Electricity prices reached an all-time high in 2014, according to new data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bureau’s statistics indicate that electric rates will keep going up in 2015.
Additionally, the bureau’s price index, which measures electricity costs, reached a record high for a month in December and then again in January, CNS News reported.
Critics of President Obama’s policies on coal say the higher prices are in line with what he promised in 2008 when he was a candidate.
“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama said in a January 2008 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle when he wasn’t even the front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary. “Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
Among the highlights of the new BLS data:
- The average price of a kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States hit a record in each month of the year in 2014 for each particular month.
- The “seasonally adjusted” electricity price index for December was a record 210.151 – until it was eclipsed by January’s 212.290
- During June, July and August, the average price of a kilowatt hour (KWR) was 14.3 cents – the highest ever. Average electricity costs were 1¢ a kilowatt hour higher in summer 2014 than in summer 2013.
- The third highest price ever for a kilowatt hour of electricity was reported in January 2015 – 13.8¢
In contrast to the price of electricity, the overall consumer price index — which measures the cost of everything sold in the USA — declined by .4 percent and the gasoline price index fell by 9.4 percent, a BLS press release stated.
More than likely, Americans will see higher electricity bills this summer, with the average cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity reaching 15¢ or higher.
That includes residents of states with historically high electricity rates like Vermont and Hawaii, and some specific communities like Pueblo, Colorado. The average family in Hawaii now pays around $200 a month for electricity The Washington Post reported.
Pueblo resident Sharon Garcia was paying $200 a month for electricity in July 2014, The Post reported. Electricity costs in Pueblo rose by 26 percent between 2010 and 2014, according to the Post. Garcia now goes without such luxuries as a dishwasher in an attempt to keep her electric bills down.
Do you believe Obama is to blame for rising electricity costs? Share your thoughts in the section below: