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(NYPost)   State-controlled Long Island Power Authority to customers: Here's your bill for the electricity you didn't have for two weeks after Sandy, because this is New York so you can go fark yourselves (for which you'll be billed, taxed and surcharged)   (nypost.com) divider line 158
    More: Obvious, Long Island, Long Island Power Authority, New York, Public Service Commission, Jonathan Saporta  
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13632 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Nov 2012 at 1:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-25 03:41:35 AM

RandomRandom: RedPhoenix122: It's NYPost, this is probably something blown out of proportion to gain support for privatization.

Political exaggerations from Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper?!? Never!

Private industry is a hell of a lot worse at billing customers for services not received, you'll rarely see Fox or any News Corp newspaper hammer private industry for the same exact thing.

/Large bureaucracies are inefficient and do stupid things because of institutional momentum. Doesn't matter if they're run by private companies or government agencies. Government doesn't = inefficient, Large = inefficient.


My last job was doing reporting on LIPA for NYSERDA.

I disagree that LIPA is "large". It's more like "just smart enough to know that they don't know what they're doing".

Nothing gets done because the whole thing is held together by duct tape and questionable algorithms. "It might be wrong but as long as it's consistent then everything's okay," said one employee.
 
2012-11-25 03:43:20 AM

starlost: yawn. i get charged for water and sewer i never use by my water company every month. i don't shower at my house, or have a washer/dryer or dishwasher. my water heater is turned off and i flush my toilet only when it is mellow yellow. my bill is always 21.84. i don't come near using the 'free' allotment of water they give you before they start charging extra. if they charged per gallon used right from the start i bet i'd pay 3 bucks each the water and sewer hooker and 2-3 dollars a month for water.


Wife and I had a store. We flushed the stool twice a day and probably washed our hands 3 or 4 times. Our bill was $65 a month without trash service. Used to piss me off badly, just because we were a business we got raped.
 
2012-11-25 03:54:08 AM

Bigdogdaddy: Wife and I had a store. We flushed the stool twice a day and probably washed our hands 3 or 4 times. Our bill was $65 a month without trash service. Used to piss me off badly, just because we were a business we got raped.


Drama queen.

If you're looking for commiseration, my ISP bill is $65/mo. I'm not connected to a SONET ring or anything, it's just the cost of having internet.

Now, if you really want rape try getting your head pounded into the pavement while being painfully sexually penetrated. Maybe you'll live. Maybe you won't. You'll probably end up with a nasty disease if you do. At any rate it's going to be the kind of thing that haunts you for most of the rest of your life.

I don't mean to put too fine a point on it, but your water bill is a trivial accounting nuisance at best.

/ice clinks in the glass
 
2012-11-25 04:09:06 AM
Subby, I know what you're trying to do with "state-controlled" in the headline, but you need to understand that all power companies exist to royally fark the customer.

Entergy, a private, Fortune 500 company that supplies power to greater New Orleans, routinely screws around. Let me ask you - do you think they were at all fair to us following Katrina? Would you like me to explain the anal trauma we received from them? Nah, I didn't think so. Let's just leave it at "it was bad."

If you're looking for examples of how states and the federal government can screw up, you really weaksauced this one.
 
2012-11-25 04:47:19 AM

dickfreckle: the anal trauma we received


i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-25 04:58:30 AM

Oznog: Naturally the quacks have come out to protest them, that somehow this is going to wirelessly poison people. Never mind the hundred cellphones you passed by today, there's a meter sending a brief data packet BESIDE YOUR HOUSE!!


Those people are idiots. I love my smart meter (in the Phoenix area), it gives me a daily read, estimates my bill for me, and gives me a chart against date and average daily temperature.
 
2012-11-25 05:00:12 AM
Oh you people talking about your estimations.

My power bill for a two bedroom house went from $70 all the way up to $340, based on 'estimates.' Same with a lot of people in the area. Power bill went back down to $90 or so when enough people raised a stink to get meter readers to come out, but that was after the due date on the bill so if you didn't cough up the almost 5x more than you were used to paying you'd have your power cut off, and they'd still slap you with a $100 or so reconnect fee. Thanks, Knoxville.
 
2012-11-25 05:20:11 AM
Can't customers read their own meters and avoid estimated bills?

Power Co. here reads the meter one month and estimates the next.

On estimated months I read it and enter the reading on their website.
 
2012-11-25 05:46:59 AM

gweilo8888: Somacandra: GAT_00: My power company, as are all power companies in the US as far as I know, is a for-profit company. That is NOT government.

Point of Order: Some middle-sized cities like Ames, IA and Lansing, MI do have their own power/water/sewer companies. These are usually described as being "owned" by the taxpayers. Sometimes they are for-profit regulated monopolies, sometimes simply bureaus of government.

Add Knoxville, Tennessee to the list. From their most recent newsletter:

"KUB, a municipal utility (not for profit), serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, provides reliable electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to about 440,000 customers."


Likewise Seattle. The city-owned electric utility's called Seattle City Light.
 
2012-11-25 05:52:04 AM
Am I understanding this correctly, some american electricity companies read meters every month!!!

That is a ridiculous waste of resourses.
I get a postcard to be filled in with the meter reading once a year, and yes you can cheat, but sooner or later you will be caught, when they make random checks.
After the reading the next bill is corrected for the difference to the estimated use you have payed for.
 
2012-11-25 06:13:40 AM
The same thing happened to me after Hurricane Ike...3 weeks without power but a normal monthly bill here in unregulated Texas.
 
2012-11-25 06:30:17 AM
I live on the fringe of an area served by a co op, rather than the big behemoth. Years ago, meter readers were constantly chased by dogs or the gun totin' good ole boys that didn't want anyone, ANYONE, on their property. So, the co op invested in upgraded equipment, and now the meter readers ride around in their trucks, and aim a little gizmo out their windows. They barely have to slow down, and it's done. Now, the fools complain their bills are wrong because no one reads their meters. We have the same 10 or so idiots that show up at utility meetings, public service meetings, news articles, you name it, and there they are biatching about how dare these companies charge so much, never read the meter, blah, blah, blah.
 
2012-11-25 07:38:13 AM
What the fark are you on? My power comes 100% from TVA and it's a county utility board that I pay for my power.

TVA as in Tennessee Valley Authority? LOL got news for you, they are a quasi-federal entity.
 
2012-11-25 07:49:09 AM

tin_man: Amos Quito: tin_man: The cost of bringing you that electricity right to your home didn't magically go down just because you were without it for a few days.


On the contrary, I'm sure it went through the roof, considering the destruction of infrastructure.

Yet they bill based on consumption, not delivery, so that's the problem of the utility company and their insurance providers, isn't it?


/I smell a troll

Yes, speaking of the logistics and realities behind delivering a utility, any utility, to the end user is trolling.


I see, so it is WE who should be grateful for their benevolent existence without which we would be without electric/cable/water/whatever... it has nothing whatsoever to do with demand... it's such a burden for them. I don't see why we never saw this before... I mean after all... it's we who need them because there is no such thing as generating electricity, or digging a well, or entertaining yourself and thank God for that... what would those poor benevolent companies do if those things existed?

/oh... 0/potato btw :)
 
2012-11-25 07:50:15 AM

Satanic_Hamster: It's an estimated bill. They're not doing it manually; it's done by computer. Once the meter is read later on the bill will be corrected.

BFD.


Well, the BFD is that people are getting bills that are not legitimate at a time when they are in the midst of a financial crisis.
 
2012-11-25 07:50:50 AM

Amos Quito: MisterTweak: make me some tea: We found out that the power companies around here don't actually read meters, they bill you estimated usage. We installed an A/C unit in the bedroom for this summer and the power bill didn't go up at all, which I did think was odd. Six months later, we got a notice that they were raising it because they figured out that we're using more than we had before, so now we are on a payment plan to pay the difference off. Awesome, right?

Remember all those employees they had who trudged from place to place, making note of the meters once a month? They've been fired, and replaced with a company that does it maybe once a quarter, but estimates your usage based on similar users in your area. It's not perfect, but, who wants to keep employees on payroll when you don't absolutely have to, right?


Can't they outsource to China?


^^^^ That was a thing of beauty :)
 
2012-11-25 07:52:41 AM
I would take them to court, and simply say "prove you delivered said service during this period of time"... can't do it, tough shiat.
 
2012-11-25 08:03:07 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: I would take them to court, and simply say "prove you delivered said service during this period of time"... can't do it, tough shiat.


"Dear *insert customer name here* It has come to our attention that you are suing us in *name of court* for *infraction*. Due to pending litigation, we will no longer be able to deliver service to *your address*. Thank you for your understanding."
 
2012-11-25 08:05:12 AM
My power comes 100% from TVA and it's a county utility board that I pay for my power.

For the fool that wrote the above: About TVA
"The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits"

It is a government entity, but because it doesn't receive taxpayer funding, it is considered quasi-federal.
 
2012-11-25 08:21:41 AM
Where I live FPL gived you 2 options for billing. Actual usage or budget (average). If this is similar then of course they will get billed because you pay the same amount every month regardless of usage that particular month.
 
2012-11-25 08:29:52 AM
Even out here in rural Arkansas we have smart meters from our electric co-op. I have a propane tank for my gas device, don't start biatching until you have to fill it. $500 once a year.
 
2012-11-25 08:34:42 AM
Some smart meters put out some sort of blip based on usage and you can hang a device over it to catch the blip so you can get real time usage you can track on your computer.
 
2012-11-25 08:41:44 AM

Lsherm: GAT_00: Lsherm: Gulper Eel: simplicimus: Fark you, pay me.

The state motto of New York.

gubmint.

Had to do it. They are the ones that are billing you.

What the fark are you on? My power comes 100% from TVA and it's a county utility board that I pay for my power.

The county utility board isn't "gubmit"?

Are you sure you understand what the government does?


In GAT_00's world, if it something awesome, then it's the government. If something sucks, it must be the result of free market capitalism, logic be damned.
 
2012-11-25 08:45:29 AM
"I can't get LIPA to acknowledge my existence on earth to talk to me about anything," he ranted.

Or "said." "Said" also works.

/Good old Post
 
2012-11-25 08:50:37 AM

DownDaRiver: So the submitted link a few hours ago from the same source with arguably better headline that has more hits and had more comments gets red, but this gets green?

/not Subbsie


I know, right?
 
2012-11-25 09:08:33 AM
I actually grew up in a town that has it's own city power plant. It's a city full of stubborn cusses. They still run their own city cable tv company too. So all the utility workers are your neighbors. I miss that town and hope to retire there.
 
2012-11-25 09:29:00 AM

GAT_00: simplicimus: make me some tea: We found out that the power companies around here don't actually read meters, they bill you estimated usage. We installed an A/C unit in the bedroom for this summer and the power bill didn't go up at all, which I did think was odd. Six months later, we got a notice that they were raising it because they figured out that we're using more than we had before, so now we are on a payment plan to pay the difference off. Awesome, right?

We just a gas bill $40 over the previous bill. An "adjustment". For what, I have no idea,

Deregulation and the glories of capitalism, citizen. Revel in the glory, for you have been blessed!


.
Want to know how I now you have never lived on your own?
 
2012-11-25 09:31:44 AM
FTA: Those figures represent a portion of customers' fixed monthly bills, which exclude power usage

So even if you don't use any power you still get a bill? how does that work? I have solar panels outside that normally provide about 40-50% of my normal power, but the last 2 months it has been cool so the AC has not been running, and most of my work in my shop has been hand tool work so the big power hungry band and table saw hasn't been run much, so the last 2 bills from the power company have been 0 and -4.50, yup negative balance, they pay me to feed power into their system, not charge me for what I am not using.
 
2012-11-25 09:44:43 AM

Oznog:

Somebody figured out how to hack them awhile back, BTW. Found there's an optical link hooked straight up to the controller's programming pins, that's the lowest level of interface and it can't protect itself against getting reflashed from there. No digital signing or anything. Doesn't require the ...



Thanks for the info.
 
2012-11-25 09:52:15 AM
Sorry, I never got the bill because my mailbox is floating around in the Gulf Stream along with the rest of my house.
 
2012-11-25 10:08:41 AM
I moved into a new complex, just after the fire department made them renumber the addresses. The power company never billed anyone due to the mix-up. So one day the 200 homes had their power cut. You would think that the people going house to house would be bright enough to figure out something was wrong.
I got my power right back on due to a call to the utility comission and saying that I had sent monthy certified letters asking for my bill. Since the utility comission got on their case, they waived my balance. My neighbors who did not complain every month had to pay.
 
2012-11-25 10:16:16 AM

Pribar: FTA: Those figures represent a portion of customers' fixed monthly bills, which exclude power usage

So even if you don't use any power you still get a bill? how does that work? I have solar panels outside that normally provide about 40-50% of my normal power, but the last 2 months it has been cool so the AC has not been running, and most of my work in my shop has been hand tool work so the big power hungry band and table saw hasn't been run much, so the last 2 bills from the power company have been 0 and -4.50, yup negative balance, they pay me to feed power into their system, not charge me for what I am not using.


I'm pretty sure our utility bill includes some flat-rate fees. In theory, we'd still get a small bill every month for those fees even if we didn't actually use any electricity.
 
2012-11-25 10:16:56 AM
The NYP almost always takes the corporate side - why not here, too?

Not only are they nuts, but they are hypocritical as well - who would have guessed?
 
2012-11-25 10:20:48 AM

MisterTweak: Remember all those employees they had who trudged from place to place, making note of the meters once a month? They've been fired, and replaced with a company that does it maybe once a quarter, but estimates your usage based on similar users in your area. It's not perfect, but, who wants to keep employees on payroll when you don't absolutely have to, right?


Actually, it's often done electronically. Our meters are most certainly read monthly but it's been a long time since I saw a meter reader. Many years ago our water meter acquired a box on it's face that from it's position obviously was a camera that let someone see what the numbers were. A while back the whole meter got replaced, no more camera, the electronics must be inside. It can't be read from the office, though.

I suspect that in the areas without electronic meters you're right that it's often estimated rather than read. In the long run it does no harm, you're going to pay the same amount, the only question is what month you pay it in.

I_Hate_Iowa: If they estimate your bill one month, but then take a reading the next month, it all evens out and you only pay what you owe for two months, it just wasn't accurate one month. If they estimated usage because they couldn't get out and read meters, they probably don't have a special hurricane aftermath estimation algorithm. That means you're going to get an estimated bill because they couldn't get to your meter, and it's going to be wrong because they're going to be estimating based on normal usage because they can't come up with a superstorm estimation formula on the fly. But next month when they do get back to your meter, the reading will be much lower than another estimated reading would have pegged it at. Which means this is the month your bill will be low, instead of last month when it actually would have been low.


Good point. The hurricane likely messed up normal meter reading.

I have no idea how they can possibly get away with no actual readings at least once every six months at the bare minimum. I remember growing up we had a co-op and included the meter reading you took yourself when you paid last month's bill. It's nigh impossible to be able to cheat it because you'd have to keep fudging the numbers every month, even if you just cheat one month and now are trying to stay even. If you report the real reading even one month, all past cheats are accounted for.

Even if you never report the real reading you'll be caught in the end when they do a final read when you disconnect service.

Pribar: FTA: Those figures represent a portion of customers' fixed monthly bills, which exclude power usage

So even if you don't use any power you still get a bill? how does that work? I have solar panels outside that normally provide about 40-50% of my normal power, but the last 2 months it has been cool so the AC has not been running, and most of my work in my shop has been hand tool work so the big power hungry band and table saw hasn't been run much, so the last 2 bills from the power company have been 0 and -4.50, yup negative balance, they pay me to feed power into their system, not charge me for what I am not using.


Most utility bills include a few dollars a month service fee--after all, it does cost them something to have a customer regardless of how much power they use. Around here I believe the feedback from solar can't get rid of this, either.
 
2012-11-25 10:20:57 AM

MisterTweak: make me some tea: We found out that the power companies around here don't actually read meters, they bill you estimated usage. We installed an A/C unit in the bedroom for this summer and the power bill didn't go up at all, which I did think was odd. Six months later, we got a notice that they were raising it because they figured out that we're using more than we had before, so now we are on a payment plan to pay the difference off. Awesome, right?

Remember all those employees they had who trudged from place to place, making note of the meters once a month? They've been fired, and replaced with a company that does it maybe once a quarter, but estimates your usage based on similar users in your area. It's not perfect, but, who wants to keep employees on payroll when you don't absolutely have to, right?


My power company replaced them with a meter that can be read wirelessly. They just send a truck around reading meters as it drives by. Why estimate when it's so easy to get the actual data?
 
2012-11-25 10:28:50 AM
I don't see anything wrong with LIPA charging for electricity during the power outage. You signed their contract, you KNEW going in the terms and conditions, and you are using THEIR meter. They're a legal monopoly on Long Island (barring a few small-town suppliers who have maintained their independence) and as a corporation, they are NOT doing anything illegal. Deal with it or move out.

I /Seriously, they know how to make their money
//Pay the appropriate, INTELLIGENT, and educated people the correct per annum compensation too.
 
2012-11-25 10:54:59 AM

RandomRandom: RedPhoenix122: It's NYPost, this is probably something blown out of proportion to gain support for privatization.

Political exaggerations from Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper?!? Never!

Private industry is a hell of a lot worse at billing customers for services not received, you'll rarely see Fox or any News Corp newspaper hammer private industry for the same exact thing.

/Large bureaucracies are inefficient and do stupid things because of institutional momentum. Doesn't matter if they're run by private companies or government agencies. Government doesn't = inefficient, Large = inefficient.


Yeah, I sincerely doubt that Con Edison and PSEG didn't do the same farking thing.
 
2012-11-25 11:15:20 AM

I_Hate_Iowa: Is your electric company regulated? I don't think ours is allowed to arbitrarily raise bills based on a big storm restoration or anything like that. That cost has to already be built into the regulated rates I think.


Opps meant to say "rumor has it" before that. They are regulated by the state, they say they have gotten rid of a lot of their workers to save millions but they say they need to raise rates to cover costs with dealing with emergencies and other crap. This year they were approved for raising the rates 15%. Also my electric usage is around 800 - 1150. The first month I had the house my electric usage was 1800, that was for 17 days of service and I didn't even live here that month because I was packing up the old home. The second month was 1600 for 29 days and I actually lived here. I called and complained both months and they told me that the meter is accurate. The third month my electric dropped to 820 even though I didn't change any of my daily habits. My usage never broke 1200 again until we were hit by a summer storm that did damage in town and my usage magically jumped up to 1500. This company doesn't do estimates for first year customers, they will do it for second year customers if you say that you want them to.

/no nobody is hijacking my electricity
//I don't even have an electrical outlet outside.

///When I had the co-op we reported our own usage and they would send their own crew members around to audit it every 6 months to make sure everything was correct.
 
2012-11-25 11:18:01 AM
It will get adjusted. They will only be charged taxes and meter usage.
 
2012-11-25 11:19:47 AM
LIPA isn't a private-sector power company - it's a political entitiy created by the State of NY under Mario Cuomo after state and Long Island politicians (a lot of them supposedly "conservative" Republicans) farked its predecessor Lilco nine ways from Sunday: governments first overcharged Lilco by $1.4 billion on property taxes, so Lilco sued and won...except that oopsie, the Long Island governments had gone and spent that $1.4 billion already. Sucks to be you, Lilco.

Lilco also had a perfectly good nuclear power plant ready to go at Shoreham, but they made the mistake of trying to get rolling during the peak of No Nukes hysteria, plus the thoroughly mobbed-up construction and other unions of the day were pissing and moaning that they didn't get their cut so the state's politicians shut it down. And there went six billion dollars. Today's ratepayers are still stuck with the tab for it. Gibbering scientific ignorance: it's a winner for leftists too.
 
2012-11-25 11:25:27 AM

hypocaffeinemia: The same thing happened to me after Hurricane Ike...3 weeks without power but a normal monthly bill here in unregulated Texas.


The what now?
 
2012-11-25 11:34:55 AM
LIPAsucktion.
 
2012-11-25 11:35:11 AM

Sherman Potter: MisterTweak: Sherman Potter: MisterTweak: Sherman Potter: Also, I have 8kw and 100 gallons of gasoline.

/feel free to start a separate "preppers" thread.
//cause we're all crazy.

One of my the neighbors here had some $400 costco generator he ran day and night after the last storm. I won't say the entire neighborhood was in agreement to burn his house down, with him inside it, but it was a pretty close vote. Happily, his generator died on about the third night. It was still a nasty week, but there's nothing like trying to sleep in hot, dark weather, with a shiatty lawnmower running round the clock.

Two AR's and a Mossberg 590-A1 tend to help in situations like this.

Ok, maybe that would be impressive in Nantucket or something, but in Texas? The retired grandma at the end of the block here can put five .30-06 rounds in a one-foot circle at 200 yards. So much easier and safer to offer neighbors a few bottles of cold water and ask if they need to keep some medicines refrigerated or something.

Fark grandma; she's on her own.

I prep for me and mine. No one else.


Humans: well known solitary creatures who never need others, either for companionship or for specialized skillets.
 
2012-11-25 11:56:49 AM
Maybe I'm the only one to point this out so far, but the crybaby in the article has two homes and his own business, and he's whining about a few hundred on his utility bills? Boo hoo hoo. Pardon me for not shedding a tear for this "near-1%er". Man up already, and go back to paying your waitresses below minimum wage to make you rich.
 
2012-11-25 12:01:26 PM

Skirl Hutsenreiter: Sherman Potter: MisterTweak: Sherman Potter: MisterTweak: Sherman Potter: Also, I have 8kw and 100 gallons of gasoline.

Humans: well known solitary creatures who never need others, either for companionship or for specialized skillets.


Cannibal?
 
2012-11-25 12:18:09 PM
Ha ha. My Pepco bill was $27 this month.
 
2012-11-25 12:44:04 PM

GAT_00: simplicimus: make me some tea: We found out that the power companies around here don't actually read meters, they bill you estimated usage. We installed an A/C unit in the bedroom for this summer and the power bill didn't go up at all, which I did think was odd. Six months later, we got a notice that they were raising it because they figured out that we're using more than we had before, so now we are on a payment plan to pay the difference off. Awesome, right?

We just a gas bill $40 over the previous bill. An "adjustment". For what, I have no idea,

Deregulation and the glories of capitalism, citizen. Revel in the glory, for you have been blessed!


????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????....
 
2012-11-25 01:02:39 PM

ElBarto79: jaylectricity: I almost feel like it's nobody's fault there was a storm and everybody should be chipping in to pay for the crews working overtime to get the power back on. So, yeah, you didn't use electricity but it's costing a lot of money to get things back to normal.

Now if insurance premiums go up, causing rates to go up, THEN I think you'd have a beef.

Wait, are you saying New Yorkers should all chip in to pay to get the power back online? The same New Yorkers who have had their homes, businesses and livelihoods completely destroyed by this hurricane and no idea what they're going to do should reach into their pockets and pay the power companies repair bills for them? What about those peoples repair bills? For their destroyed homes, cars and whatever else, who is going to chip in and help them pay those bills?


Looks like people who live in coastal areas should have insurance.

You telling me New Yorkers are just like those rednecks who live next to rivers?
 
2012-11-25 01:13:38 PM
LIPA -- "We got bills to pay too, asshole. Pay up or we'll cut off your power when we get around to restoring it!"
 
2012-11-25 01:35:51 PM
i dont know how about make your union workerd hmmm read the farking meters get off your lazy donunt eating @$$ and read the farking meter. unless the bill reflects the power thet you used for the period in the bill, the bill is mail fraud.
 
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