U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) recently initiated legislation in Congress with U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to start a process designed to assess whether utility rates are distributed equitably among users.
The legislation, the Ratepayer Fairness Act, would obligate public utility commissions to re-evaluate whether their policies for cost of use take into account the fairness of distribution of customer technologies that may benefit only a small percentage of customers.
“Consumers should not be burdened with higher utility bills in order to subsidize technologies, especially those that are only enjoyed by a few,” Flake said. “Everyone deserves access to affordable and reliable energy and this measure would ensure that all states take a hard look at whether consumers are being asked to pay their fair share.”
The measure would also mandate that utilities determine if such policies negatively impact the use of resources and/or grid security and whether advanced technology gave certain users an unfair advantage.
“In a time of stagnant wages and slow economic growth, we must protect consumers from being forced to pay higher electricity bills in order to subsidize technology that only benefits those who have the means to afford it,” Pompeo said. “This legislation takes important measures to do just that, promoting transparency between utility regulators and the public and making sure that all states review whether consumers are paying more than they should be.”