I have added a page under Special Topics on Shore Power Economics. While the business case analysis clearly leaves out things like (non-electricity) business taxes and unusual peak hour billing schemes, the basic concept is accurate and the bottom line is even with 10-30 percent recapitalization costs, daily power appears to be a cash cow for most marinas. Most will not meter the electricity until one is on a monthly contract. At ICW (Maine to Texas) prices, gross profit margins appear to be on the order of 30-60%. Even if taxes and fees take half that, those are still music to an accountant’s ears.
The average coastal sailboat will have a very hard time using what they have paid for. Trawlers with their larger interior volumes and air conditioning systems may find it a bit easier. If one has a solar boat, as we do, we consume about 5-10% of the shore power we are paying for. Put another way, 75% of what we pay for electricity goes to the marina bottom line. When it is a one to two night stay, and the weather allows, we don’t plug in any more.