Across the country, utilities are using the same playbook of dirty tricks.
Conservative Energy Network will break it down for you play-by-play.
Home Field Advantage
Buy Community Support With Naming Rights
“It doesn’t make much sense for any public utility to spend large sums of money on sponsorships considering how little, if any, competition exists in these industries. The First Energy deal with the Browns is especially troublesome considering the electric company does not service the stadium, taxpayers already paid for the stadium, and the naming fee will go to the team’s owner, even though he doesn’t own the stadium.”
Creating a monopoly
A utility that is given exclusive right to provide goods and services to a specific area. Customers cannot opt-out or choose to receive service by other means.
Attack Any Policymaker In Your Way
“By operating this type of game to target politicians to get them out of office, hide the money, hide the campaign donations, it harms democracy,” said Matt Kasper, research director at the Energy and Policy Institute, a national watchdog organization that monitors utilities.”
Protect the monopoly
Protectionism: The idea that those utilities who currently enjoy a granted monopoly will work to protect that monopoly by various means including: regulatory capture, promotion of laws and regulations that enact barriers to entry for future competitors, or outright illegal activity.
Get Your Cronies to Carry the Ball
While affiliate transactions certainly aren’t uncommon, Entergy is the king of affiliate transactions between electric affiliates. … Affiliate transactions have recently come under scrutiny.
Owning the Referees
By using Regulatory Capture
Refers to the regulated industry having a substantial amount of influence on the decisions that regulators make. This can be through campaign contributions, the real or perceived assurance of industry employment by regulators following their time in government office (‘revolving door’), or simply taking advantage of regulators with limited experience and expertise.
No Salary Cap for Electricity CEOs
Investor-owned utilities paid their CEOs over $1 billion between 2017 and 2019.
These companies offered their CEOs nearly $450 million in compensation in 2019, a raise of nearly 26% over the previous year.
For comparison, wages in the U.S. as a whole increased only 2.6% in 2019.
The average compensation for the CEOs was approximately $11 million in 2019.
This is troubling because these salaries are not based on free-market conditions. They are paid for by customers with no say in the matter and approved by the same regulators that utilities spend millions of dollars to lobby, influence, and even bribe.
<! ========= Cool Timeline Free 2.5 =========>
Utility Hall of Shame
In Washington, a legislative effort to undermine solar net metering is already underway
Utilities want it all: Restrictions on solar harm low-income communities, renters, affordable housing complexes, businesses, and public school districts.
Rocky Mountain power helps legislature pass bill to restructure electrical rates
PNM spends $440,000 on 2018 elections to support regulators who will be more friendly to utility interests.
A result of SCANA’s lies is that South Carolina ratepayers will pay $2.3 billion to cover the sunk cost of the scrapped project.
Ratepayers saddled with costs associate with maintenance and environmental cleanup in a new NW energy deal.
FirstEnergy at center of the largest corruption scandal in Ohio allegedly involving over $60 Million
ComEd has earned excessive profits from a regulatory structure set in place by a 2011 state law whose passage has been linked to a bribery scandal that’s embroiled key state lawmakers and ComEd’s former CEO…
Former SCANA CEO pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud….
The CEO of the biggest power company in the U.S. had a problem….
Hall of Shame
Some bad players can’t help themselves
Who else deserves to be in the Utility Hall of Shame?
More In-Depth Analysis
Expose your utility's playbook. We want to hear your stories!
Help us chronicle electric utility misbehavior across the country.