Friday, November 13, 2009

Them Good Old Days of Simple Electricity

Several days ago I wrote about the dangers of dwelling in the past where everthing was just peachy-keen, when in reality, there were some really nasty things happening in the 50's and 60's that some of us would just as soon not remember.

Still, there are some things I could sometimes wish would become more simple. More 50'ish....maybe.

A local utility ad made me think about that.

Remember those golden years of the 50's and 60's (and 70's, and 80's, and....) when you got electricity and a monthly bill and you paid it?  Remember when you didn't have to think about fixed vs. variable, or who exactly your supplier was?  Or vote on it each year?  Or compare plans and get totally confused?  Remember those wonderful days of Regulation?

Well those days are long gone, at least here in upstate NY.

Every November for the past three years we'd get this mailing from our local utility and would have to "Voice our Choice".   Or not.  I wonder how many people actually read those mailers and sent them back.  Although we did, I wonder about our elderly neighbors.  Know what, there are a lot of elderly people in these parts.

Well worry us not anymore.  Voice your Choice vanishes January 1, 2010.  But with it goes fixed rate electricity. 

You know when you get those letters that tell you "In order to improve our already fantastic [yeah, right]customer service we are about to [do something that is going to make your life more miserable]? I have that feeling just about now.  Is anyone going to explain what our options really are?  Are we even going to get a letter? What happens if you don't read the newspaper?  That newspaper that sometimes doesn't show up, that shrinks again and again, that resembles a lottery in that you never know if your favorite column, writer or even section is going to be there when you open it up.  That newspaper is supposed to inform us about this complicated issue?

I can imagine myself being in my 80's, like my mother-in-law, and trying to do this.  That's right, fellow baby boomers, just wait.

In the meantime....I hope we get some real information about this.

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