Some long time Oracle residents will remember efforts by local leaders to establish OREC (Oracle Electric Coop). The attempt by those stalwarts supported by the then thriving Oracle Town Hall researched and sought to implement a breakaway corporation focused on fixing the shortcomings of the San Carlos Irrigation Project’s electrical grid.
Ultimately it proved a bridge too far but in the process the community learned a lot about local control of infrastructure, obstacles to same thrown up by politicians and bureaucrats, and why our electrical grid staggers along with its head barely above water.
The problems that existed those many decades ago persist as a letter produced by Sheila Miles and Robert Bolton quoted in full shows. In fact they have metastasized since the OREC days.
Below is the Miles/Bolton letter:
Our community needs help. We are electric rate payers to the San Carlos Irrigation District, US Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Our utility rate in less than a year has gone from an effective rate of $.1303/ per kilowatt hour to $.1976 or an increase of 51.7%. This represents a $200 a month increase for our all-electric, 0 carbon emission home in Oracle, AZ. My wife and I are retired and in our 70’s. This is a huge increase for us.
To put our electric rate in perspective, following is a table of average residential electric rates in cents/kilowatt-hour for years 2022 and 2023 in the Mountain Region:
Mountain 14.22 13.09
Arizona 14.28 13.20
Colorado 14.67 14.40
Idaho 11.78 11.38
Montana 13.19 11.61
Nevada 17.39 13.17
New Mexico 13.89 14.13
Utah 11.45 11.19
Wyoming 12.62 11.75
San Carlos Irrigation District
We went from a rate slightly under the Arizona average to 38% higher or 5.48 cents per Kilowatt-hour higher than the current Arizona average
To add insult to injury the August bill contains an increase of 3.1 cents per kW-hour effective September 1 that has retroactively been applied to August billing.
There are no programs offered by San Carlos Irrigation District to buy back solar energy, subsidize solar energy or to help mitigate energy consumption as many Private Utilities do and are required to do.
Thanks for your help,
Sheila Miles & Robert Bolton
PO Box 211, Oracle, AZ 85623
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.