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The Dispatch wrote AEP customers criticize proposed rate hike 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BY DAN GEARINO

Stung by a slumping economy and rising expenses, several American Electric Power customers said today that they can’t afford the utility’s plan to raise rates about 15 percent in each of the next three years.

“To say that a monumental rate increase would cause hardship is an understatement,” said Dianne Garrett of Whitehall. She was one of 25 speakers at a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio hearing on the rate plan. Roughly half had concerns about the cost, while others praised AEP’s charitable work or spoke about environmental issues. The commission will rule on the request later this year.

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59 Responses to AEP customers criticize proposed rate hike

  1. nexttuesday
    nexttuesday October 22, 2008 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm

    Let me get this straight, as I’m about to write a letter to the PUCO and don’t want to make any errors.

    AEP has a monopoly at least in Columbus, even though the PUCO initially put regulations in place to allow electric choice. Some cities aggregated but they still buy their electricity from AEP, right? No choice has evolved in the time period in which they locked rates. Rates are now becoming unlocked, and there is no choice. So whatever PUCO allows, we pay. Essentially the PUCO did not negotiate the terms of the regulations very well, allowing for Ohio consumer to get F’d in the A if and when no choices emerged in the market.

    Please correct me if I am wrong so I can make a stronger argument in my letter.

  2. Mercurius October 22, 2008 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm

    nexttuesday wrote Let me get this straight, as I’m about to write a letter to the PUCO and don’t want to make any errors.

    AEP has a monopoly at least in Columbus, even though the PUCO initially put regulations in place to allow electric choice. Some cities aggregated but they still buy their electricity from AEP, right? No choice has evolved in the time period in which they locked rates. Rates are now becoming unlocked, and there is no choice. So whatever PUCO allows, we pay. Essentially the PUCO did not negotiate the terms of the regulations very well, allowing for Ohio consumer to get F’d in the A if and when no choices emerged in the market.

    Please correct me if I am wrong so I can make a stronger argument in my letter.AEP has the cheapest rates in the nation (mostly due to burning nothing but coal.) Much of the new costs relates to putting in pollution controls for NOx and SOx on their plants.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/heat/view/

    Energy should be much more expensive.

  3. Andrew Hall
    Andrew Hall October 22, 2008 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm

    Mercurius wrote

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    A.

  4. Drew October 22, 2008 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm

    Andrew Hall wrote Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    It’s for the good of the ‘community’!

  5. lifeliberty
    lifeliberty October 22, 2008 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm

    energy is extremely expensive for those that can’t afford it. also, a raise in the rates means LiHEAP funds don’t go as far per household.

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/

  6. Mercurius October 22, 2008 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm

    Andrew Hall wrote
    Mercurius wrote

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    A. No, certainly not. I don’t want to see Ohio at a competitive disadvantage, but agree that AEP is justified in raising rates in their attempt to mitigate the rise in the cost of coal, SOx and NOx, global warming, etc. Energy should cost more nearly everywhere though. Mr. Hall, is it of your opinion that AEP doesn’t need to improve their operations?

  7. Andrew Hall
    Andrew Hall October 22, 2008 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Andrew Hall wrote
    Mercurius wrote

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    A. No, certainly not. I don’t want to see Ohio at a competitive disadvantage, but agree that AEP is justified in raising rates in their attempt to mitigate the rise in the cost of coal, SOx and NOx, global warming, etc. Energy should cost more nearly everywhere though. Mr. Hall, is it of your opinion that AEP doesn’t need to improve their operations?

    I don’t know. There are too many facets about which I have no information.

    On individual power delivery, they did fairly well all things considered during the recent outages. There were places where it required an almost pole-by-pole fix. In comparison to what we used to experience when I lived in NOLA (pre-Katrina), they do much better.

    As to infrastructure, capacity and operations – I don’t know anything.

    Pollution, emissions and the like – I don’t know anything.

    As to the larger grid, I thought AEP was a net seller of power which is one of the reasons the costs to the consumer were lower than elsewhere. But I really don’t know.

    I do know that across the board energy cost increases will be next impossible to pass on for a lot of businesses in the current climate. That is a death knell for Ohio’s economy.

    A.

  8. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Andrew Hall wrote
    Mercurius wrote

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    A. No, certainly not. I don’t want to see Ohio at a competitive disadvantage, but agree that AEP is justified in raising rates in their attempt to mitigate the rise in the cost of coal, SOx and NOx, global warming, etc. Energy should cost more nearly everywhere though. Mr. Hall, is it of your opinion that AEP doesn’t need to improve their operations?

    They fought having to do anything about their emissions through the courts for years and years to delay having to do anything. If they had done these things years ago (while they were fighting in court for their right to spew toxic and radioactive emissions) they could have done these things cheaper and absorbed the costs in very small chunks into their profit margins with little impact on those margins.

    but no, they fought in court and did nothing knowing that they could just raise rates to cover the (higher) costs later and make more money. The things they’re talking about doing now would barely bring them into compliance with current regulation. I have not heard they are doing anything about CO2 as it is not regulated at all yet. Once it is they will likely fight THAT in court for another decade before they do anything.

    *spit on the ground*

  9. Mercurius October 22, 2008 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm

    While coal is still the cheapest:

    On a similar trend, contract prices for thermal coal, used in power plants, more than doubled to US$125 a metric ton for FY 2008.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/97771-coal-prices-set-to-go-up

    Contract prices for coking coal, used to make steel, are expected to reach a record high of $300 a tonne, a three-fold rise from an agreed price of $98 last year, amid a “supply apocalypse” following recent weather-related supply disruptions in Australia, Merrill Lynch said in a research note on Friday.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-32348920080307

  10. Mercurius October 22, 2008 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote
    Mercurius wrote
    Andrew Hall wrote
    Mercurius wrote

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Is your ultimate goal no jobs or economy whatsoever in Ohio?

    A. No, certainly not. I don’t want to see Ohio at a competitive disadvantage, but agree that AEP is justified in raising rates in their attempt to mitigate the rise in the cost of coal, SOx and NOx, global warming, etc. Energy should cost more nearly everywhere though. Mr. Hall, is it of your opinion that AEP doesn’t need to improve their operations?

    They fought having to do anything about their emissions through the courts for years and years to delay having to do anything. If they had done these things years ago (while they were fighting in court for their right to spew toxic and radioactive emissions) they could have done these things cheaper and absorbed the costs in very small chunks into their profit margins with little impact on those margins.

    but no, they fought in court and did nothing knowing that they could just raise rates to cover the (higher) costs later and make more money. The things they’re talking about doing now would barely bring them into compliance with current regulation. I have not heard they are doing anything about CO2 as it is not regulated at all yet. Once it is they will likely fight THAT in court for another decade before they do anything.

    *spit on the ground* While limited, they are trading carbon emissions.

    http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/

  11. Mercurius October 22, 2008 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm

    Mike must want to destroy the economy also.

  12. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm

    Mercurius wrote Mike must want to destroy the economy also.

    No. I’m saying that if they had planned for environmental compliance from the beginning it would have been possible to implement it within their current pricing structure. Now, if I recall the end results of the lawsuits, they also have judgments against them which have added substantially to the costs.

    http://www.accountability-central.com/single-view-default/article/fact-sheet-united-states-et-al-vs-american-electric-power/

    Also, if you look at that they’re talking about 4.6 billion in environmental ‘upgrades’ in 8 years, which is about 600mill/year over those 8 years. Hardly a massive hit for a company that clears 18 Bill/year profit, but even THAT could have been significantly reduced had they just done it from the beginning. But they knew they didn’t have to. They knew they could get US to pay for it.

  13. Mercurius October 22, 2008 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote
    Mercurius wrote Mike must want to destroy the economy also.

    No. I’m saying that if they had planned for environmental compliance from the beginning it would have been possible to implement it within their current pricing structure. Now, if I recall the end results of the lawsuits, they also have judgments against them which have added substantially to the costs.

    http://www.accountability-central.com/single-view-default/article/fact-sheet-united-states-et-al-vs-american-electric-power/ I seriously doubt it. Pollution controls are expensive, hence why they fought them. The settlement was a 15 million dollar fine (which isn’t much) and an agreement to spend 4.6 Billion on pollution control.

  14. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote
    Mercurius wrote Mike must want to destroy the economy also.

    No. I’m saying that if they had planned for environmental compliance from the beginning it would have been possible to implement it within their current pricing structure. Now, if I recall the end results of the lawsuits, they also have judgments against them which have added substantially to the costs.

    http://www.accountability-central.com/single-view-default/article/fact-sheet-united-states-et-al-vs-american-electric-power/ I seriously doubt it. Pollution controls are expensive, hence why they fought them. The settlement was a 15 million dollar fine (which isn’t much) and an agreement to spend 4.6 Billion on pollution control.

    please see my edits to my last post because I knew you were going to say that. Long story short, no, it’s NOT expensive. That argument is their smoke screen.

  15. Mercurius October 22, 2008 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote
    Mercurius wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote
    Mercurius wrote Mike must want to destroy the economy also.

    No. I’m saying that if they had planned for environmental compliance from the beginning it would have been possible to implement it within their current pricing structure. Now, if I recall the end results of the lawsuits, they also have judgments against them which have added substantially to the costs.

    http://www.accountability-central.com/single-view-default/article/fact-sheet-united-states-et-al-vs-american-electric-power/ I seriously doubt it. Pollution controls are expensive, hence why they fought them. The settlement was a 15 million dollar fine (which isn’t much) and an agreement to spend 4.6 Billion on pollution control.

    please see my edits to my last post because I knew you were going to say that. Long story short, no, it’s NOT expensive. That argument is their smoke screen. Well it isn’t expensive in terms of $32 billion a year in health costs (not to mention the unforseen ecological costs) they were causing but $4.? billion is expensive. What are you saying isn’t expensive? Pollution controls?

  16. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm

    Mercurius wrote Well it isn’t expensive in terms of $32 billion a year in health costs (not to mention the unforseen ecological costs) they were causing but $4.? billion is expensive. What are you saying isn’t expensive? Pollution controls?

    I’m saying that 4.6 billion spread out over the almost maybe 10 years they’ve been fighting doing anything is a very small part of their profits over those 10 years.

    Also I’m saying that it wouldn’t have cost 4.6 billion in the first place if they had started doing something about the problem from the beginning. I do not know what the cost inflation has been, but it’s not negligible.

    Also, I’m saying that 4.6 billion spread out over their expected profits in the 8 years they are talking about until they reach compliance is less than 3% of their net profits* without raising rates at all. That’s called the cost of doing business.

    *(4.6 billion out of projected profits of 140 billion)

    Now… the price of coal going up… that actually has some validity, but even then the rate hike they are asking for is excessive.

  17. nexttuesday
    nexttuesday October 22, 2008 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm

    I think my biggest concern is that our dollar becomes weaker and our earning power decreases while AEP raises a 100 dollar bill to a 148 dollar bill. That 148 dollars actually costs even more in today’s terms.

    Does PUCO have the final say in how much AEP can raise its rates?

  18. chaptal
    chaptal October 22, 2008 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm

    Seems to me like AEP was too cheap and busy basking in corporate profits to take care of clean air standards. If they’d done that when they should have, instead of spending time in court and putting shiny lights on their corporate headquarters, the rate increase would be less.

  19. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm

    chaptal wrote Seems to me like AEP was too cheap and busy basking in corporate profits to take care of clean air standards. If they’d done that when they should have, instead of spending time in court and putting shiny lights on their corporate headquarters, the rate increase would be less.

    bingo

  20. Andrew Hall
    Andrew Hall October 22, 2008 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote
    chaptal wrote Seems to me like AEP was too cheap and busy basking in corporate profits to take care of clean air standards. If they’d done that when they should have, instead of spending time in court and putting shiny lights on their corporate headquarters, the rate increase would be less.

    bingo

    Here is a (non-rhetorical) question : Is the economic benefit we got from relatively lower rates more or less than the current/future incurred costs of a rate hike?

    I don’t know, but my first instinct is that Ohio benefitted more from cheaper energy costs during the boom years and suffered less than it might of during the post-00-9/11 crunch than it might have otherwise. OTOH, cost-induced efficiency gains might have been more.

    A.

  21. Rockmastermike October 22, 2008 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm

    Andrew Hall wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote
    chaptal wrote Seems to me like AEP was too cheap and busy basking in corporate profits to take care of clean air standards. If they’d done that when they should have, instead of spending time in court and putting shiny lights on their corporate headquarters, the rate increase would be less.

    bingo

    Here is a (non-rhetorical) question : Is the economic benefit we got from relatively lower rates more or less than the current/future incurred costs of a rate hike?

    I don’t know, but my first instinct is that Ohio benefitted more from cheaper energy costs during the boom years and suffered less than it might of during the post-00-9/11 crunch than it might have otherwise. OTOH, cost-induced efficiency gains might have been more.

    A.

    wow that’s a good question!

    I think we benefited mightily from cheap energy! I also think that AEP has profited fairly even with our low rates.

    I would not have been averse to a 3% rate hike to pay for environmental compliance. Seems fair, as that appears to be closer to the actual cost of these things. Rising fuel costs are another good reason for gradual fair rate increases.

    Cost induced efficiency gains are going to be beneficial to society in the long run, but nothing good can come from dropping a sudden massive increase on consumers. I think the cost of doing that is going to be a huge blow to the economy.

    Its hard to say if that’s higher or lower than the productivity gains from what we have had. I’m not even sure how to calculate that one. I’d love to see someone take a serious wack at calculating that.

    Even (most) people advocating a carbon tax are sensible enough to account for a gradual phase-in to give customers time to implement these efficiency improvements.

  22. nexttuesday
    nexttuesday October 22, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm

    I agree, 3 or 4% a year would be reasonable, even 5 or 6% a year considering they’re just coming out of a price freeze. 15% is just so crazy though. I’m guessing they’re asking for more than they want just so they might come close to the number they actually want (probably 10%).

    I guess if they didn’t ask for a lot their shareholders would get pretty pissed though.

  23. Walker Evans
    Walker November 4, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm

    NBC4i.com wrote Group Wants AEP To Drop Rate Hike By $1B

    Tuesday, Nov 04, 2008

    By Denise Yost

    A major electric provider for Central Ohioans is planning on a rate increase, but a local group believes the hike is not justified and wants the proposal decreased by more than $1 billion.

    The Ohio Consumers Council believes that the annual rate increases AEP is proposing for its three-year electric security plan are not justified. Two of the major sticking points are that AEP hasn’t proven it needs increases to its non-fuel generation and distribution rates and the deferred cost each year for three years is not necessary because fuel costs have been overestimated.

    READ MORE

  24. Paul
    Paul November 5, 2008 3:47 am at 3:47 am

    Mercurius wrote AEP has the cheapest rates in the nation (mostly due to burning nothing but coal.) Much of the new costs relates to putting in pollution controls for NOx and SOx on their plants.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/heat/view/

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Wrong. Only 73% of the energy AEP produces comes from coal. The other 27% comes from natural gas, nuclear, wind and hydro.

    Source: http://www.aep.com/about/powerplants/

    Rockmastermike wrote but no, they fought in court and did nothing knowing that they could just raise rates to cover the (higher) costs later and make more money. The things they’re talking about doing now would barely bring them into compliance with current regulation. I have not heard they are doing anything about CO2 as it is not regulated at all yet. Once it is they will likely fight THAT in court for another decade before they do anything.

    Wrong. Along with most of the rest of the conjecture you’ve posted on the topic.

    IGCC plant was announced in 2004. Which allows for cabron capture and sequestration.

    source: http://www.aep.com/about/igcc/

    As far as AEP fighting having to put pollution control equipment (FGD, SCR) on their power plants, simply untrue. The end result of the lawsuit was essentially a ruling stating AEP was required to do what they had already begun doing and planned to do anyway.

    Look at the graph of SOX and NOX emissions leading UP to the 2007 ruling in the NSR case. Notice any trends? That’s becase AEP had been installing pollution control equipment long before the case went to any resolution and was doing so independent of any court order.

    http://www.aep.com/environmental/performed/plantemissions/

    As far as their current actions/plans ‘barely’ bringing them into compliance with current law, also not true in the least.

    I’m not saying you can’t speak critically of a power giant, but at least get your facts straight.

  25. Mercurius November 5, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am

    Paul wrote
    Mercurius wrote AEP has the cheapest rates in the nation (mostly due to burning nothing but coal.) Much of the new costs relates to putting in pollution controls for NOx and SOx on their plants.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/heat/view/

    Energy should be much more expensive.

    Wrong. Only 73% of the energy AEP produces comes from coal. The other 27% comes from natural gas, nuclear, wind and hydro.

    Source: http://www.aep.com/about/powerplants/ The thing is though, that is capacity not generation. They don’t turn on the the 16% natural gas unless there is peak demand. Nearly 90% of their generation comes from coal.

  26. Paul
    Paul November 5, 2008 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm

    Mercurius wrote The thing is though, that is capacity not generation. They don’t turn on the the 16% natural gas unless there is peak demand. Nearly 90% of their generation comes from coal.

    That’s a valid point.

    Still not quite “nothing but coal.”

  27. Mercurius November 5, 2008 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm

    Paul wrote
    Mercurius wrote The thing is though, that is capacity not generation. They don’t turn on the the 16% natural gas unless there is peak demand. Nearly 90% of their generation comes from coal.

    That’s a valid point.

    Still not quite “nothing but coal.” Well of course that number is hyperbole but I don’t think anyone thought that I was talking literally. Comparatively to other nations and companies though?

  28. Paul
    Paul November 5, 2008 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Paul wrote
    Mercurius wrote The thing is though, that is capacity not generation. They don’t turn on the the 16% natural gas unless there is peak demand. Nearly 90% of their generation comes from coal.

    That’s a valid point.

    Still not quite “nothing but coal.” Well of course that number is hyperbole but I don’t think anyone thought that I was talking literally. Comparatively to other nations and companies though?

    Definitely.

  29. gramarye
    gramarye November 5, 2008 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Paul wrote
    Mercurius wrote The thing is though, that is capacity not generation. They don’t turn on the the 16% natural gas unless there is peak demand. Nearly 90% of their generation comes from coal.

    That’s a valid point.

    Still not quite “nothing but coal.” Well of course that number is hyperbole but I don’t think anyone thought that I was talking literally. Comparatively to other nations and companies though?

    There are other nations that run largely on nuclear. I can’t think of one that has actually substantially replaced fossil fuels with the darlings of the green lobby (though why the green lobby is so anti-nuclear, I have no idea).

  30. Tenzo November 12, 2008 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm

    gramarye wrote (though why the green lobby is so anti-nuclear, I have no idea).

    Some of them have been saying that their opposition to nuclear power was perhaps wrong.

    For those of you who are anti-coal,

    the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace, are calling for “National Day(s) of Action against Coal and Coal Finance.”

    “Both organizations are asking supporters to protest coal companies, coal burning utility companies and banks that finance coal companies throughout the nation during this two day period,”

    If you go to their websites, AEP is targeted for an ‘action’ this week

  31. Mercurius November 12, 2008 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm

    Tenzo wrote
    gramarye wrote (though why the green lobby is so anti-nuclear, I have no idea).

    Some of them have been saying that their opposition to nuclear power was perhaps wrong.

    For those of you who are anti-coal,

    the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace, are calling for “National Day(s) of Action against Coal and Coal Finance.”

    “Both organizations are asking supporters to protest coal companies, coal burning utility companies and banks that finance coal companies throughout the nation during this two day period,”

    If you go to their websites, AEP is targeted for an ‘action’ this week

    Um…

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-13-2006/0004396287&EDATE=

    http://www.aep.com/newsroom/newsreleases/?id=816

  32. Manatee
    Manatee November 12, 2008 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm

    Those things are nice, Merc, but I’d prefer if we could discontinue the practice of destroying Appalachia one hilltop at a time, closer to home.

    I’m not part of the “green lobby”, but I am against nuclear because it is fucking dangerous and the waste lasts so long that we have to put pictograph signs on the storage sites… just in case people in the future don’t know our, or any language.

    We need to get realistic and responsible. I do not want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  33. Tenzo November 12, 2008 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm

    Mercurius wrote

    Um…

    I’m not anti-AEP. Quite the opposite.

    Now please, everyone;

    Go back to talking about how much you don’t like rate hikes and at the same time say you are in favor of alternative energy (wind solar) that are proven to be more expensive sources of energy.

  34. Manatee
    Manatee November 12, 2008 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm

    Don’t mind rate hikes. I’ll just use less. Thx

  35. Mercurius November 12, 2008 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm

    Manatee wrote Those things are nice, Merc, but I’d prefer if we could discontinue the practice of destroying Appalachia one hilltop at a time, closer to home.

    I’m not part of the “green lobby”, but I am against nuclear because it is fucking dangerous and the waste lasts so long that we have to put pictograph signs on the storage sites… just in case people in the future don’t know our, or any language.

    We need to get realistic and responsible. I do not want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. I’d agree but if you are the Rainforest Action Network, it might be perilous to your goals to campaign against the company that is conserving vast amounts of rainforest. Most of the money to do this is coming from “carbon sequestration” and the Chicago Climate Exchange. It just seemed ironic that the Rainforest Action Network was the one promoting the protest.

  36. Mercurius November 12, 2008 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm

    I guess I just don’t see either of these groups being effective at promoting their goals. I’ll stick with the Nature Conservancy, The Ohio Environmental Council, Green Columbus and Earth First!.

    Edit: and Simply Living

  37. Manatee
    Manatee November 12, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm

    Well, “saving” other parts of the world isn’t all bad, but it is also an effective way to divert attention away from what’s going on in our own backyard. In 50 years, this will all look like a charming charade.

  38. Rockmastermike November 19, 2008 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm

    I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

  39. lifeliberty
    lifeliberty November 19, 2008 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm

    I liked this article

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/11/18/offgrid.ART_ART_11-18-08_B1_JQBU2RF.html?sid=101

    The Ogles built their home themselves using a mule to drag the jack pine logs out of the woods. They planned to get commercial electricity, they said, but balked when AEP quoted a price of $440 a month for the first four years and $220 a month afterward as the billing costs to build a line on the isolated ridge.

    Instead, they bought solar panels, which charge the batteries that power their appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Natural gas heats the house and water, and also runs their stove and refrigerator.

    “You have control of it in your hands,” Mr. Ogle said. “You’re not at the mercy of AEP.”

  40. Mercurius November 19, 2008 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes. Nice job Mike. My refrigerator is a hog, but other than that think I have too. Everything with standby power is on a surge protector that I turn off when not in use. All of my light have been replaced with CFLs. I pulled my drier vent so it blows hot air in my basement instead of outside. I just blew another 10 inches of insulation in the attic. Turned my thermostat down to 64 (I turn it up if I’m going to have guest but I am always hot.) Hopefully I can afford to get some solar panels sometime soon (not before I get some new Mt. Airy counters.) Was disappointed to see Ohio do away with the personal home solar grant.

    Edit: Oh, I’ve weatherproofed too but still have old windows upstairs.

  41. Manatee
    Manatee November 19, 2008 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm

    Yay, Merc, Rockmaster and Heather!! You guys deserve some of this soup I’ve spent so much electricity on :D :D

  42. gramarye
    gramarye November 19, 2008 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm

    My electricity is starting to inch upward again, but that’s because winter’s coming on and I have electric heat. Still, I’m clocking in at less than $60/mo., usually, and since there’s no gas bill, that’s pretty good. Sharing two walls and a floor with other units helps, as does keeping the thermal blinds closed most of the time. Only problem is the air gets stuffy. Every once in a while, I feel the need to open the balcony door and air the place out anyway, and just suffer a few blasts of cold air as the cost of recirculating the air.

  43. Rockmastermike November 19, 2008 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm

    Manatee wrote Yay, Merc, Rockmaster and Heather!! You guys deserve some of this soup I’ve spent so much electricity on :D :D

    always willing to entertain the idea of soup!

  44. Rockmastermike November 19, 2008 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm

    Mercurius wrote (not before I get some new Mt. Airy counters.)

    http://www.geology.enr.state.nc.us/03072002buildingstones/NC%20building%20stones/Building%20stones/Mt.%20Airy/Mt.%20Airy.htm

    official Rock of the State of North Carolina. :D

  45. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm

    I’m wearing long underwear 24/7 & keeping the thermostat set at a balmy 62. Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator & hot tub usage! :oops:

  46. Manatee
    Manatee November 19, 2008 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm

    Yesterday I broke out the snow pants for my walk to work, and since then have hardly taken them off. There’s something about wearing big pillowy marshmallow pants. I stayed home sick today and wore them to nap in :lol:

    I feel so attractive.

  47. Mercurius November 19, 2008 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm

    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

  48. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

    the positive thing is that it’s out there heating all the time, no matter what. So if I don’t get out and use it, it’s a waste of electricity. at least that’s my justification! As soon as I get out from under this workload, look for a nordic tub-fest, Highlander style!

    holy shit, 50 gallon carboys???? whatcha brewin, uncle Jesse?

  49. Manatee
    Manatee November 19, 2008 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

    This is very dangerous news for you :lol: :lol:

  50. Lauren Wilson
    osulew November 19, 2008 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm

    Manatee wrote
    Mercurius wrote
    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

    This is very dangerous news for you :lol: :lol:

    This is the best thing I’ve heard all day.

    I approve of your endeavors.

  51. Mercurius November 19, 2008 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm

    Manatee wrote
    Mercurius wrote
    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

    This is very dangerous news for you :lol: :lol: Well if you see half of E. First Ave. go up in flames, at least you’ll know why.

  52. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm

    Mercurius wrote
    Manatee wrote
    Mercurius wrote
    blammo wrote Hopefully that’ll offset the kegerator

    I just inherited two 50 gallon carboys, a stove top still and a oak barrel. I’d imagine a hot tub could be utilitarian :twisted:

    This is very dangerous news for you :lol: :lol: Well if you see half of E. First Ave. go up in flames, at least you’ll know why.

    new signature:

    “Largest still in Italian Village

    Bringing Appalachia to central Ohio”

  53. Motorist
    Motorist November 19, 2008 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm

    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

  54. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm

    Motorist wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

    First, locate the meter box.

    Step 1: Cut a hole in the box…

  55. Motorist
    Motorist November 19, 2008 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm

    blammo wrote
    Motorist wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

    First, locate the meter box.

    Step 1: Cut a hole in the box…

    There are many easier ways to steal electricity at the meter that don’t involve cutting a hole in the box. Some older meters were as simple as pulling the meter and re-inserting upside down.

    I worked for a guy who showed me how to steal just about every utility. And while working with him in many campus rentals, I saw that many of the campus rentals are rigged to steal utilities.

  56. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm

    Motorist wrote
    blammo wrote
    Motorist wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

    First, locate the meter box.

    Step 1: Cut a hole in the box…

    There are many easier ways to steal electricity at the meter that don’t involve cutting a hole in the box.

    yeah, but none of them are nearly as SEXY

  57. Motorist
    Motorist November 19, 2008 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm

    blammo wrote
    Motorist wrote
    blammo wrote
    Motorist wrote
    Rockmastermike wrote I finally got around to opening my electric bill this month.

    After implementing some VERY simple changes to reduce electric use in our already very low use apartment I have confirmed (by actual meter reading) I was able to cut out about 100 kwh* from our monthly bill for a savings of about $10, or almost 20%. No lifestyle or functionality changes were made to do this. We have not inconvenienced ourselves in any way.

    I will take myself to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my personal AEP rate cut.

    *actually 130 kwh lower than 12 month average, 110kwh less than last month, and 120 kwh less than november 07 bill for comparative purposes.

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

    First, locate the meter box.

    Step 1: Cut a hole in the box…

    There are many easier ways to steal electricity at the meter that don’t involve cutting a hole in the box.

    yeah, but none of them are nearly as SEXY

    :lol: Nice! Obviously the reference blew right by me the first time. Be sure to buy your electric meter a drink before sticking your dick in it though.

  58. blammo
    blammo November 19, 2008 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm

    Obviously not many people make it past step 2.

  59. Rockmastermike November 19, 2008 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm

    Motorist wrote

    What were the VERY simple changes that you implemented?

    went through and unplugged all the wall warts (geez I had no idea there were so many!), put a couple of them on some spare power strips I had lying around, replaced an old appliance with a nice new more efficient one, turned the temperature on the refrigerator up one notch, replaced another bulb with a CF bulb, changed the timer on a timed set of lights, dropped the temperature on the fish tank a couple of degrees.

    just a bunch of *little* things.

    and no… i’m not sticking it in the electric meter, even if it buys ME a drink first. :shock:

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