2010 Goals Review: RPU Real Time Pricing (7 of 14)

Goal:  Move towards real time pricing at RPU

Grade: C+

Comments:  Well to be fair I just didn’t get much done in this area and that is too bad because the potential benefit for our local economy is huge.  Real time pricing means that we pay the actual cost of electricity at the time we use it.  That means that on a hot sunny day in the middle of the summer when electricity is 25 cents per kWh, you would pay 25 cents.  And if you choose to delay your clothes washing until 3 AM, you might pay 3 cents per kWh that may be the market rate at that time.

Why does this matter to Rochester?  Because right now our poorest citizens are paying a regressive rate and fee structure so that they can heavily subsidize big box retailers (3 acre stores with no natural light?) and others that waste energy.

Also we would actually be able to use far more wind energy because, though we can’t control when the wind blows, we can control when we use energy.  The problem is that at present while we can do this, there is no financial incentive and very little people are aware of the true cost of energy or how they could reduce it.

I gave myself the + because we did kill the regressive street lighting fee.  I lost the first vote 6-1 and won the final vote 7-0.  Thank you to all of you that wrote you council member.


  1. The other energy and money saving feature is volume pricing or tiered pricing. Thus users would pay, within their rate category, more per unit when they use more than the tier. So lesser users would pay at a lower rate and also for the lesser amount. There is still the fixed cost of providing the service charged separately.
    As far as your suggestion to manage the peak usage, another alternative is to mandate the air conditioning shut off, instead of leaving it voluntary.

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