Dear Rural Missourians,
This month, we delve into factual insights about the energy grid, internet connectivity, and the critical influence of time-of-use rates on our community.
The Crucial Aspect of Reliability
October paints our landscape with autumn hues and a gentler climate. However, the transition from the vigorous energy demands of summer into autumn, and eventually, the cold winter months, raises pivotal considerations about our energy grid and consumption habits. This month, we explore essential facts about our energy grid, time-of-use rates, and delve into the indispensable need for a steadfast internet connection in our communities.
Time-of-Use Rates: A Closer Look
With an emphasis on managing energy demand, certain providers have introduced Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, which charge consumers different rates for electricity based on the time of day it’s used. While theoretically, TOU rates are designed to encourage off-peak usage, their impact on rural communities can be profound. Our peak usage often coincides with critical tasks - think midday farming operations or cooling homes during the hottest part of the day. For a community member who depends on medical equipment, the TOU rates might significantly amplify their monthly expenses.
For providers presenting consumers with a choice between Time-of-Use (TOU) and traditional rate plans, comprehending the distinctions and the ramifications of essential heightened usage during peak periods on monthly utility expenditures is crucial.
Internet: The Gateway to Opportunities
An analysis by Broadband Now indicates that 23% of Missourians lack access to a wired broadband connection capable of 25mbps. This digital divide is even more pronounced in our rural communities, where infrastructure can be sparse or outdated. Fossil fuel energy provides a stable power source, which is crucial for supporting digital infrastructures and thereby, offering a robust internet connection - a lifeline for many tasks like remote work, online learning, and telehealth services.
Missouri’s Office of Broadband is continuing to work toward their goal of “Connecting All Missourians.” They are currently working on developing their five-year action plan as part of the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and have announced a Connecting All Missourians Broadband Stakeholder Summit scheduled for November 7th for those interested in learning more about the state’s plans for broadband expansion. More details can be found here.
Unwavering Advocacy from Outstate MO
Understanding these complexities, Outstate MO remains steadfast in its advocacy for rural Missourians. Our initiatives focus on:
Economic Development and Heritage: Championing quality jobs with comprehensive benefits and bolstering the infrastructure essential to support and draw businesses. All while ensuring our cherished rural traditions and values remain at the heart of our growth and progress.
Infrastructure Development: Promoting investments in both energy and digital infrastructure to ensure that rural Missouri isn’t left in the shadows of progress.
Sustainable and Reliable Energy: Supporting energy strategies that balance the reliability of fossil fuels with the sustainability of renewable resources, ensuring a reliable grid for future generations.
Your understanding of these matters and your continual support empower us to elevate these issues to platforms where change is initiated. Together, we can illuminate the challenges of rural living, ensuring they are not overshadowed by the bustling concerns of urban counterparts.
Let's illuminate our issues, stand united, and spark a change that will keep our communities powered and connected. Be sure to follow us on social to stay up to date on all the issues that impact Missourians.
Outstate MO Team