Can you imagine if we treated pricing of everyday goods like we treat energy?
Consider the following example: I go to the corner bakery everyday for a week and get a cupcake (on Thursday I was bad and had two). At the end of the week the bakery bills me. I know the average price of a cupcake is $3.25, but when I get my bill the amount isn’t $26 ($3.25×8), it’s much higher.
Even though all the cupcakes are the same flavor, they cost different amounts on different days and times. Lunch time cupcakes cost $4.75. Thursday is the bakery’s busiest day, so cupcakes are more expensive then too (ie. $5.25). Furthermore that second cupcake I had on day four cost me 2x more than the first one. So my bill isn’t just dependent on the amount of cupcakes I buy, but when and how I buy them as well. But I don’t know this information, I just know that I got 8 cupcakes in one week and my bill is huge.
To save a few bucks I can maybe buy one less cupcake a week but if i choose to clip my Monday morning cupcake ($2) instead of my Thursday cupcake ($5.25), I’m not getting the savings I was hoping to achieve.
In reality, we do know the exact price of cupcakes. It’s listed clearly on the menu, and when the cupcakes go on sale they put a sign in the window (so I know I should stock up). The simple act of knowing the exact price of the good I am consuming allows me the freedom, to decide on a few things:
- I can shop around for the cheapest bakery in my area,
- I can decide when I want to buy my cupcake, on sale, in bulk etc., to get the best price or
- I can decide if switching to scones is a better option for my pocket or my health
This is how energy is priced. Knowing the price of the energy that you are consuming gives you freedom to make changes that matter. It provides insight into what renewable energy options are available to you and suitable for you. It also allows you to calculate instead of estimate your next bill, or the ROI for efficiency retrofits, solar panels, or other investments into our renewable future.
You wouldn’t tolerate not knowing the price you are paying for those cupcakes. Not knowing the price of energy is equally absurd.