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(Bowling Green Daily News)   Natural gas customers to lose service due to rates charged by gas company, so customers petition to have their natural gas rates increased. Well, that makes sense. Wait, what?   (bgdailynews.com) divider line 59
    More: Ironic, natural gas, petitions  
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5639 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Aug 2013 at 4:13 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-14 02:44:55 PM
Am I doing something wrong or did someone just greenlight a paywall?
 
2013-08-14 03:10:38 PM

Rand's lacy underwear: Am I doing something wrong or did someone just greenlight a paywall?


The website designers have invented yet another way to make a site fail if javascript is disabled. With NoScript enabled, even if you temporarily allow bgdailynews.com the page still defaults to "comments" mode instead of displaying the story. I'm not gonna go to the trouble of temporarily enabling other crap to try to find out which 3rd-party script needs to run to get it to display correctly.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-14 03:17:50 PM
I saw it.  It makes sense really.   A regulated monopoly can't increase rates without government permission.
 
2013-08-14 03:18:36 PM

reported: Rand's lacy underwear: Am I doing something wrong or did someone just greenlight a paywall?

The website designers have invented yet another way to make a site fail if javascript is disabled. With NoScript enabled, even if you temporarily allow bgdailynews.com the page still defaults to "comments" mode instead of displaying the story. I'm not gonna go to the trouble of temporarily enabling other crap to try to find out which 3rd-party script needs to run to get it to display correctly.


The story is probably better with Javascript turned off anyway.
 
2013-08-14 04:17:12 PM
B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!
 
2013-08-14 04:18:42 PM
POW! *mind blown*
 
2013-08-14 04:18:47 PM
vpb


I saw it. It makes sense really. A regulated monopoly can't increase rates without government permission.


Good old extortion is alive in the USA
 
2013-08-14 04:20:23 PM
Private ownership of utility screws public?

Is it a day ending in "y"?
 
2013-08-14 04:25:31 PM
The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.
 
2013-08-14 04:31:35 PM

iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.


Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.
 
2013-08-14 04:33:52 PM

iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.


I know I like my service tight, not loose.
 
2013-08-14 04:36:08 PM

FuLinHyu: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

I know I like my service tight, not loose.


Yeah.  Loose, with gas.  So much fail.
 
2013-08-14 04:36:19 PM
Richardsville Gas Company currently services 41 homes, three churches and three businesses in our area," the letter to the PSC said.

Good Lord, no wonder they want to abandon it. What's that bring in for the company, like $500 a month?
 
2013-08-14 04:36:24 PM
Price controls result in a shortage?
 
2013-08-14 04:42:01 PM
Don't let Pepco see this, it will give them ideas.
 
2013-08-14 04:44:02 PM
We were paying a $12.50 fee every month of the year for " service " even though we ran the furnace two, maybe three months max. Screw them! I cancelled the service and told everyone to put on more clothes.
We get along just fine without the gas company screwing us twelve months a year. The electric provider on the other hand, well let me put it this way. The money I save on gas is used to buy Vaseline.
 
2013-08-14 04:44:04 PM
One source reports the company has a total of 48 customers, and another source claims 78 customers. Either way, it is hard to imagine running a utility successfully (forget profitably) with so few accounts.

The cost of converting from nat gas to propane for furnaces and water heaters is pretty significant, and the article notes that many of the customers are on fixed incomes (elderly) and will have a hard time with conversion.

So, really, the idea that some private corporation is trying to screw over the public is kind of silly. More like a mom n pop company can't operate with things the way they are now.
 
2013-08-14 04:47:23 PM

sweet-daddy-2: We were paying a $12.50 fee every month of the year for " service " even though we ran the furnace two, maybe three months max. Screw them! I cancelled the service and told everyone to put on more clothes.
We get along just fine without the gas company screwing us twelve months a year. The electric provider on the other hand, well let me put it this way. The money I save on gas is used to buy Vaseline.


After the only electric company here in town raised its rates a few years ago, everyone started to conserve - and so the electric company had to raise its rates again to make up for the money it had wanted in the first place and now wasn't getting.

/Thought conservation was good.
//I remember the oil embargo. Get off my lawn!
 
2013-08-14 04:47:26 PM

KrispyKritter: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.


this isn't a government service which can exist indefinitely while operating at a loss. When a private company is out of money, it ceases to exist.
 
2013-08-14 04:49:28 PM

KrispyKritter: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.


Why should they be required to operate at a loss? How do you believe that would be sustainable?
 
2013-08-14 04:49:41 PM
They could get a tank and connect it to the feed line that is now used for gas.  Not a lot of conversion.
 
2013-08-14 04:54:11 PM

iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.


Loose service sounds dangerous when dealing with a pressurized flammable product.  Connections should be tight.
 
2013-08-14 04:58:01 PM

FuLinHyu: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

I know I like my service tight, not loose.


Any which way but loose?

/ Dyslexia strikes again!
 
2013-08-14 04:59:34 PM
I live in the sticks and it costs me over $60/month to connect to the town's water system whether I use it or not.  And that's for a little 1/2" connection.  My usage is under $6/month when I'm here.  Seems outrageous but I can't live without water and getting a well up and going would run just shy of ten grand.  Plus the hassle/expense of becoming my own water system with the processing and the monitoring if I want to drink the water.
 
2013-08-14 05:00:48 PM

blast yer scuppers: B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!


It isn't so much cost of the gas but delivery. The natural gas pipes have languished over the years cause we thought we were out then fraking hit. Around here the gas company has just started fixing it up as more people are hooking into it.
 
2013-08-14 05:01:18 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: They could get a tank and connect it to the feed line that is now used for gas.  Not a lot of conversion.


Each appliance has to have a conversion kit though I'm unsure what it does - every one in my home has one. I just don't understand why they are saying it's that expensive. The conversion kit cost wasn't a factor when I bought my appliances that I can remember.
 
2013-08-14 05:04:05 PM

WhoopAssWayne: Inflatable Rhetoric: They could get a tank and connect it to the feed line that is now used for gas.  Not a lot of conversion.

Each appliance has to have a conversion kit though I'm unsure what it does - every one in my home has one. I just don't understand why they are saying it's that expensive. The conversion kit cost wasn't a factor when I bought my appliances that I can remember.


The reference was to conversion from gas to electric.  That would be expensive.  From NG to propane/butane, not so much.
 
2013-08-14 05:06:15 PM

jtown: Seems outrageous but I can't live without water and getting a well up and going would run just shy of ten grand.


There's a town nearby here that won't let you have a well if you can be hooked up to their water system. They also have high monthly minimums like in your case.
 
2013-08-14 05:07:23 PM

KrispyKritter: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.


And booze isn't?!
 
2013-08-14 05:10:58 PM

DubyaHater: KrispyKritter: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.

this isn't a government service which can exist indefinitely while operating at a loss. When a private company is out of money, it ceases to exist.


Maybe utilities should be government run. Hell, most of them are subsidized to the neck by the government already.
 
2013-08-14 05:12:56 PM
Wait, what?

Seems pretty obvious to me, smitty. Did you even RTFA?

/shame on me for asking, I guess
 
2013-08-14 05:13:50 PM

Intrepid00: blast yer scuppers: B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!

It isn't so much cost of the gas but delivery. The natural gas pipes have languished over the years cause we thought we were out then fraking hit. Around here the gas company has just started fixing it up as more people are hooking into it.


It isn't that we thought we were almost out, we were just importing more than we were producing so rates were high making it not a preferred source. There are over 5 million miles of gas lines in the US and like most of the rest of our utility infrastructure they were installed a long time ago and left in service well beyond the design life. It's now costing a lot of money to monitor and upgrade as needed. With the shale gas bringing rate prices to rock bottom now everyone and their dog wants to connect to it which only makes the problem worse.

Also, natural gas is regulated so in this case the company couldn't just raise rates on the customers without government approval through new negotiated rates. With gas prices as low as they are then there is little chance for arguement to raise rates, but I don't know the LDC costs. It really sounds like local LDC owners didn't think they could win rate increase and was losing money so decided to abandon.
 
2013-08-14 05:16:57 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: The reference was to conversion from gas to electric. That would be expensive. From NG to propane/butane, not so much.


Gotcha. A cheaper alternative for them might just be to get plug-in type electric heaters for each room, assuming their existing electrical can handle the load. We have a propane furnance, but use cheap electric heaters as a backup and for zone heating (bedrooms at night) and it works pretty well. A 1500 watt unit costs $0.18 an hour to run here, and that's only if it's on high and running the entire time.
 
2013-08-14 05:17:30 PM

sweet-daddy-2: We were paying a $12.50 fee every month of the year for " service " even though we ran the furnace two, maybe three months max. Screw them! I cancelled the service and told everyone to put on more clothes.
We get along just fine without the gas company screwing us twelve months a year. The electric provider on the other hand, well let me put it this way. The money I save on gas is used to buy Vaseline.


I would like to better understand 'service' fees as well.  I use gas for two things in my dwelling..heat and a tank-less hot water heater.

Outside of winter I use 1-2 therms a month (0.62 a therm) but my bill will still be 30-35 due to "service fees".  During the winter I use more since the furnace runs on gas.  Just feel robbed from April until November.
 
2013-08-14 05:20:56 PM

ongbok: DubyaHater: KrispyKritter: iheartscotch: The way I read it was; the customers were requesting a rate hike; rather than loose service.

Bingo. IMHO the company should have an obligation to service their existing customer base. This isn't cell service or booze delivery, this is serious shiat they need.

this isn't a government service which can exist indefinitely while operating at a loss. When a private company is out of money, it ceases to exist.

Maybe utilities should be government run. Hell, most of them are subsidized to the neck by the government already.


I agree.  Utilities, healthcare, education, etc, all make more sense to be socialized and run by the government and made equally available to all.  Areas where the rates don't support the service can be subsidized through tax revenue.
 
2013-08-14 05:23:32 PM

WhoopAssWayne: jtown: Seems outrageous but I can't live without water and getting a well up and going would run just shy of ten grand.

There's a town nearby here that won't let you have a well if you can be hooked up to their water system. They also have high monthly minimums like in your case.


I can have a well but I have to pay the water system for the water I pull up from under my own property.  Putting in a well wouldn't be an economically positive move for me unless I wanted to irrigate an orchard or something and avoid having to get a larger connection to the water system.  The break-even for home/lawn use is about 15 years, figuring in maintenance and the cost of running the pump.
 
2013-08-14 05:26:59 PM

blast yer scuppers: B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!


If the gas company really wanted to stay in business, they'd be petitioning for a rate increase themselves. Clearly, they just don't want the nuisance any more of servicing a handful of people, who, from the article, sound like a load of late-paying deadbeats anyway. They're just using the "gas price fluctuations" as an excuse to bail.
 
2013-08-14 05:30:00 PM
Do all of you people who think this isn't a big deal cook on electric?
fark that
 
2013-08-14 05:30:05 PM
Natural gas customers to lose service due to rates charged by gas company, so customers petition to have their natural gas rates increased. Well, that makes sense. Wait, what?

Gas company charges rates too low to stay in business.  People want to keep service and know that a rate increase is necessary.  Sounds pretty ironic to me.

/nice jorb
 
2013-08-14 05:38:49 PM

chitownmike: Do all of you people who think this isn't a big deal cook on electric?
fark that


I wish I had NG or propane for cooking and heating.

The morons that built my house in the 70's put in radiant ceiling heat.

I want to meet the guy that thought that one up, and kick him in the junk, repeatedly, while yelling "Heat rises you chucklefark! If you're going to have electric heat, you should have used baseboards!!"

The electric company has told me I'd save money buying and using space heaters instead of the ceiling heat, and as luck would have it, the suspended their programs to replace ceiling heat with heat pumps just as I was ready to finally do it.
 
2013-08-14 05:41:16 PM

jjorsett: blast yer scuppers: B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!

If the gas company really wanted to stay in business, they'd be petitioning for a rate increase themselves. Clearly, they just don't want the nuisance any more of servicing a handful of people, who, from the article, sound like a load of late-paying deadbeats anyway. They're just using the "gas price fluctuations" as an excuse to bail.


This. It also appears that the private owners of this gas company own a bottled propane business. Shutting down the gas company will require locals to purchase their bottled propane instead, ala cash and carry instead of late payments.
 
2013-08-14 05:47:43 PM

meat0918: chitownmike: Do all of you people who think this isn't a big deal cook on electric?
fark that

I wish I had NG or propane for cooking and heating.

The morons that built my house in the 70's put in radiant ceiling heat.

I want to meet the guy that thought that one up, and kick him in the junk, repeatedly, while yelling "Heat rises you chucklefark! If you're going to have electric heat, you should have used baseboards!!"

The electric company has told me I'd save money buying and using space heaters instead of the ceiling heat, and as luck would have it, the suspended their programs to replace ceiling heat with heat pumps just as I was ready to finally do it.


If you figure out where he is and it's near me I'll stick my foot up his ass for you
 
2013-08-14 05:52:50 PM

beezeltown: One source reports the company has a total of 48 customers, and another source claims 78 customers. Either way, it is hard to imagine running a utility successfully (forget profitably) with so few accounts.

The cost of converting from nat gas to propane for furnaces and water heaters is pretty significant, and the article notes that many of the customers are on fixed incomes (elderly) and will have a hard time with conversion.

So, really, the idea that some private corporation is trying to screw over the public is kind of silly. More like a mom n pop company can't operate with things the way they are now.


Yeah.  Not like they can play the futures market to lock in their prices with such a small service area.
 
2013-08-14 06:19:15 PM
I used to know a guy who had a business installing and repairing heating and refrigeration units.  I asked him once about the difference between propane and natural gas.  He told me that natural gas is delivered to stoves, dryers, heater, etc at one pressure and propane at another.  For each burner in an appliance there's a little piece of metal with a small hole in it that lets through the right amount of gas.  Use the wrong one and the flame will either be too small or way too big.  When converting from one fuel to another, it's just a matter of replacing those little things with the holes in them.  So the expense wouldn't be too high.  I helped him with a couple of installations.  He needed a gopher.  Anyway, the appliances he installed each came with two bags.  One had the parts for natural gas and the other propane.  He opened the right bag, install the parts and connect the appliance to the gas supply.  So the cost of conversion from one gas to another would be a helluva lot less than from gas to electric.

Also there's a 13th amendment issue here.  Involuntary servitude is prohibited except as punishment for a crime.  So the family that owns the gas company would have the right to shut down.  However they may have to fight for it in court because today governments often try to deny people their rights.

if you think the family should be required to run the gas company even if they don't want to, look at it this way.  Suppose the government ordered you to buy the gas company and run it?  You can't afford it.  You have no interest in doing so even if you could afford it.  You wouldn't like being ordered by government to take over the gas company.
 
2013-08-14 06:19:55 PM

blast yer scuppers: B-B-B-But there is enough natural gas right here in the USofA  to provide a low cost energy source for 100 years. This can't be right!


B-B-B-But most of it's not being dug up because of good 'ol USofA environmental paranoia.
 
2013-08-14 06:53:37 PM

PaLarkin: I used to know a guy who had a business installing and repairing heating and refrigeration units.  I asked him once about the difference between propane and natural gas.  He told me that natural gas is delivered to stoves, dryers, heater, etc at one pressure and propane at another.  For each burner in an appliance there's a little piece of metal with a small hole in it that lets through the right amount of gas.  Use the wrong one and the flame will either be too small or way too big.  When converting from one fuel to another, it's just a matter of replacing those little things with the holes in them.  So the expense wouldn't be too high.  I helped him with a couple of installations.  He needed a gopher.  Anyway, the appliances he installed each came with two bags.  One had the parts for natural gas and the other propane.  He opened the right bag, install the parts and connect the appliance to the gas supply.  So the cost of conversion from one gas to another would be a helluva lot less than from gas to electric.

Also there's a 13th amendment issue here.  Involuntary servitude is prohibited except as punishment for a crime.  So the family that owns the gas company would have the right to shut down.  However they may have to fight for it in court because today governments often try to deny people their rights.

if you think the family should be required to run the gas company even if they don't want to, look at it this way.  Suppose the government ordered you to buy the gas company and run it?  You can't afford it.  You have no interest in doing so even if you could afford it.  You wouldn't like being ordered by government to take over the gas company.


Aaaaaaaand this is now an Obamacare thread.
 
2013-08-14 06:59:31 PM

PaLarkin: I used to know a guy who had a business installing and repairing heating and refrigeration units.  I asked him once about the difference between propane and natural gas.  He told me that natural gas is delivered to stoves, dryers, heater, etc at one pressure and propane at another.  For each burner in an appliance there's a little piece of metal with a small hole in it that lets through the right amount of gas.  Use the wrong one and the flame will either be too small or way too big.  When converting from one fuel to another, it's just a matter of replacing those little things with the holes in them.  So the expense wouldn't be too high.  I helped him with a couple of installations.  He needed a gopher.  Anyway, the appliances he installed each came with two bags.  One had the parts for natural gas and the other propane.  He opened the right bag, install the parts and connect the appliance to the gas supply.  So the cost of conversion from one gas to another would be a helluva lot less than from gas to electric.

Also there's a 13th amendment issue here.  Involuntary servitude is prohibited except as punishment for a crime.  So the family that owns the gas company would have the right to shut down.  However they may have to fight for it in court because today governments often try to deny people their rights.

if you think the family should be required to run the gas company even if they don't want to, look at it this way.  Suppose the government ordered you to buy the gas company and run it?  You can't afford it.  You have no interest in doing so even if you could afford it.  You wouldn't like being ordered by government to take over the gas company.


That's for the conversion of the appliances, but what about converting the house itself?  Propane doesn't just show up in the pipes magically when you make the switch.  You need a tank and a line going into the house to meet up with the appliances.  I am sure that job would require a contractor and permits.  Trying to do something like that yourself and you would be lucky only your homeowners insurance has a problem with it.

Now if the area has so few customers and the company has to shut down or wants to shut down without anyone to replace them, then folks get busy making phone calls to propane providers.  Chances are they are already on well water, so being a little more off the grid wouldn't be too bad.
 
2013-08-14 07:19:36 PM

WhoopAssWayne: Inflatable Rhetoric: They could get a tank and connect it to the feed line that is now used for gas.  Not a lot of conversion.

Each appliance has to have a conversion kit though I'm unsure what it does - every one in my home has one. I just don't understand why they are saying it's that expensive. The conversion kit cost wasn't a factor when I bought my appliances that I can remember.


Converting from natural gas to propane requires new orifices and air inlets. It should only be done by people qualified to do it. It's not costly when you buy an appliance because it's factory installed, or assembled pre-sale. The majority of the cost to convert existing appliances is having a plumber come in and install any kits needed.
 
2013-08-14 07:28:33 PM

FrancoFile: PaLarkin: I used to know a guy who had a business installing and repairing heating and refrigeration units.  I asked him once about the difference between propane and natural gas.  He told me that natural gas is delivered to stoves, dryers, heater, etc at one pressure and propane at another.  For each burner in an appliance there's a little piece of metal with a small hole in it that lets through the right amount of gas.  Use the wrong one and the flame will either be too small or way too big.  When converting from one fuel to another, it's just a matter of replacing those little things with the holes in them.  So the expense wouldn't be too high.  I helped him with a couple of installations.  He needed a gopher.  Anyway, the appliances he installed each came with two bags.  One had the parts for natural gas and the other propane.  He opened the right bag, install the parts and connect the appliance to the gas supply.  So the cost of conversion from one gas to another would be a helluva lot less than from gas to electric.

Also there's a 13th amendment issue here.  Involuntary servitude is prohibited except as punishment for a crime.  So the family that owns the gas company would have the right to shut down.  However they may have to fight for it in court because today governments often try to deny people their rights.

if you think the family should be required to run the gas company even if they don't want to, look at it this way.  Suppose the government ordered you to buy the gas company and run it?  You can't afford it.  You have no interest in doing so even if you could afford it.  You wouldn't like being ordered by government to take over the gas company.

Aaaaaaaand this is now an Obamacare thread.


How is this an obamacare thread?  Some people suggested the family should be forced to continue to operate the gas company even if they don't want to.  I simply asked how you would like the government to require you to take it over.  I didn't think I needed to state that in this case the government was the state government.  The article did say the family had to get permission from their state's public utilities commission to raise rates or close down.
 
2013-08-14 07:31:43 PM

beezeltown: One source reports the company has a total of 48 customers, and another source claims 78 customers. Either way, it is hard to imagine running a utility successfully (forget profitably) with so few accounts.


It's 48 accounts/households, 78 adults in the households associated with the accounts.

With that few, you're looking at 1 part time employee, contract out work as necessary.  Kind of like my old village's water company.

WhoopAssWayne: Each appliance has to have a conversion kit though I'm unsure what it does - every one in my home has one. I just don't understand why they are saying it's that expensive. The conversion kit cost wasn't a factor when I bought my appliances that I can remember.


For the most part a 'conversion kit' is simply new orifices, burners, and regulators.  It's easy enough for new appliances, but for old ones you have to track down which are the proper parts for that particular unit.  Some of which might be in excess of 20 years old.

That's assuming it's possible.  This site says that it's becoming increasingly more difficult as the appliances are designed to be too dedicated to one type of gas.  They recommend new appliances.  Most homes that would translate into a new stove, dryer, water heater, and furnace, in approximate order of increasing cost.

The tank would be the biggest expense - ~$2k, and I don't even know where to begin on the cost of disconnecting the NG, purging the lines(then have the workers get to work replacing/modifying the appliances), cutting the NG line and mating it up to the new propane line.  Then you figure 500 gallons of propane at $3/gallon.

I wouldn't be surprised if it busts $10k.
 
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