Answers needed to energy credit questions

To the editor:

Among the several issues on which the newly elected city council will have to reach a decision is the matter of the Renewable Energy Credits. From remarks during the campaign, it is clear that there is a difference of opinion as to what to do with current and future REC moneys. I would hope that any discussion would address the following questions:

Concerning the current fund: Have residents of Oberlin been paying a fair or inflated rate for electricity the past several years? Could the rate have been below comparable rates in this area? If the council chooses to return part or all of the current REC money to the residents, will they give each resident the same amount of money or will the amount be based on past usage? If the former, how much would each residential electricity payer receive? If the latter, how many years of past usage would be considered? Also if the latter and the payer paid for example $500 for electricity during the period being considered, would the rebate be $5, $25, $50, or exactly what? When and under what system would these rebates be made?

Looking ahead to future REC income: Will council use part or all of this money to reduce electric rates, and if so, again how much would the median homeowner expect to see in actual savings in the first year? Understanding that it is difficult to estimate future income, will the decisions of this new council bind future councils in whatever pattern is determined?

I am sure that these questions are only a few of the many that need to be considered and answered. I truly hope that your reporters will seek answers to these and others so that our community will get as accurate and detailed picture as possible of the various plans that the council will discuss. It is very easy for numbers to be obfuscated, so it will be important for your articles to translate the effects of the plans into clear examples that everyone can understand.

Kevin Weidenbaum