Letter to the Editor presents another view of time-of-use program

Jan. 30, 2003 — A Letter to the Editor addresses the EL&P January article “Demise of PSE’s TOU Program Imparts Lessons” from the viewpoint of a rate payer.

“I happened to be given EL&P’s on-line article “Demise of PSE’s TOU Program Imparts Lessons” published in January, 2003, and thought I should respond as one of Puget Sound Energy’s rate payers.

“I feel TOU has been a Band-Aid for insufficient planning by those who would plan and inadequate communication to the populace of those who would sell the need for more generation. Those would be both PSE management, the state’s utilities and trading commission (WUTC), and the state’s executive office.

“These parties either didn’t plan or failed to communicate the lack of electrical energy supply to the public. They shouldn’t have been mum about this over the past decade but should have said it often and acted upon it. It had become too late so a Band-Aid of TOU was initiated. And that was communicated to the public.

“Our reserve margin for the area of around 20% was reduced to 5%, recalling November 2000 and power needs on the West Coast.

“I recommend that an aggressive campaign be mounted to get the reserve margin back to a level of 20%. I recommend that the public not be penalized by a TOU program but that a flat rate with additional power supply be procured. Let’s do what wasn’t done in the past decade. Let’s not fail to do what was done in the past.”

–David B. Babbitt (jb1709@juno.com)

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