Actual utility bill would be higher
I have a comment/question about the accuracy of info in the “GHM home puts energy savings on 'Parade” article in the Aug.18 Westside Pioneer.
“An analysis of its energy-saving amenities... shows that on average a family living there would spend only about $55.00 a month on utilities, [builder Wayne] Intermill said.”
Currently, every Colorado Springs Utilities ratepayer pays at least $45 a month just to be connected to the four utilities (gas, electric, water, wastewater). And, each year, thanks to our strategically thinking Utilities Board, the fixed cost for water will increase 12 percent through 2016. I cannot believe that an “average” family could get by for a month living in this 3,900-square-foot home on $10 of water, gas, and electric. If that was true, it would pay for this home to be completely off of the grid and use batteries, propane, and water delivered by truck. My belief is that what Intermill meant to say was that on average a family living there would spend only about $55 a month on utility commodities, with a total monthly CSU bill of $100.
By providing this factual information, you will be helping educate the public on how CSU's rate structure is a disincentive to energy and water saving technology.
Editor’s note: You are correct about the Utilities charge, which accumulates from what Utilities calls a “daily access charge” for each of its four services; also that what Wayne Intermill was referring to in the interview was actual energy consumption, not the entire utility bill. Regarding the daily access charge, Dave Grossman of Utilities said it is typical of other utility companies’ billing practices, the purpose being to provide a constant, knowable revenue flow (not dependent on fluctuating customer usage) to cover the enterprise’s infrastructure costs, including pipes, wires, reservoirs and buildings.