Flintstone living- week 2

My office has power. My house does not, one week after the storm. I’ve had an extension cord running across the street to power the fridge and the high efficiency hot water heater, but nothing else. I’m also keeping a neighbors fridge working. DP&L called 2x today with an automated survey to find out if we have power. Considering a lot of people don’t have phones that work without batteries or juice, I’m not sure they know that there are at least 250+ homes in 8 blocks without power. I’ve only seen one place where it looks like trees are on a line. Everything else looks ok.

Now, the bigger question: what is their incentive to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Not a damn thing. The CEO can be paid millions, instead of funding extra line crews, or invest in burying or hardening the distribution grid, while we go without power and basic necessities. Think about it? How hard is running a utility with no competition? A fixed customer base that has no option? A grid that’s been in place for years? And this is a risky, difficult job requiring a CEO worth millions a year? Not just NO, HELL NO.

It’s time the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio start a lawsuit against DP&L for failure to deliver power, and for overcharging the public for this inflated compensation schedule. If the Governor of the State of Ohio is only worth $150K or so a year, explain to me how a “public utility” chief deserves more?

What is the incentive to bring down the cost of power to the people of Ohio? What is the incentive to improve our electrical grid? What’s the incentive to turn my lights back on? Not a damn thing- he’ll get paid no matter how bad he screws up.

If you want to read a great rant on CEO pay, by someone who has been paid in spades, I highly recommend this post by Mark Cuban (thanks for the tip JR)

http://blogmaverick.com/2008/09/15/stock-market-meltdowns-why-they-will-happen-again-and-again-and-again/

I put my 2 cents in a long comment around number 52 or so.

More posts when my lights come back on.

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9 Responses

  1. Bruce Kettelle September 21, 2008 / 10:12 pm
    There were crews in Trotwood today working on the Olde Town area. There are still many large ‘pockets’ without power beyond there. David – You are not alone. It is easy to throw blame but mother nature has dealt a pretty widespread blow. If there is any real complaint I think it revolves around communication. Why couldn’t they tell us sooner when to expect crews in our neighborhood? Where is the online interactive map that shows what is on and what is not? And as for phones those of you that have service through the cable company have learned a hard lesson. No power, no phones. Many of my friends are switching back.

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  2. TeresaLea September 21, 2008 / 10:35 pm
    Bruce – you may want to read this article
    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/16/ddn091608powerweb.html

    “Other major utilities in the region, including Duke Energy and American Electric Power which serves the Columbus area and southeast Ohio, offer the public specific projections, by telephone or Web site, about when customers in given areas can expect to have their service restored.

    DP&L lacks the technology to do that, Tatham said.

    Often, residents have been able to determine where power has been restored by “driving around,” Tatham said.”

    It’s almost funny… almost.

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  3. Allison September 21, 2008 / 11:17 pm
    I’m in Vandalia, we got our power back Thursday night. I, too, had enough of the pioneer life.

    While Mother Nature may bear the brunt of the blame, the lack of communication on the part of DP&L is unforgivable. Their MarCom person should be fired for incompetency.

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  4. Mike September 22, 2008 / 9:24 am
    There is no way DP&L can have a marketing / communications department, if they do it must be as Allison said, one person. Their corporate website doesn’t even have the letters D P or L in it! How was WayToGo.com choosen as a URL? Maybe it is supposed to be sarcastic – we have a “way to go” before the public is happy with us.

    // Mike

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  5. Sue September 22, 2008 / 10:30 am
    Makes you wonder how much better DP&L would have been prepared for all of this, in terms of preventive maintenance (tree trimming near lines),and establishment of an effective communications system like its neighboring power companies, had it not rolled over and shelled out 33 million dollars to Pete Forster et al. (including girlfriend) a couple of years back, so they could go and play in Florida, where they ironically missed Ike. We all had the same storm – it speaks volumes that Richmond, Indiana had all power restored that same Sunday night, and as of last night, Ohio Edison only had 100 still out and Duke Energy only 9,000 still out when they started with much larger numbers, when DP&L still had 38,000 still out. One can only blame an Act of God for so long.

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  6. Drexel Dave September 22, 2008 / 12:58 pm
    I helped put together the original DP&L waytogo.com web site. It was based on their idiodic ad campaign done by a South Carolina firm. I think we ended up charging them something like $250,000 for 10 static pages.

    Not a lot of smart people there at DP&L.

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  7. Melissa September 22, 2008 / 1:30 pm
    Not to mention their awful “SpeedPay” system for online payments – which charges you a “convenience” fee. By phone, it’s the same story – and it’s waaay more if you pay by check or by credit card (I can’t remember which); something like $10 versus $3. Most sites don’t charge these kinds of fees.

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  8. Drexel Dave September 22, 2008 / 1:45 pm
    DP&L

    Dayton Pillage and Loot

    And yes, I give credit where credit is due: Thank you Dow Thomas.

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  9. Dad September 23, 2008 / 4:21 pm
    When I started to work on the Daily Standard in Celina, I was warned by the publisher that there was a big bad wolf on the prowl and that it would be my duty to come to the defense of the municipal light plant against DP&L.
    Alas, Celina’s Muni Light was lousy. But I never said so. At least not in print.

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