Puget Sound Essay

The rising cost of electricity and how it affects consumers in the Puget Sound. Puget sound receives it s energy from a number of different sources, namely, hydroelectric, fossil fuels and nuclear.

Consumers in the Puget Sound have weathered the misery of massive price increases that have been passed on to them by the power consortiums. This is primarily due to, energy de-regulation in California, increased demand, increased profit margins by energy companies, drought and very effective lobbyists in Washington DC. The only winners in this energy crisis are the large power brokers like, Duke Energy, Enron, and Dynegy.Conservation is the key element of the current crisis that, we as consumers have direct control over. By conserving our electricity usage, decreasing heat in the winter, increasing the temperature in the summer, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and electing officials that have the best interest of the consumers and the environment in mind, we can we reduce our dependence on the power consortiums.

The Puget Sound receives 35 % of it s power from the following resources, Baker River Hydro Plant, White River Hydro Plant, Snoqualmie Falls Hydro plant, Electron hydro and seven oil and natural gas fired power plants.The Puget sound purchases the balance of their power from the following sources: Coal 33%, Natural Gas 23%, Hydro, 7%, Oil 2% and Nuclear 1%. Puget sound energy users have been hit with tremendous increases due to variety of reasons, de-regulation in California, drought, increased demand, and lack of generating power plants built in the 1980 s and 90 s.

The energy crisis has effected the Puget Sound in all areas of our economy, groceries, driving our cars and potential blackout. The single biggest impact the energy crisis has had on our economy is the thousands of jobs that have been lost due to this energy crisis.BPA (Bonneyville Power Association) wants Aluminum plants in the state of Washington to close for two years, at a cost of 7000 jobs and families. The Puget Sound region business association agrees that for every 50% rate increase, there will be 10,000 jobs lost and families effected. Corporate greed is by far the most troubling aspect of the energy crisis.

Power companies are able to withhold power by taking power plants off line for routine maintenance during the peak times of the year.During the winter of 2000/2001 we have paid as much as $500. 00 per megawatt hour. 1 megawatt provides power to 750 homes) that is more that 15 times to normal. The power companies argued that the charges were necessary because supply was tight, demand was high and older less efficient power plants were pressed into service. On October first of this year BPA (Bonneyville Power Administration) will increase electricity rates by 46%.

This is on top of the 26% & 28% increases that have already been passed on to us. While the power consortiums were coming up with all the excuses why the power was going up, their profit margins were going through the roof.Enron made a net profit of $1,266,000,000. 00, Duke Energy Made a net profit of $3,278,000,000. 00, Dynegy made a net profit of $500,000,000. 00. The numbers are staggering when you realize that their profit margins increased between 300% & 400% over the previous years. The president and vice president have both spoken out against price caps because it will do nothing to create more power supply, yet they have done nothing to ease the burden on the public.

The president and vice president should be imposing price caps so the economy will not fall further into a recession.It may be hard for both the President and the Vice President to impose price caps. The above mentioned power companies were some of the largest contributors to their elections and the Republican Party.

The one area of the power crisis that we have control over is conservation. Conservation is the key thing we can to help control price down in the Puget Sound. By using less energy we rely less on the out of state power brokers. One of the biggest ways is time of day usage.By shifting some electricity use to the “off-peak” (and less expensive) times of day through Personal Energy Management, you’ll reduce the overall demand of the region and the need to build new power plants-and your monthly energy bill.

There are numerous ways to control the power that we use in our homes. We can change the way we heat our homes. If we turn down the heat in the winter and turn up the cooling we can save electricity with very little change in out lifestyles. If we follow the tips I will be telling you about, we have the best chance to control out own energy destiny.