Monday, April 6, 2009

It's Your Choice? $670 or $41,000,000

Living in Tauranga NZ, my electricity is provided by Trust Power, which makes me a part of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT). As a consumer I receive an annual gift back from the trust from the profits the company has earned.

Along with all the other TECT customers I have been asked to vote as to whether I would prefer 80% of company profit given back to customers each year and 20% to charitable causes through grants (the status quo), or would I rather 100% of the profits returned to the customer and have no more money offered to different organisations through grants.

While I, like everyone else, would appreciate a few extra dollars wherever and whenever possible, it is partly because of community grants that we have a wonderful community to live in. It would be extremely short-sighted to request 100% of the profit.

Here is the difference moving to 100% - 0% would make. I, like other individuals, would receive approx $670 more every ten years, while community projects would miss out of
$41,000,000 (yes, forty one million dollars) worth of funding every ten years. Obviously investing into our community is a far better choice.

Keep giving grants to community organisations. In the long term, as individuals we are better off with a few less dollars each year while enjoying the benefits to our city that projects funded through grants offer. I can’t believe we are voting on this? I hope that people are not short sighted and selfish in their voting, yet that tends to be how people vote.

I wonder how Tauranga will vote? What kind of a community are we?

This is an entry level example of the need to be generous rather than consumer, to chose simplicity, to think community rather than individually.

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