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(NewsOK)   Oklahoma House passes law allowing electric companies to add a "you bought less electricity this month" surcharge to customer's bills   (newsok.com) divider line 209
    More: Ironic, Oklahoma House, electricity, Mary Fallin, customers  
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2823 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Apr 2014 at 2:07 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-17 03:00:47 PM  
Yeah think of those poor coal and nuculur fired companies losing relevance. I'm becoming verklempt.
 
2014-04-17 03:03:30 PM  

BizarreMan: Pokey.Clyde: NecoConeco: I work for an electric company, and we've had that kind of charge since day 1. If a customer uses less than 1000 kWh per month, they get charged $9.99. That's always a fun call to handle. For some reason people think it's unreasonable that they get charged for following all the energy conservation tips we bombard them with.

Sounds like the same crap some of the water companies pull around here. Whenever we're in drought conditions, they enact water restrictions to save water. Then they complain about not making as much money because everyone followed the restrictions. So, they raise water rates to make up for their monetary shortfall. Of course, they never lower the rates once restrictions are lifted.

Lower prices? Inconceivable!

Profits must always increase.


You do know that utility companies have their profits regulated by the state, don't you?
 
2014-04-17 03:05:00 PM  
Now only if I wasn't charged a fee for a nuclear plant that provides NO electricity on my electric bill.

Wait until the nuclear power plants you use close and you have to pay for plants that provide zero electricity
even though the energy companies promised to pay those costs themselves.

I think this is why they are running so many nuclear plants way passed when they were supposed to because they are afraid of everyone knowing that you'll be paying "Decommission fees" for decades on plants that provide zero power.
 
2014-04-17 03:06:14 PM  
 
2014-04-17 03:08:11 PM  

GoldSpider: When drivers use less gas, state governments make sure they still get their $$ too.


That would be dumb. They should just increase the taxes on gas.

Doing it by the mile doesn't help us off foreign oil,  or  help C02 reduction where charging more on gas does.
 
2014-04-17 03:09:26 PM  

GoldSpider: When drivers use less gas, state governments make sure they still get their $$ too.


Don't worry. It won't pass. The right to drive trumps any sensible transportation policy.
 
2014-04-17 03:11:04 PM  

Karac: EvilEgg: Shouldn't they instead have a fixed cost portion of the bill that covers connection and other static costs, and then a variable cost portion that covers usage.

That's what my water department does.  The first so-many gallons each month costs you a flat fee, whether use all the way up to that level or whether you don't use a drop.  After that there's some dollar amount per gallon extra.


Out here on the Left Coast, too. Typically $30 to $40 for the water/sewer hookup and first several thousand gallons of water, plus about $2/1000 gallons above that. A penny buys 5 gallons on average.
 
2014-04-17 03:11:45 PM  

Corvus: That would be dumb. They should just increase the taxes on gas.


an effectively regressive tax that hurts the poor the most is real smart though.
 
2014-04-17 03:11:48 PM  
"The representatives said utilities need the new surcharge to prevent customers who can't afford the installation costs of distributed generation from subsidizing customers who have the systems installed."

The customer already took on the cost of installing the solar panels and switches to get the power back to the grid.
//Does the electric company charge non-residential providers the same fee?
 
2014-04-17 03:11:51 PM  
It's almost as if Oklahoma has a vast and established traditional energy industry with huge state government connections who use it to stifle competition.
 
2014-04-17 03:11:52 PM  

GoldSpider: When drivers use less gas, state governments make sure they still get their $$ too.


Yep, the cost of your electricity is not just the cost of generation. They have the infrastructure to maintain as well.  That cost does not go down in proportion to your reduction in electrical usage.

If you want to beef up our infrastructure, how the hell else is it going to get paid for?
 
2014-04-17 03:12:56 PM  
Cutting costs is OK when you are a business, but god forbid an individual tries to cut cost.
 
2014-04-17 03:15:43 PM  

HeadLever: If you want to beef up our infrastructure, how the hell else is it going to get paid for?


they could do it in a way that doesn't come off as scammy.
 
2014-04-17 03:17:53 PM  
disinter.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-04-17 03:19:16 PM  
Representatives of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said the surcharge is needed to recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity safely from distributed generation back to the grid.

Does anyone know if they buy your excess power from you in OK when you add it to the grid? If so, that will be the next law passed. First, they'll charge you for HAVING the system in place, then they'll wrangle things to get your excess electricity for free and then charge OTHERS for it.
 
2014-04-17 03:20:34 PM  

whidbey: GoldSpider: When drivers use less gas, state governments make sure they still get their $$ too.

Don't worry. It won't pass. The right to drive trumps any sensible transportation policy.


Don't tell that to the derpheads in VA, who last year doubled the registration cost of electric vehicles.

// as well as giving NoVA a big middle finger, but that happens every year
 
2014-04-17 03:21:24 PM  

HeadLever: GoldSpider: When drivers use less gas, state governments make sure they still get their $$ too.

Yep, the cost of your electricity is not just the cost of generation. They have the infrastructure to maintain as well.  That cost does not go down in proportion to your reduction in electrical usage.

If you want to beef up our infrastructure, how the hell else is it going to get paid for?


Tax increases. Public money. You have to ask?
 
2014-04-17 03:21:43 PM  

sprawl15: you know last time i bought eight hotdogs from walmart and then tried to return nine they got very upset with me

i don't see why it's different for power


Which is completely not what's happening. I see you're paying attention about as much as you normally do. They aren't using as much power, so they get charged more. It would be(using your lame metaphor) like buying an 8 pack of hotdogs, but being told that you are going to be charged for 2 8 packs whether you walk out of the store with both of them or not.
 
2014-04-17 03:26:25 PM  

Headso: they could do it in a way that doesn't come off as scammy.


It depends upon how they have their rate structure set up.  If everything is lumped into the usage part of the fee and they don't have a fixed cost part, there is no way that they can.  They are going to have to change something (either the usage rate or the entire structure of the bill).  In the end, everyone's bill will be going up and folks are going to complain.

Now if they they were playing games with the breakdown between usage and fixed costs (and how they were billing the public) and they got caught, they deserve to be kicked in the teeth by the public.
 
2014-04-17 03:28:49 PM  

whidbey: Tax increases. Public money


Not all infrastructure is government-owned.  Much of it can be (and is) privately owned.  Especially in the gas/oil and electricity sectors.
 
2014-04-17 03:29:21 PM  

Mikey1969: It would be(using your lame metaphor) like buying an 8 pack of hotdogs, but being told that you are going to be charged for 2 8 packs whether you walk out of the store with both of them or not.


well either way i'm not shopping at walmart again
 
2014-04-17 03:30:32 PM  

HeadLever: whidbey: Tax increases. Public money

Not all infrastructure is government-owned.  Much of it can be (and is) privately owned.  Especially in the gas/oil and electricity sectors.


Trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is rarely if ever a good idea.
 
2014-04-17 03:30:53 PM  

sprawl15: you know last time i bought eight hotdogs from walmart and then tried to return nine they got very upset with me

i don't see why it's different for power


Think of it like gold.  If you want gold, you go to the market and buy gold. But in this case there is only one person that usually  sells the gold, so they determined the 'fair market price' all by themselves. Now you decided to screw up the whole system by buying a solar panel that produces more gold than you can use. Your gold is exactly the same as the gold that was previously sold, but somehow it is unfair for you to be allowed to sell your own gold on the market. Sure, they pay for the upkeep of the market, so it would make sense for them to get a comission when you sell.  But they surely don't deserve a daim if you decide you never want to buy gold from them again.
 
2014-04-17 03:32:35 PM  

sprawl15: Mikey1969: It would be(using your lame metaphor) like buying an 8 pack of hotdogs, but being told that you are going to be charged for 2 8 packs whether you walk out of the store with both of them or not.

well either way i'm not shopping at walmart again


I avoid it when I can. Especially for hot dogs. Until they can get the same number of buns in a package as they do hot dogs, I'm not going back.
 
2014-04-17 03:33:10 PM  

HeadLever: Headso: they could do it in a way that doesn't come off as scammy.

It depends upon how they have their rate structure set up.  If everything is lumped into the usage part of the fee and they don't have a fixed cost part, there is no way that they can.  They are going to have to change something (either the usage rate or the entire structure of the bill).  In the end, everyone's bill will be going up and folks are going to complain.

Now if they they were playing games with the breakdown between usage and fixed costs (and how they were billing the public) and they got caught, they deserve to be kicked in the teeth by the public.


you can't possibly be saying that people's statements can't be amended to include some other line item that includes infrastructure maintnence as an excuse for why they have to list charges in a way that is obviously  infuriating to people trying to mitigate their electric bills?
 
2014-04-17 03:33:17 PM  

Tricky Chicken: Now you decided to screw up the whole system by buying a solar panel that produces more gold than you can use.


all the gold i can eat?
 
2014-04-17 03:34:46 PM  

whidbey: Trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is rarely if ever a good idea.


Because the only 'good' way to deliver necessities is to lose money while doing it?

Even government municipalities have an obligation to keep their operation profitable.  Their bonds wouldn't be worth much otherwise.

That was a very dumb statement whidbey.
 
2014-04-17 03:34:55 PM  
Power companies also have to pay for the costs associated with the building, maintenance, and operation of generation facilities.  Presumably, these costs are also reflected in your power bill.

But since people with grid-connected solar are paying those costs directly by building, maintaining, and operating their own power plants, they should get a discount, right?  Or perhaps their costs of running solar should be reflected in the net metering rate that they sell their electricity back to the power company at.

It's one of those goose/gander situations, isn't it?
 
2014-04-17 03:35:42 PM  

Headso: HeadLever: Headso: they could do it in a way that doesn't come off as scammy.

It depends upon how they have their rate structure set up.  If everything is lumped into the usage part of the fee and they don't have a fixed cost part, there is no way that they can.  They are going to have to change something (either the usage rate or the entire structure of the bill).  In the end, everyone's bill will be going up and folks are going to complain.

Now if they they were playing games with the breakdown between usage and fixed costs (and how they were billing the public) and they got caught, they deserve to be kicked in the teeth by the public.

you can't possibly be saying that people's statements can't be amended to include some other line item that includes infrastructure maintnence as an excuse for why they have to list charges in a way that is obviously  infuriating to people trying to mitigate their electric bills?


They're charging them because people are turning elsewhere to solve their problems. If anything, it shows just how lax power companies are in upgrading their own infrastructure. They want to pretend it's still the 1980s in terms of power distribution.
 
2014-04-17 03:36:30 PM  

Headso: you can't possibly be saying that people's statements can't be amended to include some other line item that includes infrastructure maintnence as an excuse for why they have to list charges in a way that is obviously  infuriating to people trying to mitigate their electric bills?


My post again:

They are going to have to change something (either the usage rate or the entire structure of the bill).  In the end, everyone's bill will be going up and folks are going to complain.
 
2014-04-17 03:38:52 PM  

HeadLever: whidbey: Trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is rarely if ever a good idea.

Because the only 'good' way to deliver necessities is to lose money while doing it?

Even government municipalities have an obligation to keep their operation profitable.  Their bonds wouldn't be worth much otherwise.

That was a very dumb statement whidbey.


Sure, if you can't actually answer the point, call the other person "dumb."

It's a known tactic.
 
2014-04-17 03:40:49 PM  

Cataholic: BizarreMan: Pokey.Clyde: NecoConeco: I work for an electric company, and we've had that kind of charge since day 1. If a customer uses less than 1000 kWh per month, they get charged $9.99. That's always a fun call to handle. For some reason people think it's unreasonable that they get charged for following all the energy conservation tips we bombard them with.

Sounds like the same crap some of the water companies pull around here. Whenever we're in drought conditions, they enact water restrictions to save water. Then they complain about not making as much money because everyone followed the restrictions. So, they raise water rates to make up for their monetary shortfall. Of course, they never lower the rates once restrictions are lifted.

Lower prices? Inconceivable!

Profits must always increase.

You do know that utility companies have their profits regulated by the state, don't you?


And your point would be?  You're not really implying that all states should be fairly counted on to "regulate" utility companies with the public's best interest in mind, are you? Perhaps I'm thoroughly misunderstanding you here?
 
2014-04-17 03:44:31 PM  

whidbey: if you can't actually answer the point,


I directly refuted the point - that is trying to make necessities like power and lights un-profitable is never a good idea.  On the contrary, you want your water, power, sewer, gas, trash, street companies/departments to be profitable within reason.
 
2014-04-17 03:44:32 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-17 03:47:47 PM  

sprawl15: Tricky Chicken: Now you decided to screw up the whole system by buying a solar panel that produces more gold than you can use.

all the gold i can eat?


If you shave it really thin, it makes ordinary peppermint schnapps taste better.
 
2014-04-17 03:48:34 PM  
It WAS NEVER DEBATED and passed 83-5. Dead god I hate our state legislature. We're not all that bad... i swear.

Then again "Rep. Top Gun" was unchallenged for his seat this year. And Inhofe will be reelected this year.

goddammitsomuch
 
2014-04-17 03:50:00 PM  

HeadLever: whidbey: if you can't actually answer the point,

I directly refuted the point - that is trying to make necessities like power and lights un-profitable is never a good idea.  On the contrary, you want your water, power, sewer, gas, trash, street companies/departments to be profitable within reason.


No I actually don't want that. The services delivered are more important than any profit, especially when it comes to necessities. Would you have the same attitude towards distributing water?

Again, if the service is a money-loser, then subsidize it. Government in general should and frankly cannot be run as a business. And I'm sure this is a separate argument I know I'm not going to convince you of here.

Back to the topic, the utility company in question should eat the loss and invest in infrastructure more attractive to its customer base, not punish its customers for finding solutions outside of the industry.
 
2014-04-17 03:50:02 PM  
Looks like greens are the only people able to be free riders.
 
2014-04-17 03:50:52 PM  
Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet


Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.
 
2014-04-17 03:53:00 PM  

Cataholic: You do know that utility companies have their profits regulated by the state, don't you?



Good thing there is no history of the utilities industry attempting to bribe the three elected members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission then? That would be terrible.
 
2014-04-17 03:54:07 PM  

Psylence: Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet

Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.


You left out healthcare.
 
2014-04-17 03:54:30 PM  

Psylence: Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet

Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.


Oh now that's gonna make some Farkers mad.
 
2014-04-17 03:55:59 PM  

HeadLever: Headso: you can't possibly be saying that people's statements can't be amended to include some other line item that includes infrastructure maintnence as an excuse for why they have to list charges in a way that is obviously  infuriating to people trying to mitigate their electric bills?

My post again:

They are going to have to change something (either the usage rate or the entire structure of the bill).  In the end, everyone's bill will be going up and folks are going to complain.


I wasn't sure about that part because you had just said something like "how else can they get money for infrastructure"... It read to me like "they are going to have to change something" was too difficult.
 
2014-04-17 03:56:30 PM  
I'm gonna pay them ahead for two months service, and then later pay them less for taking one less payment from me in the same timeframe.
 
2014-04-17 03:57:18 PM  

FarkedOver: Psylence: Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet

Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.

You left out healthcare.


and american idol
 
2014-04-17 03:59:56 PM  

Psylence: Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet

Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.


You forgot "Healthcare."

I'd have no problem with power being for-profit, but it's virtually impossible to have even the illusion of competition if the company that owns the infrastructure is also a power seller.

Up until last year, our electric utility was LIPA - they had no generating capacity of their own to speak of. Instead they just maintained the infrastructure and purchased power to reselling to consumers. Under this model, you could (and the program might still exist) specify who the power you use was purchased from. For example, if I wanted to specifically buy my power from XYZ Solar or whatever, I'd tell the utility that and they wold be obligated to buy my share of KWHrs from that supplier... and I'd pay the rate that supplier charged of course.

LIPA has been taken over by PS&G, which DOES own generating capacity, and they already annulled any existing homeowner agreements with respect to domestic solar rebates and power-purchasing agreements.
=Smidge=
 
2014-04-17 04:04:50 PM  

whidbey: The services delivered are more important than any profit, especially when it comes to necessities. Would you have the same attitude towards distributing water?


Never said they weren't. However, if your department or the company supplying water was not able to make some sort of profit, they would no long be able to function as efficiently as they can as their suppliers would no longer want to do business with them.  In addition, the late fees that they rack up from not being able to pay their bills will end up costing someone more.  That someone is typically the end user of the service.

Plus their bonds become much cheaper which help them construct capital improvements much more efficiently and cost effective.

In the end, if you want to cost yourself much more for water, power and sewer, start forcing your department to operate at a loss.

Again, if the service is a money-loser, then subsidize it

Then it wound't be a money-loser, would it?

Back to the topic, the utility company in question should eat the loss and invest in infrastructure more attractive to its customer base, not punish its customers for finding solutions outside of the industry.

Maybe.  A company that is required to operate under a loss for a sustained amount of time is not going to be able to invest in infrastructure.  This is why it is important for these companies to be profitable.  Again, on the government side, this ties into their bond ratings.
 
2014-04-17 04:05:11 PM  
The bill was supported by the state's major electric utilities

Gee, I wonder why.
 
2014-04-17 04:06:34 PM  

Smidge204: Psylence: Things that should not be for profit industries:
Water
Power
Education
Prison
Internet

Making necessities "for profit" encourages the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that humanity needs.

You forgot "Healthcare."



I am still undecided about healthcare

I want the smrtest and brightest kids to aspire to be doctors.  If you are a brilliant kid, are you going to enter a field that requires 8 years of postgraduate drudgery and huge debt and wont get you rich, or maybe get a two year masters degree and make a killing in the business realm?

I sort of want doctors to get obscenely rich for just that reason.
 
2014-04-17 04:07:21 PM  
A couple of good tornadoes could wipe that mobile home-infested state off the map. Come on Global Warming! Work for us for once.
 
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