Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's deputy web editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening up the electricity bill will no longer be a surprise to residents of Ocala, Fla. Set to start in May, the city will give residents (and potentially some small businesses) the option of prepaying for their electricity, according to the Ocala Star-Banner. In this respect, buying electricity would be similar to buying gas for your car – you only buy what you need. In the pilot, participants can figure out how much energy they have used, how much they have left, and fill up accounts by going online at anytime or contacting the utility office during business hours. In addition, customers can pop into one of 15 locations around town to buy more energy. Not only will participating residents say goodbye to late and connection fees but City Manager Matt Brower told the Star-Banner that he expects the pilot will encourage people to be more conservative with their energy consumption. Habits like falling asleep to the TV may become a thing of the past.