Sunday, September 26, 2004

California Ode

Charging Ahead Into Electric Industry Restructuring
By Hal Gold
(a retiree, a customer, and a shareholder, of an electric utitlity in California)

As a retiree, it appears to me
the executives and managers
are leading the charges of the investor owned utility
into a murky valley of electric industry restructuring uncertainty
mandated by the CPUC

As a customer, standing on top pf Customer Hill
I had an expected chill
when I opened my first "free-market" bill.
There were charges as far as my eyes could see,
charges to the left of me, charges to the right of me,
and charges in front of me.
There is the basic charge,
the energy charge,
the CTC charge,
the PX charge,
the transmission charge,
the distribution charge,
the nuclear decomission charge,
the trust transfer amount charge,
and, the cover anything yet to be conceived, the other charge.

It seems to me that I used to know
that when I flipped the switch, an accurate meter
would measure the amount of electricity I use and I owe.
But now, the only thing I understand on the billing statement
is "Please detach the stub below and return with your payment."

As a shareholder, my stock went up, but I have a worried smile
and wonder: Will vertical disintegration and so-called
deregulation prove to be worthwile?


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