Our power sales have been on a downward slide .... The last time we experienced kWh usage at last year's level was before 1998. We've seen a nearly 15 percent decline in the average monthly household usage in just the past two years. ... In response to these conditions, we find ourselves in a position of having to implement a rate increase on October 1 of this year. We are also increasing our customer charge by $3. Our customer charge is currently $14. -- Kilowatt: The newsletter for members of Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc., July 2013
So your sales are flagging, your customer base growth is slow ... and you think the answer is to not only charge more for your product, but to bump up the toll for the "privilege" of buying that product from you by more than 20%?
Because surely those same customers who have been using progressively less and less electricity already won't find more household lights to switch to CFL, turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees, and maybe go ahead and buy that energy-efficient LED TV to replace the old juice-sucking CRT model. Nah, they'll just throw an extra $54 a year (on average) at you. Right.
In the non-monopoly world, businesses respond to poor sales and a flat customer base with lower prices and aggressive recruitment of new customers.