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SBU hosted Breakfast Meeting at Leathem Smith Lodge

On Tuesday, July 10, SBU hosted a breakfast meeting for our largest commercial and industrial customers at the Leathem Smith Lodge. About 40 people attended the event which was meant to update those customers with large energy costs on the state of the electric utility industry.

Roy Thilly, President and CEO of WPPI, was the featured speaker at the event. WPPI is a member-owned energy business providing electricity and related services to 49 communities in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michiganís Upper Peninsula, including SBU.

According to Thilly, electric rates both in Wisconsin and nationwide have been outpacing the rate of inflation for the last couple of years primarily due to increasing fuel costs. In Wisconsin, the construction of new power plants and enhancements to the interstate transmission system have resulted in rates increasing faster than those of neighboring states.

Because Wisconsin has no coal or natural gas reserves, we are harder hit by increases than other states. The cost of transportation of fuels, especially railroad prices, are also up significantly.

With no in-state fuel sources and limited wind and solar resources, Thillyís message was one of conservation for all Wisconsin residents. As a country, we tend to waste quite a bit of energy. Effective conservation efforts can lead to the deferral of new generation facilities in the state.

Thilly, who also chairs the Governorís Task Force on Global Warming, also predicts that a carbon tax will be assessed at some point in the future on fossil fuel-burning plants. This will lead to higher rates for consumers and possibly a resurgence of interest in nuclear generation facilities.

The meeting was capped off by a presentation from Melissa Moren, SBUís Energy Services Representative, who discussed the various incentive programs offered by SBU and WPPI to assist customers with reducing their electric bills.

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