Coronavirus 'collateral damage' hits U.S. rural power providers

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Contributed date

July 20, 2020 - 11:02am

Critical Commentary

This article discusses the hits that rural electric cooperatives are taking due to COVID19 and the curbed demand for energy on account of the closing of farms and small businesses that the cooperatives serve, and also due to unemployment and inability of residential customers to pay their bills. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) estimates its members will suffer a revenue shortfall of $10 billion through 2021, and these losses will require cooperatives to raise the prices for their energy, which will likely lead to even more commercial and residential cooperative members unable to afford their utilities. The thing that struck me in this article is it's explicitness of the dire choices that farmers, for example, are faced with making: 

“I want to pay my bills,” said Mueller, who had been forced to euthanize nearly 5,000 piglets in late March but still refused EIEC’s offer. “If I can’t afford to feed them (the pigs), I’ll just quit feeding them.”

Group Audience

Cite as

Nick Carey, "Coronavirus 'collateral damage' hits U.S. rural power providers", contributed by Morgan Sarao, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 20 July 2020, accessed 19 April 2024.