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(Washington Post)   Power company asks for rate increases to cover the cost of the legal team that argues for rate increases   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 63
    More: Fail, Pepco, power companies, Loudoun County, hold down  
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3181 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 Jul 2012 at 4:02 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-06 09:20:22 AM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power is suffered to be a private company is beyond me. It's not like there's any competition; there's no Pepco lines, Dominion lines, SMECO lines, etc. running right next to each other.


Actually, where my daughters best friend lives here in NoVa the lines run down a private drive for a mile or so. There are 3 elec providers servicing the 25 homes or so on one feeder. Her friend has NOVEC, he neighbor has REC, and another neighbor has DOM. Very inefficient really.
 
2012-07-06 09:30:37 AM

crab66: Free Market!


Almost.

Power transmission (from the generators to the neighborhood switching stations) is mostly utility-owned and partly generator company-owned.

Power distribution (neighborhood switching stations to your house) is entirely utility-owned.

Public utilities are a monopoly. Depending on your area, they are either a co-op, publicly managed company, or entirely privately owned company.

The first of those three options is very effective, and is one of the few things the south has done right. The second two cause problems like what we see in this article.

Generation, on the other hand, is privately-owned. This is actually a great thing because it is privately owned by dozens of competing companies, who must try to get the utility to buy it from them. With price predictability, (rate scheduling, especially for industrial users), consumption monitoring (smart meters) and responsible consumers (possible with industry, not so much with households) it is possible to see the power market reach an optimal operating point for all parties without having to resort to lawyers.

The biggest loss would be the lawyers. But I'm willing to suffer that for equitable power rates.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-06 09:37:55 AM
With price predictability, (rate scheduling, especially for industrial users), consumption monitoring (smart meters) and responsible consumers (possible with industry, not so much with households) it is possible to see the power market reach an optimal operating point for all parties without having to resort to lawyers.

On the other hand, left unattended the generation market is vulnerable to players like Enron. We need to ensure that it is an open, competitive market with no gambling or secret monopolization.
 
2012-07-06 09:43:55 AM
Here in Georgia we get to pay for a nuclear power plant that isn't going to open for years

Nothing like fees for environmental compliance and a to be finished someday nuclear plant.
 
2012-07-06 09:49:02 AM

rolladuck: With price predictability, (rate scheduling, especially for industrial users), consumption monitoring (smart meters) and responsible consumers (possible with industry, not so much with households) it is possible to see the power market reach an optimal operating point for all parties without having to resort to lawyers.


The thing about consumers is that we have no benefit from economies of scale. Shaving ~$2 off a monthly utility bill doesn't mean much, where that same responsible behavior (say, fully shutting down/unplugging computers every night) might save a business $200/month.

Plus, the second you tell people to wear a sweater in the winter or not live in a 65 degree indoor paradise in the summer, you become Stalin McLeninCarter and then the aborted Communist Nazis win.
 
2012-07-06 09:50:36 AM

Enormous-Schwanstucker: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power is suffered to be a private company is beyond me. It's not like there's any competition; there's no Pepco lines, Dominion lines, SMECO lines, etc. running right next to each other.

Actually, where my daughters best friend lives here in NoVa the lines run down a private drive for a mile or so. There are 3 elec providers servicing the 25 homes or so on one feeder. Her friend has NOVEC, he neighbor has REC, and another neighbor has DOM. Very inefficient really.


photos.igougo.com

/just wanted to post this picture
 
2012-07-06 09:52:37 AM

swaxhog: Enormous-Schwanstucker: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power is suffered to be a private company is beyond me. It's not like there's any competition; there's no Pepco lines, Dominion lines, SMECO lines, etc. running right next to each other.

Actually, where my daughters best friend lives here in NoVa the lines run down a private drive for a mile or so. There are 3 elec providers servicing the 25 homes or so on one feeder. Her friend has NOVEC, he neighbor has REC, and another neighbor has DOM. Very inefficient really.

[photos.igougo.com image 474x355]

/just wanted to post this picture


That was probably a Brown and Root job.
 
2012-07-06 11:07:21 AM

swaxhog: Enormous-Schwanstucker: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power is suffered to be a private company is beyond me. It's not like there's any competition; there's no Pepco lines, Dominion lines, SMECO lines, etc. running right next to each other.

Actually, where my daughters best friend lives here in NoVa the lines run down a private drive for a mile or so. There are 3 elec providers servicing the 25 homes or so on one feeder. Her friend has NOVEC, he neighbor has REC, and another neighbor has DOM. Very inefficient really.

[photos.igougo.com image 474x355]

/just wanted to post this picture


That looks nothing at all like her friends power lines :) Good excuse to post it, thanks for the chuckle!
 
2012-07-06 11:14:29 AM
So why doesn't the state just nationalize the company for the public good?
 
2012-07-06 12:15:07 PM

Slaves2Darkness: So why doesn't the state just nationalize the company for the public good?


Well, I can see at least one issue with that.
 
2012-07-06 01:18:30 PM

swaxhog: Enormous-Schwanstucker: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power is suffered to be a private company is beyond me. It's not like there's any competition; there's no Pepco lines, Dominion lines, SMECO lines, etc. running right next to each other.

Actually, where my daughters best friend lives here in NoVa the lines run down a private drive for a mile or so. There are 3 elec providers servicing the 25 homes or so on one feeder. Her friend has NOVEC, he neighbor has REC, and another neighbor has DOM. Very inefficient really.

[photos.igougo.com image 474x355]

/just wanted to post this picture


I'm an electrician that picture physically hurts me the emf around those wires must be insane. Where is that from? If it's China then we can safely say they don't have centralized planning anymore. When they've had a few dozen outages/fires they'll change their ways.
 
2012-07-06 01:22:23 PM

dryknife: The power company here is forcing a change to "smart meters" which will save them from paying meter readers and give them all kinds of access to usage info and such, but are going to add a fee for the new meters.


I'm in that group, not only are they charging a fee for the meters they don't have to pay the guy to come out and read it win-win.
 
2012-07-06 04:14:30 PM
They get a certain amount of profit from the rates negotiated with the government. They should be required by law to only spend from those profits to pay lobbyists and related expenses. If they want to pay lobbyists, that's their business, but they should have to answer to their shareholders as to why they're paying less in dividends this year.

It's not the system itself that's broken; it's particular details. Utilities are a natural monopoly. Public utilities will always need to be somewhere in the middle between public and private. Thus why regulation is important.

/This is why I'm not a libertarian.
 
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