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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 (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-05 04:11:02 PM
The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.

/who knew?
//everyone
 
2012-07-05 04:19:05 PM
Meh, we deserve to be price-gouged by utility companies for our failure to collectively realize that some services ought to be a public good and not a commodity to enrich a few entitled assholes.
 
2012-07-05 04:22:46 PM
Wait, you mean privately held utilities put their shareholders before their customers?

Shocked, SHOCKED I say!
 
2012-07-05 04:24:03 PM
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.
 
2012-07-05 04:25:32 PM

Walker: The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.

/who knew?
//everyone


Maybe they should have used the money they collected from the customers to maintain their equipment and power lines.

When you tell customers, "Sorry we squandered all the maintenance funds on not maintaining the grid so now we need more money from you" you can't expect said customers to just blindly accept a rate increase.

\Privately owner utilities is a system that is just ripe for ripping off customers.
 
2012-07-05 04:33:18 PM

Walker: The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.

/who knew?
//everyone


Yeah actually Pepco is in a bad spot here. The executives who took the money won't be giving it back to Pepco. They're either paying it back as fines to the state or have it hidden overseas. So Pepco doesn't get any of it. All the new crop of executives at Pepco are left with are the results of previous corruption. Outdated equipment and a lot of work to catch up on.

The rate increase is a horrible PR move. The better bet would be for Pepco to apply for some kind of loan. If they can't get it at a decent rate from the private sector, the state should spot them something just to get new equipment for the crews. Something like low interest at first, but if Pepco doesn't repay it in a set window, the interest gets jacked up. So that way the company has incentive to get the taxpayers money back to them.
 
2012-07-05 04:37:15 PM
Sounds like DC Metro.

People were complaining that there aren't enough trains during rush hour, so instead of increasing the number of trains on certain lines, they make other lines go down those tracks, defeating the entire purpose of having color coded lines. They called it Rush Plus. So now you have to wait for every other train on your line that is actually going down the other line. To let everyone know how this works, they had to replace every printed Metro map in the system, in every station, and on every train. Of course this meant they had to raise rates and charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1. Oh, and then they changed every sign at every bus stop, of which there are thousands, with a brand new sign. Just because.
 
2012-07-05 04:38:30 PM
My electric rate just about tripled when I moved from Austin (municipal-owned power) to Maryland (@#^$& Pepco). Hooray for corporations! The free market always works.

/four days without power, and Pepco's asking for a rate increase. Fark them.
 
2012-07-05 04:38:52 PM
smhttp.14409.nexcesscdn.net
 
2012-07-05 04:39:36 PM

Tax Boy: free market


hurr
 
2012-07-05 04:44:14 PM

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.


You should write your congressperson and demand some type of public oversight on the pricing on electrical rates at the least. Some type of utility board.
 
2012-07-05 04:44:26 PM

jigger: charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1.


As it's a tax on tourists, I whole-heartedly support the paper-ticket charge.

/my smartrip card is 13 years old and still working.
 
2012-07-05 04:47:45 PM
www.morethings.com
 
2012-07-05 04:51:11 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Why a vital public service like power food 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.


FTFY. Actually, you can make a pretty good case for decoupling transmission from generation. I'd like to see Pepco tell the regulators, "Don't like the higher prices? Fine, we'll shut everyone off for 2 weeks. Suck it." Why yes, I do sell generators for a living, why do you ask?
 
2012-07-05 04:52:49 PM
I remember when Dominion in Virginia was pushing for deregulation hard with tv commercials and ads in your bill, etc. I guess they thought that 17% profit guarantee by the state wasn't enough.
Then Hurricane Isabel hit and suddenly no more ads. Guess they didn't want to be deregulated afterall. Funny how that works.
 
2012-07-05 04:56:51 PM
Rate increases, utilities and insurance companies, should only be approved with a three year waiting period. Homeowner insurers and utilities pull the same crap. They have a stretch where they have very few bad storms so they blow all the money that they should be saving for one the big. When the bad one does hit, they whine about having to repair lines/pay claims because they blew all the cash on hookers and blow during calm years. You want to raise your rates fine, but the rate increase doesn't go into effect for three years. Plan better next time assholes.
 
2012-07-05 04:57:39 PM

Walker: The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.

/who knew?
//everyone


Assuming you're not a troll:
Go fark yourself.

And if you're a troll:
Go fark yourself double.

If they had legitimate operating expenses, that's one thing. But they choose to IGNORE legitimate operations in order to make more money for their CEO and shareholders and were caught. Guess they can go without bonuses for one year.
 
2012-07-05 05:00:52 PM

maldemer: Meh, we deserve to be price-gouged by utility companies for our failure to collectively realize that some services ought to be a public good and not a commodity to enrich a few entitled assholes.


The government is as capable of messing around with power companies as any private company. Back in 1992 the two Kansas power companies merged to form a new company, still under the legislature's oversight. KPL had been serving the northern part of the state while KG&E ad been serving the southern part. Well the northern part of the state has a lot of pull with the state legislature and they didn't like that KG&E had higher rates than KPL (since the southerners were still paying off the nuclear power plant that had been completed 10 years previously). They lobbied the legislature to keep the rates separated, so theirs wouldn't go up after the merger, even though they would be receiving power form the nuclear plant that southern customers paid for.

Fast forward 15 years, the nuclear plant is paid off and the southern customers have lower rates than the northern customers. Now the northerners get all pissed off and lobby the legislature to equalize the rates between north and south. So southerners end up spending 30 years paying for a nuclear power plant and then get their rates jacked up as soon as it's paid for.
 
2012-07-05 05:01:58 PM

Tax Boy: jigger: charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1.

As it's a tax on tourists, I whole-heartedly support the paper-ticket charge.

/my smartrip card is 13 years old and still working.


What do you think of the retarded Rush Plus thing?
 
2012-07-05 05:03:13 PM

NewWorldDan: Why a vital public service like power food is suffered to be a private company is beyond me.


Bad analogy is bad. It's not a big deal for more than one company to make bread, say. Sunbeam truck and Pepperidge Farm trucks can both occupy the same highway just fine. But it's not practical to have three or four different power utilities each with their own lines running all over the place. Power is going to be a monopoly, so why on earth should it be left up to the market? Let the government run it and provide it. My water utility is owned and operated by the local government and that seems to work just fine. I sure as hell don't need multiple companies running their pipes through my yard, and it's not like there's any sort of innovation that can happen. (Sign up for new Dole pinapple flavored water! New Microsoft power with 20% stronger electrons!) Government should just step in, take over Pepco, and send the National Guard in to shoot any farking Teabagger that starts crying about free market bullshiat.
 
2012-07-05 05:09:51 PM
theskimonster.com

Yo, dawg. I herd you like rate increases, so I increased your rates to increase your rates, so you can pay more while you pay more.
 
2012-07-05 05:12:30 PM

ha-ha-guy: Walker: The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.

/who knew?
//everyone

Yeah actually Pepco is in a bad spot here. The executives who took the money won't be giving it back to Pepco. They're either paying it back as fines to the state or have it hidden overseas. So Pepco doesn't get any of it. All the new crop of executives at Pepco are left with are the results of previous corruption. Outdated equipment and a lot of work to catch up on.

The rate increase is a horrible PR move. The better bet would be for Pepco to apply for some kind of loan. If they can't get it at a decent rate from the private sector, the state should spot them something just to get new equipment for the crews. Something like low interest at first, but if Pepco doesn't repay it in a set window, the interest gets jacked up. So that way the company has incentive to get the taxpayers money back to them.


They pay dividends to shareholders. The customers don't HAVE to pay for this.
 
2012-07-05 05:27:34 PM
Seriously Utility companies should not be publicly traded and are the one industry i would be fine with the government taking over.

thats said in no way should Pepco get the okay for a rate increase, let them eat the cost of bringing their system up to par they let it get so bad they can pay to bring it up to standards.
 
2012-07-05 05:34:25 PM
Free Market!
 
2012-07-05 05:37:00 PM

jigger: Tax Boy: jigger: charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1.

As it's a tax on tourists, I whole-heartedly support the paper-ticket charge.

/my smartrip card is 13 years old and still working.

What do you think of the retarded Rush Plus thing?


It actually seems to have helped the orange line at Rosslyn. No more rows of emply blue line trains going by as hundreds of people wait for the packed orange line train to arrive. The load is pretty even now.
 
2012-07-05 05:45:53 PM
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.
 
2012-07-05 05:54:46 PM
28 Joseph M. Rigby Chairman, president & CEO Pepco Holdings $4,650,655

Fark Them! It's not like you can pick your power company because, they have a monopoly on DC/MD area.

/Lives in Arlington
//Has Dominion
///Never lost power for a second
 
2012-07-05 06:09:01 PM

jigger: Tax Boy: jigger: charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1.

As it's a tax on tourists, I whole-heartedly support the paper-ticket charge.

/my smartrip card is 13 years old and still working.

What do you think of the retarded Rush Plus thing?


I'm a Red-liner, so my service wasn't affected by Rush Plus. It's always sucked.
 
2012-07-05 06:16:27 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Government should just step in, take over Pepco, and send the National Guard in to shoot any farking Teabagger that starts crying about free market bullshiat.


The end game of deregulation was heralded as the end times here in Pennsylvania just two years ago. We heard electricity was going up 60% when the caps expired.

My rates have gone down more than 30% since and I've never actively shopped my rates. In fact, my incumbent provider is one cent per kwh lower than even the closest free market competitor.

I'm paying 5.34 cents/kWh for generation now (about 2.5 cents for distribution on top),

This is not intended to be a complete defense of privately run utilities but as an example that they're not all completely farked up. I hate to say it but maybe the PUC has some idea what they're doing here.
 
2012-07-05 06:17:27 PM
maldemer - I agree. Same thing happens here in California. Problem is, the utilities have no problem, in the case of PG&E, spending $45 million in advertising to defend their territory against competition, and then turn around and ask for a rate increase after not maintaining their gas lines for years. Boggles the mind. This should not be a private enterprise in my opinion. Capitalism is great for competition on non-essential goods and services but fails to deliver on public services like power and water.
 
2012-07-05 06:22:21 PM
I wish I still had an old bill from when So Cal Edison was forced to a 10% rate reduction by California. There was a line item on the bill that was listed as something like "10% surcharge to offset costs of 10% rate reduction." And of course, the surcharge was taxed, so months and months of "Yay, were going to FORCE SCE to reduce rates!!" all over the TV and radio. All for nothing.
 
2012-07-05 06:25:23 PM
Fark PEPCO with a rusty chainsaw!
 
2012-07-05 06:42:52 PM

Walker: The customers are gonna end up paying no matter what happens. Pepco just can't print money. It gets all its money from its customers.


We're supposed to get electricity for that money, correct? Pepco's not doing so god damned well on that front right now.

I guess raising the rates on the electricity they do manage to, once in a while, get to my place is one way to recoup the lost profit from me not using any on the other 360 days of the year when my outlets are as farking useless as a rejected Jersey Shore cast member.
 
2012-07-05 07:31:40 PM
We wackos up in the Pacific Northwest have these here funny public utilities and stuff..
 
2012-07-05 08:00:44 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Government should just step in, take over Pepco, and send the National Guard in to shoot any farking Teabagger that starts crying about free market bullshiat.


Pepco is a government-sponsored monopoly. It's about as far from "free market" as you can get. If there was anything close to a free market for electrical power, people could choose to use another company. They can't.
 
2012-07-05 08:03:29 PM

Nightjars: We wackos up in the Pacific Northwest have these here funny public utilities and stuff..


Pepco is a public utility.
 
2012-07-05 08:15:01 PM
Back in the late 70s/early 80s the local power company ran an ad campaign to get people to cut down on energy usage because of the 'crisis'.

People did.

Then the farkers went to the Public Service Commission and asked for a rate increase because people weren't using enough power for them to make their profit goals.

If I remember correctly - and I may not - the PSC told them to go fark themselves.
 
2012-07-05 08:50:45 PM
Swear to god, one day, completely off the grid. Elec, water, food, all of it. I found a cave up on the Mussel Shell. Just a she panther in there. She'll get used to me.
 
2012-07-05 09:06:51 PM
For outsourcing infrastructure to for-profit companies is not good for the long term health of the country. I doubt America would have gotten anywhere if all roads were private toll roads. These services often enjoy regional monopolies with little incentive to modernize or upgrade resources that are vital to our economic viability.
 
2012-07-05 09:28:56 PM

Lsherm: Nightjars: We wackos up in the Pacific Northwest have these here funny public utilities and stuff..

Pepco is a public utility.


Thanks. I am confused why so many people are referring to it as if it were not.
 
2012-07-05 09:40:40 PM

jigger: Sounds like DC Metro.

People were complaining that there aren't enough trains during rush hour, so instead of increasing the number of trains on certain lines, they make other lines go down those tracks, defeating the entire purpose of having color coded lines. They called it Rush Plus. So now you have to wait for every other train on your line that is actually going down the other line. To let everyone know how this works, they had to replace every printed Metro map in the system, in every station, and on every train. Of course this meant they had to raise rates and charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1. Oh, and then they changed every sign at every bus stop, of which there are thousands, with a brand new sign. Just because.


And the Red line is still farked.
 
2012-07-05 10:27:33 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Swear to god, one day, completely off the grid. Elec, water, food, all of it. I found a cave up on the Mussel Shell. Just a she panther in there. She'll get used to me.


She never did get used to him.
 
2012-07-05 10:38:13 PM

supageil: jigger: Sounds like DC Metro.

People were complaining that there aren't enough trains during rush hour, so instead of increasing the number of trains on certain lines, they make other lines go down those tracks, defeating the entire purpose of having color coded lines. They called it Rush Plus. So now you have to wait for every other train on your line that is actually going down the other line. To let everyone know how this works, they had to replace every printed Metro map in the system, in every station, and on every train. Of course this meant they had to raise rates and charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1. Oh, and then they changed every sign at every bus stop, of which there are thousands, with a brand new sign. Just because.

And the Red line is still farked.


That and it seems like the DC metro can't keep the elevators working. Not that I use them, but I swear they had announcements that 5 or 6 stops didn't have working elevators and that disabled people would have to take shuttles from nearby stations.
 
2012-07-05 11:11:23 PM
I always liked living in areas served by a REC.
Like a credit union, the ratepayers are the owners, and any excess profit is given back in the form of a rebate check at the end of the year.

/I know, socialism.
 
2012-07-06 12:43:13 AM
Bah this is nothing new remember this ? Well it turns out that about 6 years prior PG&E had requested an increase in it's rates so that it would have the money to safety check all of the gas lines for the very problems that caused this horrific accident. Were the safety checks performed? Nope. Did they keep the money? Yep.

I bet you can't guess what the next move for PG&E was. If you're bitter, like me, you probably did. Six months after the accident they requested another rate increase - to perform safety checks.

/at least I live in a state where they have to request raising rates.
 
2012-07-06 12:48:10 AM
No one is getting rich investing in utility stocks. But, in general, privately owned utilities do a better job than publicly owned ones at cost control and quality of service.

Utilities are under tremendously schizophrenic regulation. The typical electric utility is under huge pressure from the EPA and most likely the local state to shutter any coal fired power generation. If they're not shuttering those plants they are being required to install new mercury/sulfur scrubbers before the old ones are paid for. They're likely forced to pay incentives to people to use less electricity while at the same time being required to bring in new generation that's more expensive per megawatt hour than what they currently have. Then there's a bunch of political BS where the local Public Utilities commission forces the rates lower only to run up against the charter of the utility which guarantees the shareholders a profit so your base rate is "low" but after adjustments the rate goes up.

I'm a huge fan of a free market, but in some cases, a free market is less efficient. Transportation infrastructure, utilities, water, gas, sewer, electric, primary and secondary education and medical care are all less efficient as a "free" market than as a regulated market. In all cases, there's a certain infrastructure that needs to be in place that serves as a huge barrier to entry. There's also an inelastic demand in all cases that makes it difficult to move from one provider to another or to choose the "best" provider.

But when these natural monopolies or oligopolies are run as regulated for-profit business, there tends to be a greater emphasis on cost control, service and efficiency.
 
2012-07-06 01:07:14 AM
This too falls under the scope of causing no harm to others life, liberty or property through force or fraud.

The utility is harming life through fraud by their failure to maintain the equipment necessary to provide the services they promised would be there if you paid for it.

The solution is simple. It's always fall back to the carrot and the stick. The carrot is the private company gets to make a shiatload of money by providing a service. The stick is the execution of the execs when the company fails to provide the service and life, liberty or property suffer harm. Since people are dying of the heat, food is spoiling and nobody is secure in their homes, this qualifies.

I'd hang every one of the execs by next Friday. The next batch of people taking over will be hung by the following Friday if things are turned around. Somebody with talent will pull it off. The rest will no longer be pollution upon the free market.
 
2012-07-06 01:53:31 AM
Here in San Francisco, we voted on a measure to have a public power option. The power company spent millions to defeat it, meanwhile raising our rates to cover their campaign.

Then we had a measure to change our garbage contract, and of course the garbage company spent millions to defeat that, meanwhile raising our rates to cover their campaign.

Lesson here seems to be to never allow private utilities in the first place. They inevitably lead to corruption and high prices at the expense of us lowly ratepayers.
 
2012-07-06 08:20:56 AM

jigger: People were complaining that there aren't enough trains during rush hour, so instead of increasing the number of trains on certain lines, they make other lines go down those tracks, defeating the entire purpose of having color coded lines. They called it Rush Plus. So now you have to wait for every other train on your line that is actually going down the other line. To let everyone know how this works, they had to replace every printed Metro map in the system, in every station, and on every train. Of course this meant they had to raise rates and charge anyone using a paper ticket an extra $1. Oh, and then they changed every sign at every bus stop, of which there are thousands, with a brand new sign. Just because.


That's not waste, it's stimulus!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-06 09:01:51 AM
After outages due to storms over the past few years some towns in Massachusetts want to set up municipal electric companies. They saw their neighbors with municipal power tended to have better service (at higher cost). Utility companies seem to have enough lobbying influence at the state level to preserve the status quo.
 
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