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Off Peak

Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1997

the state are especially suspicious of these claims because they have not seen benefits, only harm, from the deregulation of other industries. They are particularly concerned that the voices of the rural communities are being ignored in all the rhetoric surrounding the catchy phrase of 'consumer choice.'"

(em Retail Wheeling Coalition

On Unbundling ...

Q. Should electric utilities .... unbundle rates and charges for the various components of distribution service, such as meter reading, billing, facility charges and consumer service, etc.?

A. "We are not running a delicatessen, but an integrated electric utility. United Airlines does not bill mechanic's time and aircraft depreciation ... or event peanuts." (em White River

Providers of last resort ...

Q. Would ... retail generation competition require ... a so-called "provider of last resort" to provide full service to consumers who do not, or cannot, select [a] provider of their choice?

A. "Yes. This is like wanting total competition and saying it will reduce rates and at the same time include a rate cap. If competition is so great and everyone is clamoring to provide service, why do you need a provider of last resort? I'll answer my own question - because providers will cherry-pick loads. There will only be competition for lucrative loads."

(em Intermountain Rural Electric Association

On Privacy ...

Q. What type of consumer information should the local distribution company be required to make available to competitive energy service providers in a competitive market?

A. "Customer name, customer volumes and usage, credit risk."

(em Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States

Pricing information ...

Q. How can it be assured that timely and accurate information concerning available services and products ... is made available to all consumers?

A. "Consumers will force this to happen, let them!"

(em Coors Beer

A. "Only the most sophisticated customers, typically the large customers, will have the wherewithal to effectively participate. In short, for all other individual consumers, no one has a clue."

(em Colorado Rural Electric Association

Keeping the lights on ...

"If, as retail wheeling proponents claim, the price of electricity decreases 30% - 40%, what incentive will there be for anyone to ever turn off their lights?"

(em Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association


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