This article is full of lies and half-truths. Let's start with the headline, "Planned merger would cut electric rates in W. Va". To read for yourself what a load of crap this statement is, see the actual proposed settlement that was filed with the WV PSC yesterday. The truth is that your "savings" will only be offset by future costs whereby they will merely mitigate future rate increases. The reduction of the ENEC rates by $7.5M over 5 years is chump change for the power companies. They are billing $36.9M in 2011 alone for the PATH revenue requirement, a portion of which is passed on to you in the ENEC rates in WV. After those five years are up... watch out, you're going to get severely jacked because they will cry that the haven't had an increase in 5 years. So, don't start polishing your piggy bank yet, take a hammer to it instead.
That half a million they are "donating" to the Dollar Energy Fund is another very small pile of chump change for them. They don't care about the "poor people". Please! I got a cute little flier about the Dollar Energy Fund in my bill today. What they will do is match your contribution, dollar for dollar, if you donate to help pay the poor people's electric bills this winter. Gosh, I wonder what that has to do with their $500K "donation" under this settlement? Wanna bet their "donation" is the same as what they have already committed to match "subject to agreements" or something like that... there was a catch, but I've already tossed the thing and I'm not digging in the trash for it.
The Allegheny Energy/First Energy merger will also give you:
None of the direct merger costs can be recovered from ratepayers. Ha ha! I hope the WV PSC is intending to audit them. They cheat.
No layoffs for Allegheny Power employees for two years, after which time they will "consider" you for a First Energy position. If I worked for them, I'd be looking for another job... soon.
Their Fairmont Call Center will stay in operation for 5 years. Then all those folks will have to go get new jobs and Fairmont will have a vacant facility on it's hands. What great economic benefit to WV!!
That promised "regional headquarters" is for Mon Power and is to be located in or in close proximity to service areas. Aren't other states like Ohio and Pennsylvania in "close proximity" to the Mon Power service area?
There are some really vague promises of improved customer service/satisfaction and less outages and a puff of air promise to throw a bone toward energy efficiency and demand side management goals, but the percentages are so minuscule as to be laughable.
So, fellow West Virginia Allegheny Power customers, how does it feel to have been sold down the river again by the state officials who are supposed to be looking out for your welfare? Who benefits here? The super-rich power company stockholders and officers. The worst part is they get all their money out of our pockets.
The one bright spot is that the case is not over yet. Write, call and email the PSC and "your" representative Byron Harris at the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division and let them know your thoughts about their proposed "settlement", in which the citizens were prevented from participating.
Contact the WV PSC.
And come back and visit us again soon. Lots of interesting bits of news stacked up for publication as time permits. It's getting hot in here, folks!