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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016

6/7/2013 6:01:00 AM
Kingman letters: When paying the bill isn't enough

On Sunday, I read a column by Rich Thurlow that made my day. You see, I thought that I was the only one in Mohave County who uses more electricity than my neighbors, but lo and behold, Mr. Thurlow does too!

It all started last month for me. I received a letter from "Bright Solutions" (UniSource Energy Services) telling me that I was using more energy than 100 of my neighbors. It came with an explanation that assured me that this information was being collected at "no cost" to UniSource customers (Ha!). I'm supposed to believe that they put in a computer program and hired people to monitor all customer usage, and it's all free?

Kind of reminds me of health care, if you know what I mean.

One has to ask: What good will come of a program like this? I used to just use the electricity and pay my bill, but now I have to be criticized for using too much? I can assure you that this program is not "free." We all are paying for it. I can also see that in the future, Mr. Thurlow and I will be asked to pay more since we use more. How much more intrusion will we be able to take?

After reading Mr. Choate's column about toilet paper written on the same day, I'm wondering, how long it will be before we have toilet paper police too? We could install a counter on every roll to ensure that you don't use more than your neighbor. Makes about as much sense as UniSource's bright solutions.

Glenn Agee

Golden Valley

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

You have to just sit back and chuckle as the righties find some kind of a conspiracy in everything.

Basically what I see is UES providing information – no threats, no recriminations – for the consumer so we can possibly look at our power usage and make – or not make – changes to our usage.

Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Steele

@ The Fox Hound

When did Unisource start framing out their work to Frontier? You also stated " As a matter of fact they can also tell in what part of your home you are using it." while this is true and might I add one more thing? The smart system (which includes "smart appliances) will be able tell exactly what part of the home you are in at any time you use one. In addition, there are claims that the smart meters exceed safe levels of RF transmission. I have looked at the evidence of these claims and believe them to be true, but will be doing my own testing to verify these claims. RF meters are not cheap, but I am going to buy one this next week and will come to my own conclusions. It seems to me that the electric company is playing the shame game. Personally, I could care less what anyone else uses, that is their business.

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Article comment by: Re:I too, am Wasting Energy!

I too am wasting energy….even though I’m not there!
This article is very interesting since I too got the notice I use more electricity than my neighbors. Psychological babble. Even though there ares only two people who live here and we both work more than 8 hours a day?? We aren’t even at the house too many waking hours, but we use more electricity than the people who live across the street, who have 5 adults living there? And more electricity than the people who live next door with 2 adults and 3 children, plus have a daycare there during the day?
How far did they have to cast the net to find 100 others that used less electricity? Were those structures even occupied? And by whom?
Every time a group of consumers ‘conserve’, we end up paying more for less because that entity cries to the commission that they aren’t making a ‘fair and reasonable profit’ anymore. If ANY of my bills ever went down because I conserved, it would be different. But that isn’t what happens. I end up paying more for less. And if I use more than what they think is ‘reasonable’, then I really pay, big time!
So, no one else ever has the family converge at your house for any type of holiday, celebration, emergency, etc? Why should I pay MORE than the average set because I used more this month than THEY think is ‘reasonable’??? Just use the same calculations you use for everyone. Isn’t THAT fair and reasonable? I don’t mind paying more when we use more, for whatever reason, but to be penalized because I had a celebration or an emergency? Come ON!
I don’t care how much my neighbor uses, they pay for it. I’ll pay for mine!

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Steele

Seems to me that all this is leading up to the justification for switching to the new "smart meters". I invite you to do your own research on these new meters and come to your own conclusions. Also, search "smart appliances" while you're at it. These new devices and the new technology in them (and the potential) is worrisome to say the least.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

Curses, foiled again.

So one has to wonder now if Unisource shares their "customers electric useage" with local law enforcement.

If a guy is using more power than "they" believe he should as compared to the neighbors, maybe he is growing something in the garage.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

Some people have medical devices that require electric to operate.
I have an oxygen machine and normal elect companies offer discounts to users of medical equipment, BUT NOT HERE!
they instead criticize us for our use.
and as said, when use declines, they up the rates to maintain their cadillac income!
Not to mention power outages!
I plan to install solar panels, so I am no longer dependent upon the elect companies.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Yep

How are you subsidizing anyone's electric, (except the fee we all pay that goes towards the low income users),?

If electricity costs x dollars per kilowatt hour and you use 100 kilowatt hours- you pay 100 times x. If Your neighbor uses 150 kilowatt hours they pay 150 times x.

If bananas are 57 cents a pound and you buy 10 pounds you pay $5.70 and if your neighbor buys 20 pounds he pays $11.40.

Each person pays for what they use.

The reason that there is a suggestion that higher users pay more is the liberal environmentalists way to exert power over what people can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

Strange that I got the notice that I was using more electricity than my neighbors too.

Especially strange as I don’t use heat in the winter and still haven’t cut on the AC, although I hear the neighbors’ units on both sides of me kick on and off, year round, constantly.

I am sure I don’t use more than either of them.

I figured they would use this excuse to raise my rates and they will. I have to check with my neighbors and see if they got the same notice.

I’m guessing we the “wasteful” will be forced to buy up some carbon credits from Al Gore’s energy corporations soon, very soon.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

This is all nuts!! People don't want holes dug in the ground to get to our natural God given resources, but they don't mind wind towers that cost millions per tower and mark and destroy natural habitat, level mountain tops(Carbon County, Wyoming) to accommodate wind towers--all of which will never pay for themselves and we will all be taxed (green energy charge on UNS bill) the rest of our lives.
And the absolute absurdity of is NO ONE wants to have to to look at their neighbors laundry drying in the natural sunshine (solar power at no charge to anyone, again a God given natural source source of energy!
Personally, I like hanging some of my clothing out to dry natural alleviating shrinkage in the natural way. I always always had a clothes line in my backyard for 371/2 years. Only the last 91/2 I have not and I REALLY REALLY MISS IT!
Couldn't be a better way to save on energy for a household than the return of the clothes line!!

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@The Fox Hound
"they can also tell in what part of your home you are using it"

No...they cannot. They can only tell the TIME you are using it and make basic assumptions based on the average persons lifestyle. This can be thrown off by types of appliances for cooking, heating water and drying clothes.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Richard Kale

I too recieved the same letter. I am on the budget plann and currently, they owe me money. I just recieved my bill for for this months elect. and guess what, it went from 77.00 a month to 83.00, and I still show a surplus on my bill. I dont keep a copy of last months bill, so I cant find out what the increase was for. Rather than make it easy for them to bill me on budget, maybe I should just go back to paying as I go, which would hurt me, because I travel some and dont like to miss any of my bills.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Apology to Unisource is In Order

Amazing that Thurlow's misinterpretation of the purpose of the electric company's letter was absorbed by this Glenn guy. The utility company, like all responsible utility company is urging its users to use electricity wisely. The letter is pointing out that a higher than average electric use might be a result of poor management of electricity (air conditioning the back yard while leaving the door open), or perhaps inefficient electrical devices that the homeowner isn't aware of. Thurlow and Glenn should be thanking Unisource for trying to help everyone better use electricity so their children won't have to pop holes all over the earth to drag the oil or natural gas out. Or so we won't have to send another 4,0000 soldier to their death so the oil companies can supply Thurlow and Glenn with the energy they feel entitled to wasting.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Yep, Up Thurlow and Agee's Electric Bills

"I can also see that in the future, Mr. Thurlow and I will be asked to pay more since we use more." Yep, mark me down for agreeing with this. Why should the rest of use subsides your electric use?

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

What really makes me laugh is the absurdity of it all. Utilities push customers to conserve but then come back with the claim that rates need to be raised due to customers using less and more revenue is needed, it's all a game that you can see played out almost in every company/utility.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

I got a "report card" from unisource too. I didn't use more electricity than 100 neighbors, but I was in the 60's. I don't understand the purpose for this either other than unisource is trying to shame people into using less.

Every household has individual circumstances, including family size. The letter did state that the homes in the calculations were inhabited, however, I wonder. There are several empty houses in my immediate area.

In any event, unless Unisource wants to up grade my refrigerator and AC with "free" low energy replacements, I person has got to live.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

With the advent of the new smart meters that they installed it really doesn't cost them anymore to find people who use more power. As a matter of fact they can also tell in what part of your home you are using it. So if you want to blame someone blame Frontier not the Government. They put the meters in and it saves them big. At some point they will no longer need meter readers either. More jobs lost to tech. Did Frontier pass along the savings to us in lower bills . Be serious does that happen in any other industry? You may have heard that the rich get richer and the middleclass gets poorer. What they are really doing is trying to help people who waste power because their homes are not insulated properly or they leave too many lights on. It's not big brother but I'm sure Thurlow will blame Obama

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