At the Easton Town Council meeting on Monday evening, Easton Utilities presented the national economic realities behind the increasing energy costs, the strategies the company uses to dampen the impact, and what residents can do to keep their utility bills as low as possible.
President and CEO Hugh E. Grunden explained the various components of the electric bill and how the Energy Chargeportion is the line item being affected by the escalating costs. This charge is passed through to the customer at no markup – it is exactly what Easton Utilities pays to purchase energy on the customers’ behalf. The dramatic increase is a direct result of inflation and is a national issue affecting all utilities. “Geopolitical events and US energy policy have conspired to cause a dramatic increase in energy costs,” Grunden shared. “There remains upward pressure on energy prices as we move into the winter period.”
Grunden shared a comparison of an average Easton Utilities residential bill which reflected a 28% increase from August 2021 to August 2022. Under the Energy Risk Management Oversight Committee (ERMOC) policy, the company utilizes a variety of strategies to dampen the impact of volatile prices through advance purchasing over time and using a mix of fuel sources. In addition, when energy prices are high on the market, the ability to generate power onsite helps offset the higher prices.
Although fall weather in our region may result in lower bills due to less usage, the energy costs for electric and natural gas continue to increase. Easton Utilities encourages customers to be prepared for higher bills as the temperature starts to drop and we head into winter. Grunden provided several tips aimed at reducing consumption including the use of efficient appliances, checking for and repairing leaks, upgrading HVAC equipment, and adjusting thermostats. “Every two degrees can result in a 1% – 3% savings off your bill,” he said. For those struggling to pay bills, there are a variety of assistance programs and resources available.
As the Town of Easton’s municipal utility, Easton Utilitiesemploys a workforce of 169, the majority of which not only work but also live in or around Easton. In addition to the ongoing messaging to educate customers about the importance of conservation and the rising energy costs, Easton Utilities reminds customers that their bills include the numerous services they provide.“It is important to keep in mind our bill covers electric, gas, water, wastewater, internet, cable tv, and phone services, especially if you are comparing to an electric only provider,” added Grunden.
Easton Utilities is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility and telecommunications company operating the Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Wastewater, Cable Television, and Internet services for the Town of Easton and portions of the surrounding area. Visit eastonutilities.com or call 410-822-6110 for more information including conservation tips and assistance programs and resources.