As we know, many of the companies from which we get our electricity exist as quasi-monopolies – if not outright monopolies.
Even in states like Texas and Maryland where you have choices – and I know, I’ve lived in both – the variation between providers is fairly slim. As for the infrastructure – you only have one line into your abode.
Purchasing electricity – ain’t like purchasing laundry soap. Electricity ain’t exactly a choice-rich environment.
So we must pay particular attention to how these companies behave. And respond when they misbehave. And we must do so anywhere misbehavior occurs. Lest their behavior becomes a visual aide for other providers – like ours.
One such miscreant – is Indiana’s Vectren.
“(Vectren) said the (new) solar farm, with an estimated construction cost of $70 million to $75 million, would be operational by 2020.”
“Get that? Vectren is closing coal plants – and attempting to replace them with solar farms.”
This is a really stupid move. Because “green energy” – is neither green nor energy.
And because “green energy” is fake energy – We the Taxpayers have subsidized it to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars…and counting.
Coal is a proven, cheap and government-money-free energy source. So why is Vectren ridding itself of productive coal – and moving to unproductive, massively-government-money-subsidized solar?
Well, with solar (and wind) – you need an actual energy source when the fake ones inexorably fail. The go-to backup real energy source – is natural gas.
“CenterPoint Energy to Buy Vectren in a $6B Merger Deal:
“‘Gas and electric utility company CenterPoint Energy plans to buy energy rival Vectren in a roughly $6 billion deal….’
“There it is. Vectren is prepping their Indiana fields – for the CenterPoint merger. Making the company as attractive as possible for their soon-to-be masters.
“Which is so-very-excellent for Vectren’s executives.
“Vectren Shareholders Approve Executive Compensation If Sale of Company Closes:
“‘Vectren shareholders cast ballots on a resolution for the top executives’ pay – if a planned merger between Vectren and CenterPoint Energy is approved….
“‘(C)urrent Vectren Chief Executive Officer Carl Chapman’s employment will terminate upon the close of the deal. Shareholders voted to approve Chapman’s final compensation package -totaling approximately $31.9 million….
“‘In addition to Chapman’s compensation, the document outlines potential payments to three other top executives should their employment end with the merger.
“‘The approximate payouts are as follows:
“‘Susan Hardwick, EVP & Chief Financial Officer – $6.1 million.
“‘Eric Schach, EVP & Chief Operating Officer – $7.2 million.
“‘Ronald Christian, EVP & Chief Legal & External Affairs Officer – $9.4 million.’
“And because money is fungible – much of all this massive executive compensation comes from…government energy subsidies.
“Which is awful for We the Taxpayers.
“You know who else is getting screwed by this – twice, actually, because they are also taxpayers? Vectren’s Indiana energy customers.
“Vectren’s Residential Customers Pay State’s Highest Electric Rates.”
Is that the only self-dealing in which Vectren has engaged? Heavens no. The coal-purchasing they did – was also inordinately self-helpful.
“Indiana’s utility consumer counselor and public advocacy groups are raising questions about coal-buying agreements that have boosted Vectren Corp.’s profits at the expense of its customers, whose rates are among the nation’s highest.
“The Evansville-based utility locked into expensive, multiyear agreements in 2008, when coal prices were at record highs, to buy nearly all of its coal supply for its coal-fired power plants from its subsidiary, Vectren Fuels.”
Emphasis ours – ridiculous business practices Vectren’s.
Vectren was buying its coal from…Vectren. And they weren’t exactly giving themselves the friends and family discount.
Vectren charged itself 50-percent more for its coal – than it charged other Indiana utilities: $44.35 per ton for others – $68.48 per ton for itself.
Vectren overcharged Vectren for coal – which was outstanding for Vectren. And then Vectren made up that money by overcharging its electricity victims…oops, I mean customers.
What a cozy little Vectren loop that was.
And then Vectren moved away from coal to fake energy solar – with its necessary natural gas backup. To set the table for a Vectren-executive-enriching takeover – by natural gas company CenterPoint.
So CenterPoint can then overcharge itself for natural gas – and make up that money by overcharging its electricity victims…oops, I mean customers.
How very Vectren of them.
Remember how we warned of the precedent-setting nature of unchecked bad behavior?
Exhibit A, Your Honor.