LETTER: Trustee shares thoughts on village electric

To the editor:

I want to thank the dozens of residents who reached out to me to voice their concerns about our electric bills this winter. The issue is very complex and there were many factors involved that led to our higher than usual bills. The first and foremost reason for our high electric bills was the colder than usual winter that we endured. This created a demand for extra power that was experienced all across the country. Price gouging by the major utilities is being investigated but I am not holding my breath for a refund.

I heard many people suggest that this was all caused by the community center and that there should have been some sort of public hearing on whether or not to extend village electricity to them. As an entity within the village, the community center had the right to be on village electric. It was not something that could have been legally denied. We can debate the pros and cons of their annexation in the last century and we can debate their classification and rate, but we cannot challenge their legal right to village power at this time. Clearly, their addition contributed slightly to our higher than usual bills. This can also be said of each and every new home that is built in the village or each new addition. Unfortunately, growth in the village is not conducive to lower electric rates.

It is important for all of us to conserve as much energy as we can. We should all consider replacing our older appliances especially our refrigerators. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it is an energy consuming dinosaur. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has a rebate program that will pay you to replace your old unit if you buy a new energy efficient model. The worst thing people can do is move the old fridge to the garage for soda and beer. This creates a huge drain on our system.

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