Fee to build phantom nuke-waste site ends
Something could be missing from your next electric bill: a fee that electric customers have been paying for 31 years to fund a federal nuclear-waste site that doesn’t exist.
The Energy Department will stop charging the fee by court order today. The amount is only a small percentage of most customers’ bills, but it adds up to $750 million a year. The fund now holds $37 billion.
The money was collected to build a long-term disposal site for the highly radioactive nuclear-waste generated by the nation’s nuclear power plants that is, by law, the federal government’s responsibility.
The site was supposed to have opened in 1998, but there is no such site nor even any tangible plans for one.
Don’t expect a refund, however. The latest Energy Department strategy, laid out in a report last year, is to have a site designed by 2042 and built by 2048 using the money in the fund.
Average mortgage rate dips to 4.2%
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week for a third-straight week. The low rates could give a boost to the spring home-buying season, which has gotten off to a slow start.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year loan eased to 4.20 percent from 4.21 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.29 percent from 3.32 percent.
Mortgage rates have risen nearly a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.
Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher rates have made affordability a problem for would-be buyers. And many homeowners are reluctant to list their properties for sale.