Not necessarily. Utility rates are tied to the cost of providing utility service-for example, the cost of building and maintaining distribution lines and poles. The cost to build and maintain these assets are there regardless of how much electricity is used during a given year. Customers can, however, reduce their electric bills by using less. Using less means customers don't pay the costs that vary with usage. A customer's electric bill can and will decrease by using less, even though the utility rates increase. The customer charge covers the cost of billing and meter readings costs-costs which are incurred regardless of how much energy a customer uses.