Last Saturday morning I woke up wondering why my electric bill I paid in June was so high. I think what got me started down that path of thinking was the loud buzzing of the alarm on my electric clock. I switched off the alarm and turned on the electric lamp on my bedside nightstand. I needed the light to find my iPhone, which was also on my nightstand and plugged into the wall outlet being charged. I checked a few apps, including the weather forecast for the weekend, and watched a couple videos on YouTube.
Reluctantly I got out of bed and got ready for the day. I brushed my teeth with my electric toothbrush and took a hot shower, thanks to my electric water heater. My wife was a few steps ahead of me, her hair already dry from the electric blow dryer and in the process of being straightened with an electric hair straightener.
I went to the kitchen, flipped on the light, and put a couple slices of bread in the electric toaster. I opened the refrigerator and took out some eggs and bacon to fry up on the electric stove. After breakfast I helped my wife load the dishes into the electric dish washer. She went into the laundry room to start a load of whites in the electric clothes washer and I checked on the kids. The door on our oldest daughter’s room was still closed but I could tell she was awake from the music blaring. One of our boys was already playing video games on the Playstation 3 in the family room and another was surfing the Internet on the computer. I found Sarah, our youngest daughter, sitting in front of the television in the living room watching an episode of one of those Disney shows she had most likely already watched three or four times.
I spent the next few hours in the garage, which also doubles as my woodworking shop. I used an electric tablesaw, electric sander, electric bandsaw, electric router and electric compound saw while working on my latest project. I plugged in the electric wet/dry vac to clean up the mess and ran the electric air compressor to dust myself off before going back in the house.
My wife was making lunch with the electric oven and stove while I made myself a glass of ice water using ice from the electric ice maker. As I made a quick walk through the house I found that my sons had switched places on the Playstation 3 and computer and Sarah was still watching the Disney channel. I rounded everyone up, putting the boys to work unloading the dishwasher and the girls to the task of setting the table for lunch. After lunch was over and all the dirty dishes had been loaded into the dishwasher, I claimed my spot on the couch to watch a movie on blu-ray. Doing so required turning on the electric television, electric blu-ray player and electric surround-sound system. About an hour into the movie and I felt a little warm so I got up to turn on the electric ceiling fan. And while I was up I decided to make myself a bag of microwave popcorn and grab a cold soda.
We all went into town later to do a bit of shopping and came home just as the street lights were coming on. The house was nice and cool on our return because the electric air conditioner had been running during the warm afternoon. After the kids were done with their showers and ready for bed I plugged my iPhone into the charger and turned on the electric television in the bedroom to watch the local news. Before falling asleep I remembered my concern from the morning, my electric bill. Would you believe it cost me around $3.56 for the entire day’s worth of electricity?
The point of my story is to illustrate that electric rates in Nebraska are pretty low. Residential electricity rates in Nebraska average 10.04¢/kWh, which ranks the state among the lowest in the nation. One reason for Nebraska’s low electrical rates is its unique status as the nation’s only completely public power state.
The state uses an efficient dependable “mix” of generating systems to supply current and projected needs. This mix includes coal and nuclear-powered generating facilities plus several gas, oil, diesel, hydro, and wind generation facilities. So remember the next time you hear someone saying that the public power model isn’t working for Nebraska, it is working just fine.