Saturday, September 01, 2007

Quixote's dimentia

I got some immediate responses on my inquiry into the difference between "Energy Charge" and "Fuel adjustment charge" as billed by Entergy.

anonymous said...

You appear to be reading the bill incorrectly. The "Energy Charge" is the base cost of the electricity. The "fuel adjustment" is a variable cost, based on the fluctuating price of the fuel used to run the power plant. (This is typically natural gas.) You'll note that the fuel adjustment is MORE than the energy charge! That's the real ripoff. If you want to really start digging into this, you have to look into a number of other factors, for example:

--During times of "peak demand" Entergy may be buying additional electricity on the "wholesale market" at extremely high rates. The power companies sometimes run scams where they buy this "excess capacity" from each other at exhorbitant rates. (That's exactly how Enron scammed so much money during the fake "crisis" in California several years ago. Shut down the low-cost plant, run the high-cost plant. Add on extra for transmission charges, and someone's making megabucks.

--You may recall how after the storm, Entergy New Orleans, a separate division of the parent company, went into bankruptcy. Entergy consists of a number of these subsidiary companies. What's to prevent them from "selling" electricity to each other at jacked-up rates?

--There's no doubt that Entergy is engaging in all kinds of accounting games to increase their alleged "costs" on paper. Remember, as a regulated monopoly, they charge rates that are based (to some extent) on "operating costs." How are these "operating costs" determined? Let the games begin.

Ok so this anon is saying that the Energy Charge is the base point of the cost of the electricity. My question is why are we paying both charges? The Nashville bill I posted doesn't have two separate charges based on kWh. I've seen numerous bills from other states and they aren't being billed for both an Energy Charge and a Fuel Adjustment Charge....they are just being billed by kWh.

It's a matter of semantics...the fact is we're being billed twice per kWh with two separate fluctuating rates, which we have little to know way of accurately monitoring as the anon goes on to point out in his last item. We're getting screwed and we have little to no recourse.

Don't count on the Picayune reporting this or exposing it in any way, shape or form, they'll protect Entergy at all costs.

The only regulatory body which I know of who could actually do something about this is the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Orleans Parish is divided into precincts and has two commissioners: Lambert Boissiere and Jay Blossman. Blossman is getting campaign contributions from Entergy....welcome to Louisiana:

From Gambit article dated 10/01/02:

Public Service Commissioner, District 1. The state Public Service Commission is a powerful regulatory agency whose stewardship includes many public utilities, the telecommunications industry and common carriers. The panel's five commissioners serve six-year terms. District 1 covers nine parishes, including parts of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany.

Incumbent Jay Blossman won the office in 1996 on an admirable campaign pledge not to accept any campaign contributions from entities regulated by the PSC; he effectively self-financed his first campaign for public office. Now up for re-election, Blossman accepts legal campaign contributions from the industries regulated by the PSC, but says the hundreds of thousands of dollars pumped into his campaign coffers have not influenced any of his votes on the commission. Unencumbered by the moral self-constraints that first endeared him to voters, Blossman is drowning lone opponent John Schwegmann with pricey television commercials. "It's not easy to raise money, first of all, so you have to go to people that you see on a day-to-day basis with the commission," says Blossman, a Republican, who now invites any critics to change state campaign finance laws.

Fortunately, there is a more immediate alternative. Schwegmann, an independent, has embraced the same campaign financing promise that Blossman has dropped. Schwegmann served admirably on the PSC for 16 years. Now, he's ready to serve again. He has an institutional memory that will serve the commission well on many technical issues, especially those regarding utility regulation. He will be a commissioner for the consumer. We endorse John Schwegmann.

Great, we've go a fucking commisioner sitting on a regulatory board because the companies he's suppossed to regulate pumped him full of cash. No wonder Entergy is so brash...they've bought off any opposition to their "theifdom".

I have to be honest with's times like this that I really have to ask myself why the hell am I fighting this? Why don't I just move to Nashville or some less corrupt part of the country and live like a human being instead of living like a serf in a fiefdom? So many of my friends have already come to that conclusion. They loved this city but they couldn't take it anymore...I still believe I can fight to make it better and maybe they will come back.

Lower the lance....windmill ahead.


Anonymous said...

To continue from my earlier comment which you used as the basis of this post. I believe that Entergy New Orleans is in fact regulated by the City Council, not the PSC. This is one of those "home rule" situations that seems to have gone wrong. It may also be the case (not 100% sure) that the Council are the ones who let Entergy add the "fuel adjustment."

Anonymous said...

complacency breeds getting fucked

"Entergy justifies the changes that will go into effect in September [2006] by saying that customers are already used to higher bills that have increased since last year, even before Katrina."


fuel adjustment intended to adjust for the high cost of fuel, but is now used to pay for operating costs of the grand gulf plant, which entergy creditors would rather see used to sell electricity to other folks, so the entergy corp can make more money.

Anonymous said...

I know the City Council just passed a n Entergy "Bill of Rights"

I guess the primary right should be the ability to read the bill, the fact that it is so screwy would only lead you to believe it is intentional.

Anonymous said...

Utility Committee

Oversees the Council’s regulatory authority over Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Entergy Louisiana, Inc.; and makes recommendations to the full Council concerning electric and gas utility rates and services.

Councilmember Oliver M. Thomas, Jr
Members Councilmember Shelley Stephenson Midura
Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell
Alternate Councilmember James Carter

August 15 at 10:00 a.m.
The Utility Committee has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. in the City Council Chamber.
Meeting Notice

Anonymous said...

scratch OT from that committee - he's out of commission. maybe AZ should run for city council, so he can start overseeing (and shutting down) some of this nonsense.

mominem said...

I did a comparison between my Entergy Bill and my bill from Georgia Power for an apartment I rent in Atlanta. I found that the costs were very close. And yes there is a separate Fuel Adjustment Charge.

That said I believe the state as a condition of approving any assistance to Entergy should have insisted that Entergy merge Entergy New Orleans with Entergy Louisiana. Entergy New Orleans is too small to absorb the major costs of local damage like a hurricane. Entergy Louisiana is much better able to cope with such events which are unlikely to affect its entire service area. The City Council also lacks the resources and expertise to effectively regulate the utility and relies on politically connected consultants.

Local political interests were more concerned with the good of their supporters than the long term good of the people.