National Grid now asking for another increase

I won’t post the whole article, but if you’re a National Grid employee you might want to look away because I’m going to shred the company a new asshole.

I’ll start with the most ridiculous first.

National Grid also wants to change the rate structure in a way that protects the company from losing profits and revenue needed to maintain the distribution system, if demand for gas declines due to conservation.

Right now, National Grid’s revenues are tied to gas usage. If people use more, the company takes in more money. Conversely, if they use less, the company will have less revenue.

So let me get this straight, you outright fuck your customers for years on end and then bitch and moan when they use less gas. This tactic has been used by electric utilities that encouraged conservation and then found themselves with so much excess power that they then cried for relief.

And then there’s the tactics employed by National Grid when it acquired the electric system in New York.

On the electric side we in RI pay, wait for it, 14 cents a kWh once you factor in customer charges, distribution charges, conservation charges, etc.

For gas it isn’t yet too onerous but our distribution charges roughly equal the actual gas charges. And now they want to hike those rates too.

The rate-increase request is being largely driven by the need to accelerate its program for replacing unprotected steel pipes and cast-iron mains, the company said, which are corroding faster than anticipated. Water and soil interact with these metals and weaken them over time, which has led to an increased number of gas leaks in its pipelines.

So what you’re saying is that for years Providence Gas and Valley Gas let their distribution network fall to pieces and that National Grid did no due diligence when they bought those companies? And that’s the other thing, exactly what do those exorbitant distribution charges actually pay for if not the maintenance of the network? You don’t need more money, you need to work more efficiently.

This is why I say that necessary utilities should NEVER, EVER be for-profit entities. The minute a profit motive is introduced, shareholders start expecting dividends and to pay those dividends you take money from maintenance and replacement programs to pay those shareholders. All of it so you can have a megalithic energy entity. Of course if deregulation of energy utilities had never taken place we probably wouldn’t be in this mess right now.

Deregulation NEVER benefits the consumer when it comes to utilities. The only area where it has is in telephone services. The cable companies offering phone service was a start. But the cable companies didn’t realize that their broadband network connections could carry VoIP rather well. You have to love serendipity like that.

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