Nebraskans get electricity at a bargain price

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Nebraska is coming from behind when it comes to renewable energy, despite recent progress like a solar farm at Kearney and wind farms in northeast Nebraska and elsewhere.

Drive through northeast Kansas and western Iowa, and you’ll be greeted with great, white whirling wind turbines. Those, plus solar arrays and hydroelectric plants can be spotted almost anywhere you drive on your summer vacation.

Nebraska has all of those, of course, but most of the power that energizes your flatscreen television comes from fossil fuels like coal or natural gas, as well as nuclear fission.

One thing you won’t see is how much the electricity those wind turbines or solar arrays costs when it reaches residents’ meters.

That’s where Nebraska really shines, according to the howmuch.net website, in a report at http://bit.ly/2L7YVTn

While Iowa residents pay 11.48 cents per kWh for electricity, Nebraskans get by for 9.67 cents. In South Dakota they pay 10.67, Wyoming 10.91, Colorado 11.66 and Kansas 12.69. Missourians pay the most comparable price, but still slightly more, 9.73 cents.

Nebraska commercial customers have a similar advantage. While Iowa pays 9.17 cents, Missouri 8.41, Kansas 10.27, Colorado and Wyoming 9.47 cents and South Dakota 9.24 cents, Nebraska businesses pay 8.54 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Because power is publicly owned in Nebraska, “profits” go back into improving service and holding down rates.

While being a public power state has hindered development of renewable energy in the past, Nebraska ratepayers have not been forced to pay for mandated use of renewable sources of energy, using the most economical sources instead.

Nebraskans do value natural resources and have a proven record of doing what we can to preserve and protect them. But we also appreciate the old adage, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

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