WHAT IS A CITIZEN UTILITY BOARD (CUB)?
A Citizen Utility Board (CUB) is an independent, non-profit, organization of residential utility ratepayers. CUBs exist in four states in the U.S., and the first CUB was organized in Wisconsin in 1979. CUBs advocate for fair telephone, cable TV, electric, gas and water rates, and sensible energy policies before utility regulatory commissions, the government and the courts. Individual CUBs can be set up for each utility or one CUB can be set up to advocate for some or all utility ratepayers together. CUBs can also be set up (using the pamphlet method described below) to watch over other business sectors, and also government sectors.
CUBs have been very successful. Their membership and savings to consumers is as follows: Wisconsin CUB: 60,000 members and savings of more than $100 million; Illinois CUB: 170,000 members and more than $9 billion in savings; Oregon CUB: 10,000 members and $124 million in savings; UCAN: 24,000 members and $265 million in savings.
WHAT IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUBs AND OTHER CITIZEN
"Piggybacking" the CUB pamphlet with the utility bills is an effective way to reach all individual ratepayers at little or no cost to government or the utilities. About four percent of consumers usually join a CUB. For example, the first pamphlet for Illinois CUB was sent out in 1983 in utility bill envelopes in that state, and within six months it had 170,000 members and an annual budget of about $2 million.
According to a
64% of Canadians support the creation of CUBs in
Canada using the
pamphlet method, while only 27% oppose it.
In addition, a
made up of 31 citizen
groups with a total membership of 3.5 million
Canadians supports the
creation of the CUBs in Canada.
HOW COULD THE CUB
METHOD" BE USED FORM CITIZEN WATCHDOG
GROUPS FOR GOVERNMENT SECTORS?
The pamphlet would describe and either invite citizens to join a group to watch over government ethics and spending and services (especially in health care), or to donate to a fund that existing NGOs that watch over government can apply to for funding
The group or the fund would
focussed on watching over key government activities --
spending, services (especially health care and
welfare) and voter
Like CUBs, citizen watchdog
over government sectors would hire
own professional staff of lawyers, lobbyists, and
unfair and wasteful activities.
HOW WOULD CITIZEN
FOR GOVERNMENT BE FUNDED?
WHO WOULD CONTROL
WATCHDOG GROUPS FOR GOVERNMENT SECTORS?