Not everyone likes the energy consumption comparisons that Kansas City Power & Light provides to some customers in Missouri.
But it’s valuable information, and the company has good reasons to continue sending it out. The few who think the effort is a way to shame them into using less energy can opt out of the program.
Plenty of the utility’s customers can benefit from getting data about how much electricity they use and how that compares with some neighbors, which might help change behaviors in a positive way.
Homeowners can turn up their thermostats a few degrees in the summer, get a programmable thermostat or insulate their homes. Any of these strategies can help customers save money, which is a basic point of KCP&L’s strategy.
The utility would like to provide a similar service in Kansas, and regulators ought to allow that. KCP&L wants to avoid having to build more costly power plants in the future, and showing customers how to shave their energy consumption can help do that.
Using less energy can trim consumption of fossil fuels, lower greenhouse gas emissions, fight global warming and result in a healthier environment.
The days of super-cheap energy are largely in the past, and the utility deserves credit for essentially reminding customers of that fact.