Monthly Archives: June 2008

FCC Claims "Reasonable and Timely" Broadband Deployment

On June 12, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission issued its Fifth Report examining the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans, as required by §706 of the Telecommunications Act. The Report, as did the Fourth Report in 2004, finds that “advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely Read more…

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Wages of 30% of New Yorkers Do Not Cover Minimum Needs

A recent report of the Fiscal Policy Institute prepared for Gov. David Paterson’s “Economic Security Cabinet,” which is looking at the plight of low-income families, shows that wages of 30% of New Yorkers in working families do not cover basic household needs. Those basic needs, of course, include essential home energy and utility services – Read more…

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Campaign for Fair Electric Rates Urges Reform of Wholesale Electricity Markets

The Campaign for Fair Electric Rates is a new coalition effort focused on educating the public regarding the failure of the wholesale electricity markets operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to adequately protect consumers. FERC has authorized organized cartel-type spot markets in an effort to simulate a competitive market environment Read more…

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White Plains Landlord Submetering Electricity Without PSC Approval

Riverstone Residential Group, by its own account “the nation’s largest independently owned real estate management firm,” is charging tenants for natural gas service based on the total amount of gas consumed at the building and the square footage of the tenants’ apartments, together with a monthly administrative charge. PULP is representing a White Plains, NY Read more…

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National Grid Misses Point with its Low Income Program

National Grid recently proposed modifications to its low income “AffordAbility Program,” which provides assistance to certain residential consumers with arrears owed to the company. PULP reviewed the proposals, along with the Department of Public Service Staff and the NYS Consumer Protection Board, and filed Comments with the Commission on June 2nd expressing our concerns with Read more…

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Wholesale Electricity Capacity Market Results Attacked by PA, MD, DE and NJ Utility Commissions and Utility Consumer Advocates

BackgroundEschewing the traditional filed rate regulation system set up in 1935 by the Federal Power Act, FERC has allowed wholesale sellers of electricity to charge “market-based rates” for energy, capacity, and ancillary services. These rates are set privately either by unfiled contracts or in FERC-approved private markets run by RTO and ISO utilities such as Read more…

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Early Termination Fees

The virtues of deregulation, free markets, customer sovereignty, and choice of provider are constantly extolled by advocates of utility competition. Yet it seems that one of the first things these new industry entrants do is try to “lock up” customers and deter their switching to another provider for better prices or service. And, they try Read more…

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Home Heating Oil Prices Remain High

After winter demand for heating oil slackens and before peak summertime demand for gasoline, home heating oil dealers typically lock in prices for the next heating season. According to a recent AP news report, prices for home heating oil were double in May 2008 what they were in 2007. This is not a good sign Read more…

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