Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s choice for the open spot on Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission will have a say in regulating electricity, natural gas and telecom industries in the state. But so far one energy project has loomed especially large over the selection process: a crude oil pipeline in northern Minnesota owned by Calgary-based Enbridge. At least two prominent candidates have been deeply involved in contesting and litigating the company’s effort to build Line 3, while another handful of applicants have at least some ties to debate over the project. If built, the $2.6 billion Minnesota portion of the new pipeline would stretch 337 miles through north-central Minnesota before ending in Superior, Wisconsin, carrying 760,000 barrels of oil through the state each day. A spot on the commission is open because Nancy Lange, the current chairwoman of the PUC, is expected to leave when her term expires in January. For PUC applications to be driven by a single project such … [Read more...] about Could pipeline politics affect Walz’s choice for next public utilities commissioner?
Likely paying moreCouple of points. The UC says in its draft report that the average price paid for a kilowatt per hour in September was 10.3 cents. That means thousands, if not millions, of customers were paying a lot more. Too high.Second, the UC runs a Spanish version of its PowerToChoose.org shopping website called PoderDeEscoger.org. In the past two years, 1.3 million visitors went to the English site, but only 5,700 visited the Spanish site.Does this mean Spanish-speaking customers are paying more for electricity because they are shopping in other ways? Since they're not visiting the state's neutral shopping website, they see less choices. It's likely that they are overpaying. No es bueno.Fill in the blank pageIn recent years, the Texas Legislature has not proven itself especially adept at problem solving. I've about given up on lawmakers fixing this without prodding from the UC. But the UC doesn't want to prod.Maybe the Austin regulators don't want more work.Give the UC credit … [Read more...] about The (Public) Utility Commission can ask for improvements in electricity shopping, but will it?
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Travis Andersen Globe Staff October 12, 2018 The state Department of Public Utilities has ordered Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to “impose a moratorium on all work” except for restoration efforts in the Merrimack Valley, following the release of a preliminary NTSB report on the Sept. 13 explosions and gas fires. The order will remain in effect at least through Dec. 1, officials said. “Following the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report and as a result of ongoing inspections of Columbia Gas’s gas system, the Department of Public Utilities ... has ordered Columbia Gas to impose a moratorium on all work, except for emergency and compliance work, across the company’s entire service territory until at least December 1, 2018,” said Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for the state Office of Energy and Environmental … [Read more...] about Department of Public Utilities orders Columbia Gas to halt all work except in Merrimack Valley
No one waved a white flag at the Alamo. They fought until the bitter end. Not so at the (Public) Utility Commission, where two of the three commissioners made comments this month that are the equivalent of unfurling a white flag and heading to the nearest flagpole.They spoke about eliminating the state's neutral retail electricity shopping site, PowerToChoose.org.Hey, commissioners. Don't surrender!This is why I took your P away from the PUC. You don't care about us.Electricity companies who game the UC's search results and use deceptive marketing techniques to trick us into overpaying for electricity are a disgrace.What's worse is you let them get away with this. You're supposed to fix this, not run from this. Chairman DeAnn Walker announced at your last meeting that the UC may want to examine "whether we need to continue having a pricing function" on PowerToChoose."We've been here before," Commissioner Arthur D'Andrea said. "The commission thought we fixed the website, but here we … [Read more...] about Dear (Public) Utility Commission: Don’t you dare abandon Texans struggling to shop for electricity
As hundreds of San Diegans continue to protest surging water bills, public skepticism has grown about whether city workers have been accurately reading residents’ meters — if at all.Since the city announced in February that a former employee misread 343 meters, overcharging customers about $300 on average, residents all over the city have started questioning whether they too were the victims of such human error.The San Diego Public Utilities Department is now trying to combat this perception by, among other things, notifying customers with door hangers the day a meter is read and launching a new website that shows how city workers record water usage.“As of late, my office has started receiving complaints from customers detailing their skepticism as to whether their meters were actually read, even after receiving the notice on their front door,” said City Councilwoman Barbara Bry. ”Once receiving the notice, they would check the meter themselves to find it … [Read more...] about Meter readers face public backlash as water bills continue to surge across San Diego