There is a solution to utilities rate increases: The more you use, the more you pay [“City Light bills may grow 1.5%; Sawant: big business should pay," Local News, Jan. 22].
Right now, Seattle City Light has a three-tier rate structure. By going to a 12-tier rate structure, it would encourage the “energy-wasteful rich” to install solar and wind technology. The same can be done for gas, water and solid waste. Not all electricity, gas or water costs the same to produce.
Even the “energy-wasteful rich” get a small portion of the lower tier. For example, the first 100 kilowatts would be 2 cents per kilowatts, the next 100 kilowatts 4 cents, and so on. The same can be done with water or gas.
Right now, with flat rates, it is “energy-conserving apartment owners” subsidizing mega-home owners with big water wasteful yards. This new rate structure allocates resources better, and frankly is free enterprise. Right now, with the present nearly flat-rate structure, the mega-wasters have no incentive to pay for installing rain barrels, solar hot-water heaters or micro-wind turbines.
But if the mega-wasters started to see huge rate increases, it just might incentivize a lot of people.
Martin Nix, Seattle