Prepay Plans for Electricity Offer Alternative to the Usual Monthly Power Bill
Proponents see opportunity for conservation, but critics warn of risks for consumers.
With electricity prices steadily rising in the United States and utilities adopting new pricing models to take advantage of smart grid technology and faster communications, prepay is one billing option that is gaining ground. Proponents of the new prepay models say they can give customers like Donaldson more control over their energy usage and costs while encouraging conservation.
That's how prepayment has worked out for Chloe Raynes, who runs a pet services business in Tennessee. Last year, she was living in Osceola, Wisconsin, near the St. Croix river, and paying for electricity up front through the Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative.
"It did make me turn off the lights more. You become much more aware of how much you are consuming when you