Monday, September 15, 2008

Energy crisis update

Remember my electric bill rant from last month?

Turns out I am not alone. Take a look at yesterday's front-page story here in Delaware. I'm no expert, but it looks an awful lot like Horizon Power and Light is price gouging. Read this little segment of the article, and you'll recognize some similarities in our electric experience:

McGinnis had agreed in October to a contract with Horizon Power and Light, a
competitive provider in Delaware offering a discount to Delmarva Power
customers.
Her rate was a lean 11.01 cents per kilowatt hour -- below the 11.16 Delmarva was charging, a monthly savings of about $1.50 if she used 1,000 kwh per month.
All was fine until this summer, when her bills started to go way up. She said she didn't see a rate increase on her bills, just an oversized bottom line. The company told her the rate had increased after May 31 to 19.8 cents per kwh -- an 80 percent increase just in time for summer air conditioning season.
"They are ripping people off," McGinnis said. "I'm an educated person. I can't find out what they're doing to me here
."
McGinnis is one of more than 50 people who have filed complaints with the
Public Service Commission in recent weeks against Horizon, which had 3,109
Delaware customers as of October 2007.
"We're deeply concerned," said PSC Executive Director Bruce Burcat. The complaints vary but price was the "common thread," he said. "It's not a minor boost. They're talking about significant increases in their rates."


Very interesting, is it not? Didn't we already suffer enough two years ago, when the prices spiked up 60%? Say what you will about energy deregulation, but no matter how you spin it or whose side you're on, this is not right.

I'll be filing a formal complaint with the PSC this week, and if you've had similar experience with Horizon, I urge you to do the same. Spread the word, too, because people like me received e-mails from trusted friends (and my HR representative!) when Horizon was offering this "deal" so I have a feeling many of us signed up without truly understanding the fine print.

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