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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 (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-17 04:08:14 PM  

nmrsnr: Hooray, let's punish people who care about the environment!


Bootstrappy: protesting in front of an abortion clinic, making it harder to vote
Not Bootstrappy: relying on yourself to make your own electricity
 
2014-04-17 04:08:19 PM  

Headso: It read to me like "they are going to have to change something" was too difficult.


It can be a difficult process as it requires an accounting of all costs and revenue streams in the context of a pretty hefty life-cycle cost analysis.  However, it is by far the best way to break down bills to the public.
 
2014-04-17 04:09:12 PM  

Tricky Chicken: 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.


Or we could do what most industrialized countries do and not force college kids to incur so much farking debt..... Nah!!! Fark it.  It builds character or something.  And bootstraps, such as.
 
2014-04-17 04:13:51 PM  
Everybody sing:

Yooooooooooookelhoma, where the sister-farkers came to stay.
 
2014-04-17 04:22:01 PM  

FarkedOver: Tricky Chicken: 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.

Or we could do what most industrialized countries do and not force college kids to incur so much farking debt..... Nah!!! Fark it.  It builds character or something.  And bootstraps, such as.


OK, make med school free.  It still takes 8 years.  An MBA takes 2, and you make twice as much. No malpractice insurance overhead.  Only a moron or a massochist would go into medicine these days.
 
2014-04-17 04:22:23 PM  

HeadLever: 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


Then maybe they should get out of the business, and let someone else do it more efficiently.

This is why it is important for these companies to be profitable. Again, on the government side, this ties into their bond ratings.

Like that's some sort of justification for gouging customers who aren't buying their product.
 
2014-04-17 04:23:11 PM  

Tricky Chicken: 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?


But you aren't getting the best and brightest. You're getting the ones who know the system and don't care about the actual people. Going into school you know no matter what, you will be wealthy coming out. It is the reason they take loans. Residents are underpaid, only when you compare them to the attending physicians salary, not the average citizen's salary. 

There is no shortage of applicants to medical schools for a reason, however the metric they use (like college admission) has no correlating evidence showing it produces better doctors.

Oh- they now have M.D./M.B.A joint programs so they can have best of both worlds.
 
2014-04-17 04:26:28 PM  

HeadLever: 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.


Profit occurs at the expense of the poor and underprivileged, and is inherently immoral.  End of discussion.

That's what some people in this thread actually believe.
 
2014-04-17 04:28:00 PM  

thehobbes: Tricky Chicken: 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?

But you aren't getting the best and brightest. You're getting the ones who know the system and don't care about the actual people. Going into school you know no matter what, you will be wealthy coming out. It is the reason they take loans. Residents are underpaid, only when you compare them to the attending physicians salary, not the average citizen's salary.
There is no shortage of applicants to medical schools for a reason, however the metric they use (like college admission) has no correlating evidence showing it produces better doctors.

Oh- they now have M.D./M.B.A joint programs so they can have best of both worlds.


beats the hell out of the M.D.M.A. joint programs
 
2014-04-17 04:30:04 PM  

whidbey: Then maybe they should get out of the business, and let someone else do it more efficiently.


You mean find someone that can operate it profitably?   Sure, if that is the hypothetical you want to present, I'll agree with that.

Like that's some sort of justification for gouging customers who aren't buying their product.

Contrary to your assertion, being profitable is not dependent upon gouging customers.  In fact, not being profitable can be considered gouging the customer as the operating costs and bond interest rates will generally be much higher than normal.  As with anything, moderation is the key.
 
2014-04-17 04:30:06 PM  

thehobbes: Tricky Chicken: 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?

But you aren't getting the best and brightest. You're getting the ones who know the system and don't care about the actual people. Going into school you know no matter what, you will be wealthy coming out. It is the reason they take loans. Residents are underpaid, only when you compare them to the attending physicians salary, not the average citizen's salary. 

There is no shortage of applicants to medical schools for a reason, however the metric they use (like college admission) has no correlating evidence showing it produces better doctors.

Oh- they now have M.D./M.B.A joint programs so they can have best of both worlds.


Now I am curious what a resident actually makes.  Net mind you after their insurance and other costs. I am talking the average resident. not a surgery or specialist that had to study extra years, but the general practicioner.  I somehow don't think it is eating caviar gated community money. Probably decent house on a cul-de-sac with a mortgage average middle class money.
 
2014-04-17 04:31:05 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?


Not necessarily, and surprisingly, not in the libbiest state of all, Maryland, where PEPCO makes us pay extra when we lose power for a week.
 
2014-04-17 04:31:18 PM  

GoldSpider: HeadLever: 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.

Profit occurs at the expense of the poor and underprivileged, and is inherently immoral.  End of discussion.

That's what some people in this thread actually believe.


No, "some people in this thread actually believe" that necessities like utilities shouldn't be bought and sold to the highest bidder, but publicly owned and controlled through industrial democracy.

I know you can't handle that, but leaving that out of your statement is a more than a bit disingenuous.
 
2014-04-17 04:36:41 PM  
That'll teach you hippies for trying to save money and save the environment. Thought you could keep some money out of the oil companies' hands didn't you? Seditious little bastards!
 
2014-04-17 04:37:32 PM  

GoldSpider: That's what some people in this thread actually believe.


What is funny with whidbey is that on one side of his face he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it.

I am uncertain if his position is shifting in light of our discussion or if he really does not understand his own direct incongruity.
 
2014-04-17 04:39:17 PM  

Huggermugger: Not necessarily, and surprisingly, not in the libbiest state of all, Maryland, where PEPCO makes us pay extra when we lose power for a week.


They made up a word Duracheo and charged us double to not provide us power and used that as justification for a rate hike because their system is to unstable to provide power and it is my fault.

I think they hired somebody from the tea-party to write up their justificaitons on that one.
 
2014-04-17 04:41:09 PM  

whidbey: No, "some people in this thread actually believe" that necessities like utilities shouldn't be bought and sold to the highest bidder,


That is fine, but has little to do with the statement of  'making necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea'.  Many will agree with one and laugh at the other.
 
2014-04-17 04:42:42 PM  

HeadLever: GoldSpider: That's what some people in this thread actually believe.

What is funny with whidbey is that on one side of his face he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it.

I am uncertain if his position is shifting in light of our discussion or if he really does not understand his own direct incongruity.


He actually tried to convince me at one time that absolutely ANY criticism of president Obama on any matter is purely based upon unjustified racism. So don't expect too much rationality from that one.
 
2014-04-17 04:42:44 PM  

GoldSpider: Profit occurs at the expense of the poor and underprivileged, and is inherently immoral. End of discussion.

That's what some people in this thread actually believe.


Hey! I resemble that remark!
 
2014-04-17 04:46:59 PM  

HeadLever: whidbey: No, "some people in this thread actually believe" that necessities like utilities shouldn't be bought and sold to the highest bidder,

That is fine, but has little to do with the statement of  'making necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea'.  Many will agree with one and laugh at the other.


It's a bad idea in this example. By all observation, the power company did not upgrade to efficiency standards. They should be swallowing that shortfall, not gouging their customers.

Or getting out of business altogether. You just want to defend an industry that isn't even achieving your standards of profitability. You wouldn't make that exception for Goldman Sachs or a bank, would you?
 
2014-04-17 04:47:44 PM  
I'm more than happy to allow energy companies to do this once they pay back the trillions in subsidies, interest free loans and free easements that they have been given over the last century.

I seem to remember just in the last year where energy companies were saying that only drilling for oil, coal and natural gas were the answers to any energy problem.

Personally, I'm surprised that there are enough energy executive dicks in Oklahoma to satisfy all of the hungry Republican mouths.  I'd wager that when an energy company man unzips, it's like a bunch of Republican piglets jostling for who gets the first suck.
 
2014-04-17 04:54:54 PM  
For fark's sake, Drew!  Give Oklahoma a tag already!
 
2014-04-17 04:57:01 PM  
If batboy wins his reelection in FL, I would expect this to pass here too.

/FL farker, who just put the panels up.
 
2014-04-17 04:58:12 PM  

whidbey: It's a bad idea in this example. By all observation, the power company did not upgrade to efficiency standards. They should be swallowing that shortfall, not gouging their customers.

Or getting out of business altogether.


The issue here is that the company need to have the ability to adjust its fee schedule based upon the current market and projected future market trends.  If you don't allow a company or municipality to do that, you are arbitrarily handicapping their ability to stay in business.  Yes, if they misjudged a market change, they should take the immediate loss, however, they should also be able to adjust future billings to correct for this change.  No one can project the future correctly 100% of the time, nor should they be expected to.

Again, if they were playing games with these fees, or completely dropped the ball on something they should have known about, then they deserve to get slapped around.
 
2014-04-17 04:59:02 PM  

rosebud_the_sled: I seem to remember just in the last year where energy companies were saying that only drilling for oil, coal and natural gas were the answers to any energy problem.


Where?
 
2014-04-17 05:05:51 PM  

Tricky Chicken: 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.


Dude - you just put on the list the way that it doesn't take a huge debt to become a doctor

/Average GP income in most western countries is over $100,000 (US)
// source:http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/how-much-do-docto rs-in-ot her-countries-make/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
///logic: how does it work?
 
2014-04-17 05:09:28 PM  

menschenfresser: Are they not satisfied with the standard monthly service fee they charge customers just for the privilege of being their customers? That's standard, right? I think all my utilities have charges like that added, ostensibly to cover meter reading, back office paperwork, or whatever.


Well the point is to discourage you from using renewables, and the standard service fee doesn't do that.
 
2014-04-17 05:12:36 PM  

factoryconnection: Pokey.Clyde: 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.

Raising the rates in times of low water demand is reasonable, as the maintenance on the system is a mostly fixed expense.  It affects all customers, as does the burden of maintaining the water system.  Never dropping the rates when demand picks up, though?  Yeah that's sh*tty.


Well if the cost of supplying water isn't linked to demand why is it funded by demand? Wouldn't the smarter thing be to have a standard fee per household or business and then a surcharge on top of that for excessive use?
 
2014-04-17 05:17:36 PM  

HeadLever: What is funny with whidbey is that on one side of his face he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it


Dude, it's hardly rocket science.

Tricky Chicken: HeadLever: GoldSpider: That's what some people in this thread actually believe.

What is funny with whidbey is that on one side of his face he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it.

I am uncertain if his position is shifting in light of our discussion or if he really does not understand his own direct incongruity.

He actually tried to convince me at one time that absolutely ANY criticism of president Obama on any matter is purely based upon unjustified racism. So don't expect too much rationality from that one.


Oh yeah, out of context non-sequitur FTW.

But if you insist, when you're adding to the chorus of impotent raging social conservatives out there who do in fact support racism, you're really not helping.
 
2014-04-17 05:25:11 PM  

whidbey: Dude, it's hardly rocket science.


Yeah, directly contradicting yourself is not rocket science.
 
2014-04-17 05:30:57 PM  

HeadLever: GoldSpider: That's what some people in this thread actually believe.

What is funny with whidbey is that on one side of his face he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it.

I am uncertain if his position is shifting in light of our discussion or if he really does not understand his own direct incongruity.


How, exactly, do those two statements contradict each other?
 
2014-04-17 05:34:30 PM  

Faddy: factoryconnection: Pokey.Clyde: 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.

Raising the rates in times of low water demand is reasonable, as the maintenance on the system is a mostly fixed expense.  It affects all customers, as does the burden of maintaining the water system.  Never dropping the rates when demand picks up, though?  Yeah that's sh*tty.

Well if the cost of supplying water isn't linked to demand why is it funded by demand? Wouldn't the smarter thing be to have a standard fee per household or business and then a surcharge on top of that for excessive use?


Because they're letting the heavy users subsidize the sparse users

That's all this stupid temper-tantrum boils down to, the people who installed solar panels want to mooch off everyone else and get free infrastructure for cloudy days.  Either pay the actual flat rate connection/maintenance fee or go live off grid and freeze/stave to death when its cloudy (or pay out the nose for large enough flow batteries).  And no selling back to the grid doesn't do crap since you have to limit it for proper load balancing across the whole grid,and only actually benefits your immediate neighbors.  And that's assuming they installed upgraded transformers in the area otherwise you're causing even more maintenance problems
 
2014-04-17 05:35:45 PM  

DrBenway: How, exactly, do those two statements contradict each other?


One advocates that operating profitably is not a good idea while the other advocates the addition of subsidies for those that lose money.

If operating at a loss is so desirable, why do you advocate offsetting this loss with subsidies?
 
2014-04-17 05:44:48 PM  
Yeah, no surprise here.

Republicans hold the entire Oklahoma political machine in a death-grip and they love their energy industry money. The whole damn state is rotten and there's no effort to stem the tide of greed, hate, and evil-minded bullshiat.

(Fun fact: In the 2010 elections, Sen. Tom Coburn (R) ran essentially unopposed, save by a known paranoid schizophrenic who was disavowed by the national Democratic party. Trying to break the Republican stranglehold on OK is considered a waste of resources on the part of Democrats.)
 
2014-04-17 05:48:32 PM  

FnkyTwn: I'm pretty green, but even I understand the need for charges like this. If you really really really want to be 'full solar', then buy yourself all those bigass expensive ass batteries you need so you can power your house at night, and then pay to have them replaced every 5 years, and get fully off the grid. Otherwise, you're just using the grid as a battery, and then expecting not to pay for access?


Agree wholeheartedly. The surcharge is probably a pittance compared to the price of a single solar battery.
 
2014-04-17 05:49:34 PM  
it's okay to raise taxes as long as it goes to our corporate overlords.
 
2014-04-17 05:50:56 PM  

HeadLever:

he is saying that 'trying to make necessities like power and lights profitable is a bad idea', and on the other he is saying that if they are a money-loser, then subsidize it.

whidbey: Dude, it's hardly rocket science.

Yeah, directly contradicting yourself is not rocket science.


I made no such contradiction.

However, you seem to think that subsidizing a money loser=profit, though.
 
2014-04-17 05:51:41 PM  
Frankly surcharges like this are complete, total and absolute bullshiat. It's designed to be punitive for people who install distributed renewable energy. As most people know, it's extremely difficult to get a household to be net-zero year round. Typically there's an excess of power generated in the summer, and during the winter months they buy power back from the utility. If this fee wasn't designed to be punitive, and designed to maintain the grid it would be structured fairly.

UNFAIR = solar customers get an extra $10 monthly surcharge, regardless.

SEMI FAIR = solar customers, on the months when they generate more power than they use, and have a $0 bill at the end of the month will get a $10 grid fee charge for grid connectivity.

FAIR = all customers are charged a base connection rate to be serviced by the grid & then charged by the kWh for their consumption.

And don't get me started at the utility practice of buying customer generated power at standard wholesale cost, even though it's likely generated at a time of peak-rate billing charges and peak plant production rates.
 
2014-04-17 05:53:35 PM  

Mikey1969: 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.


Might want to find a new joke, old man. Dogs and buns have both come 8/pack for a long time now.
 
2014-04-17 05:54:35 PM  

MrSteve007: And don't get me started


No please, by all means, GET STARTED. Anything to clear the good ol' boy stench in here.
 
2014-04-17 05:54:41 PM  

MrSteve007: Frankly surcharges like this are complete, total and absolute bullshiat. It's designed to be punitive for people who install distributed renewable energy. As most people know, it's extremely difficult to get a household to be net-zero year round. Typically there's an excess of power generated in the summer, and during the winter months they buy power back from the utility. If this fee wasn't designed to be punitive, and designed to maintain the grid it would be structured fairly.

UNFAIR = solar customers get an extra $10 monthly surcharge, regardless.

SEMI FAIR = solar customers, on the months when they generate more power than they use, and have a $0 bill at the end of the month will get a $10 grid fee charge for grid connectivity.

FAIR = all customers are charged a base connection rate to be serviced by the grid & then charged by the kWh for their consumption.

And don't get me started at the utility practice of buying customer generated power at standard wholesale cost, even though it's likely generated at a time of peak-rate billing charges and peak plant production rates.


yeah this is meant to punish those damned liberals and their damned energy conservation methods.
 
2014-04-17 05:55:38 PM  

Pokey.Clyde: Mikey1969: 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.

Might want to find a new joke, old man. Dogs and buns have both come 8/pack for a long time now.


Not all of them.

content.clearchannel.com
 
2014-04-17 06:02:36 PM  
It's funny this thread came up this afternoon. I was just taking a break at the cost analysis and layout I'm putting together to a proposal to double my office's current rooftop PV array. When complete, it would cover about half of the annual energy needs of my office (some 30 people working inside + servers + heat). if it wasn't for us being in cloudy Seattle, in an area like Arizona, California, or even Oklahoma, it would be enough to cover all of the facility's annual energy needs.

img.fark.net

img.fark.net
 
2014-04-17 06:04:53 PM  

HeadLever: DrBenway: How, exactly, do those two statements contradict each other?

One advocates that operating profitably is not a good idea while the other advocates the addition of subsidies for those that lose money.

If operating at a loss is so desirable, why do you advocate offsetting this loss with subsidies?


Perhaps because municipalities have to balance their books one way or another? Point me back to where whidbey (or anyone else) said that a loss, specifically, was "so desirable."
 
2014-04-17 06:06:42 PM  
So if the power company generates the electricity they bill the consuming customer for the cost of delivery.

If a private windmill or solar source generates the electricity the power company still bills the consuming customer for the cost of delivery.

Either way, the power company has to have infrastructure to get the electricity from the point of generation to the point of consumption, and they bill the consumer.  Why should they get to double dip and bill the generator?
 
2014-04-17 06:09:36 PM  

DrBenway:
Perhaps because municipalities have to balance their books one way or another? Point me back to where whidbey (or anyone else) said that a loss, specifically, was "so desirable."


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


the opposite of profitable is........
 
2014-04-17 06:16:45 PM  

HeadLever: DrBenway:
Perhaps because municipalities have to balance their books one way or another? Point me back to where whidbey (or anyone else) said that a loss, specifically, was "so desirable."


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

the opposite of profitable is........


I must have dreamed the concept of "break-even" then. My bad. Hence my thought that subsidies might be in order to bring numbers back in line with this apparently hallucinated so-called "break-even" point.
 
2014-04-17 06:18:51 PM  

HeadLever: the opposite of profitable is........


Such infantile words games.
Necessities like power should not be for-profit, they should be at-cost. The only goal should be to get the necessity where it is needed. If the goal is also to make money, you have a conflict of interest whenever delivery of the service comes up against what makes more money.
 
2014-04-17 06:19:07 PM  

HeadLever: DrBenway:
Perhaps because municipalities have to balance their books one way or another? Point me back to where whidbey (or anyone else) said that a loss, specifically, was "so desirable."


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

the opposite of profitable is........


I fail to see how your lack of comprehension constitutes further discussion.

I made no contradiction. If you can't actually argue why public ownership is better than private, I don't expect anything more.
 
2014-04-17 06:19:47 PM  

DrBenway: I must have dreamed the concept of "break-even" then.


When was the last time one of these agencies actually had revenues balance out costs perfectly?  That is always a possibility, but not much of a reality.
 
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