www.DukeEmployees.com - Duke Energy Employee Advocate
history of electric power," - David Freeman, chairman of the California Power Authority
Duke and Deregulation
Did Duke Energy bring about electric deregulation? Of course not. They are powerful, but not that powerful. Duke was just a very willing participant. They used deregulation as an excuse to do everything that they has always wanted to do.
Duke has been scheming for over a decade on how to profit handsomely from deregulation, and now they are doing it! Each employee layoff and benefit reduction was justified, because of “deregulation.” We needed to be more “competitive,” someone was always going to “eat our lunch.” Well, someone has been eating lunches – Duke senior management.
And, they were profiting handsomely on the misery of others. But the inevitable happened. When people get too greedy, they get overconfident and make mistakes. Duke has paid a price for its greed by facing many lawsuits, federal investigations, making refunds, and suffering a loss of reputation.
The whole deregulation scam was flawed from the start. It takes a certain amount of resources to produce anything, including electricity. The whole scheme was never designed to benefit consumers, it was designed to benefit producers. Producers being senior management, not employees.
There are a few things that government does a good job of. Governing utility companies is one of them. Government regulation assures an orderly supply of electricity at a reasonable price. And, it has been working. It prevents a hodgepodge of cut-throat companies from gouging the public and providing unreliable service. Rick Priory is working with the North Carolina legislature now, on deregulation rules. Just who do you think the rules will favor? Have you been asked to assist the legislature in making deregulation rules? The rules will always favor those who make the rules. Is it any wonder why electric deregulation is such a fiasco now?
Realistically, if the consumer did actually save any money, how much do you think it would be? Something on the order of two dollars a month would probably be reasonable. With the promise of perhaps saving a few dollars a month, the ratepayers in California are paying double, triple, even quadruple prices for electricity. As always, it hits those who can least afford it the hardest. Imagine the person just barely getting by, without a dollar to spare, getting hit with an outrageous power bill.
It is the HMO fiasco all over again. HMO’s were going to squeeze out the excess profits, and medical services were going to be cheap, cheap, cheap for everyone. One cannot escapee the fact that it always takes a certain amount of resources to produce anything. There is always some hotshot trying to get something for less. The fact remains that those who pay less, very often get less. One person was complaining because his surgeon made over a thousand dollars an hour. He was asked if he would rather have a fifty dollar per hour surgeon. He said “no.” Some things are just worth what they cost. By trying to save every nickel, one sometimes ends up paying more and getting less.
Don’t you imagine that the people in California wish that they could turn back the deregulation clock? Fads seems to start in California and progress to east coast. Be forewarned; a tidal wave is coming.
Do you really want one more hassle in your life? Do you want company “A,” who has lower rates, but is unreliable. Or, do you want company “B,” who will give you a free toaster.
Perhaps we will deregulate the military next. All troops can be downsized, and we can hire mercenaries on an as-needed basis. Bean counters will love it. Our national defense will be out-sourced!