraging and incentivizing customers to conserve energy.

I am appalled by the proposed 45 percent increase in service availability. 45 percent! Who raises prices like that?

The proposal is counterproductive to 1) community goodwill, 2) concern for low-income users,  3) does not encourage energy efficiency, and 4) is, by its nature, unfair.

Usually, customers are charged based on how much they buy. For example, customers of Atmos Energy simply pay based on the cubic feet of natural gas they use. Atmos Energy, another energy provider, does NOT charge an availability fee! Delivery and maintenance costs of their pipeline network are included in their unit rate.

Under the proposed new rates, many SDCEA “members” will actually pay more for the Right to Buy electricity than the electricity itself.  That’s just Wrong.

To those of us who generate surplus energy via solar, SDCEA pays us three cents per kWh . . .  far less than they pay Tri-State for the same electricity. SDCEA should want MORE of us residential generators. As EV and electrical demands increase, we will be one of their biggest assets. Instead of encouraging and incentivizing us, SDCEA is proposing to charge us $46 per month JUST to maintain our connections.

SDCEA is driving away individual solar producers. They are actually encouraging us producers to disconnect from the grid entirely. Under these proposed rates, and as the cost of residential solar continues to decline, SDCEA will be left with fewer customers. How do you suppose that fits into their business plan?

Sangre should not charge anyone a fixed $552 per year service availability fee whether they buy product or not. Sangre de Cristo Electric Association’s proposal, in my opinion, is wrong-headed, unfair and inequitable to its members.

I hope they will reconsider!

David Holt

Nathrop, CO