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Why are we forced to pay for electricity and water?

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posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 07:31 AM
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NOTE TO MODS AND MEMBERS:

I have edited my introduction to this thread, as it was causing confusion with respect to what my intent was. People seemed to have the impression I was simply complaining about having to pay MY energy bill. My true intent of the thread was to voice my opposition to the idea that people face having their electricity and water cut off if they find themselves in situations where they cannot pay the bill on time and that this can happen despite weather conditions, people who are ill in the home who might require electrically powered medical devices for their care, and despite the customer's ability to confirm when he can pay the total bill and have the services restored.

I previously referred to water services and electricity as things we "need to survive" and then there was a barrage of posts reminding me about how humanity survived fine without these conveniences for quite some time. While that is true, these services have become essential to those of us who live in cities where we don't have the option of simply going into our yards and digging a well to provide our water source. And, as far as electricity goes, I know we are hearing about new innovations that eliminate the need for electricity, but they are not something that is widely available or understood by many of us and it will take more time for us to famiarize ourselves with this technology.

Aside from that, most of us who have children and live within the city cannot just kiss off our electrical company due to the potential problems that can arise with govt. agencies who perceive the absence of electricity in the home as an act of neglect in the care of your kids. They can use that circumstance as a reason to take your kids into protective custody. So, from those standpoints, at least in my community, we really have no choice but to pay the utility companies.

Finally, I have posed the question about just how much of these utility fees are needed to maintain the cost of resources, employees, etc., considering the high cost of the monthly bills we are subjected to. Using my city as an example, the monthly revenues realized from a population of over 260,000 totals in the tens of millions of dollars each month (for our one city alone).

And I failed to state in my first intro that in my area, our utilities are run under a monopoly owned by PG& E. I know in many regions there are other methods used to run utilities that have reasonable rates that don't fluctuate that much.

I just believe it is unreasonable for the public to have to pay such high prices for services that we require on a daily bases and to have to live under the fear of having these services discontinued if you don't . There's got to be a more fair solution, because under this scenario, it begins to look like just another situation where a major company is keeping the masses under it's thumb by hitting their pocketbooks

I hope this clears things up...not that this is thread topic is a hot burning issue everyone's dying to discuss...but you know what I mean.

[edit on 31-8-2010 by NightGypsy]




posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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I can only speak from where I live but from what I've experienced, they don't make a huge profit. Our community electric co. is actually in a co-op, meaning board officials are elected and it offers profit sharing. Once a year, they hold elections and they invite us down to vote and give us our slice of the profits. Instead of giving us cash or a check, they give us some crappy appliance or something. I have a toaster, griddle, roaster, a George Foreman grill, etc, depending on what they've got to spend. Which tells me that either they are lying about their profits or they're not making much profit at all. They do mail out quarterly reports but I've never really paid attention to them much but I think I will start doing so.

From what I understand, our electricity is actually piggybacked off of another grid, so the co-op actually has to pay to use the electricity from that. We have central air for heating and cooling, so our bill is not cheap, running anywhere from $170/month on the low end to $250 on the high end, depending on the time of year.

I don't known how my mother's company works, whether it's private or a co-op, but I know on top of the fees for the electricity, state and local taxes and other misc. fees, such as the new "fuel surcharge", she has to pay a "customer fee." I've seen it on her bill--it is listed as "customer fee" just like that. I remember how absolutely irate she was to see this and for a few months, she refused to pay this fee to them just for being a customer! This was not a tiny fee..it was around $3-4 a month. After about three or four months of this, they were threatening to shut off her services if she didn't catch up her past-due balances. She even called them to have them explain exactly what this fee was for but never got a straight answer. Where she lives (and I assume where most people live) you have about, oh, ONE choice for electric services, so if you don't pay to be their customer, I guess you don't get electricity. She did the math and was disgusted that the actual cost of electricity was only $10 but the bill, after all the disgusting fees and taxes attached, was over $60. This was about 10 years ago, so it's higher today. I remember talking with her about this a few months ago and the "customer fee" is still there.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:05 AM
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Because some private company spends money creating that Electricity for you and leasing/creating the infrastructure that transports it to your electrical products..

Similar situation with Water.. However many places in Europe don't charge for it as we are apparently "Socialist".



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by NightGypsy
 


Don't take this the wrong way but there is a thread already about this.

Actually, you don't have to have electricity.
You want it. You are made to believe you "need" it.

It's a luxury that we take advantage of and have become used to.
If Humans can survive thousands of years without it, it's a non-necessity.

You choose to live in 'civilized' society, so you must pay for it.
Don't want to pay?

Dig a well and run the pump using solar power.
Use solar cells to provide enough electricity to run what you need.

OR:

Go live off the land. Get rid of your luxuries.
Have fun!




[edit on 31-8-2010 by havok]



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:14 AM
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Unless you have some special medical circumstances, electricity is not exactly a necessity for life. If it bugs you that bad to pay for electricity, buy a residential photovoltaic system and go off grid.

If your criteria for determining what should be free consists of those things determined a necessity for life, food should be at the top of the list.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by RKWWWW
 





If your criteria for determining what should be free consists of those things determined a necessity for life, food should be at the top of the list.


Obviously food is a necessity, but there are many choices available to people when it comes to food, and they have the ability to purchase the foods they prefer. It's a different bird even though we need it to survive. That's not the case with water. It's really not the case with electricity either, unless one is educated in how to create his own energy source for free. I understand people have lived in time periods where there was no electricity, but in today's society, it would be a little absurd, in my opinion, to expect people to live without an energy source when there is one readily available.

This still doesn't address the issue of where MILLIONS of dollars paid to these companies EVERY SINGLE MONTH goes....what the hell is the expense that they have in providing this energy source that warrants this kind of monthly fee from consumers?



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:38 AM
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You pay for it because You don't need electricity, except in certain circumstances. We lived without it for the majority of history.

As for water, unless your getting it your self and not having it pumped to your house and having it supplied to you then you shouldn't have to pay. You pay because there are men and women employed to keep your water clean, drinkable and continually supplied to you tap. Clean water doesn't just appear there are people cleaning it for you. The water you pay for is kinda like a service charge.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Xiamara
 





As for water, unless your getting it your self and not having it pumped to your house and having it supplied to you then you shouldn't have to pay. You pay because there are men and women employed to keep your water clean, drinkable and continually supplied to you tap. Clean water doesn't just appear there are people cleaning it for you. The water you pay for is kinda like a service charge.


Xiamara, I acknowledged the facts you state above in the introduction to my thread.

My point is, are we to believe that it costs millions or more PER MONTH in a city with a population of 250,000 to accomplish this?

[edit on 31-8-2010 by NightGypsy]



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:48 AM
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You are not forced to pay for water or electricity, You could use candles for light and do things the way they did for thousands of years. As for water you could go collect it from your locol river or lake ect... then boil it over a fire pit, so that it is clean.

So when you pay your energy bill, this is the convenience that you are paying for. I think I will pay my little bill and enjoy the comforts that it brings.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by NightGypsy
 


Yes, they spend millions on chemicals to clean the water, there are countless employees. Minimum wage where I live is 10.25 assuming people work 40 hours a week you get over 400$ a person plus the cost of the maintenance of the water ways, buildings, technicians who get paid a fortune. Now I'm also going to assume that a lot of the people also have a pension plan, and benefits. Well that costs money too and so does insurance and the electric bills they pay.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:58 AM
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I agree with havok
. I grew up on a farm that got its water from a well. Best tasting water i've ever drank to me. My wife who grew up on city water hates it. In a big city close to me will not turn off peoples power in the summer when its crazy hot. As soon as it cools down they expect their money.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by humbleseeker
 


Wow, how many times do I have to restate this:

I get that we can manage by living off candles and pumping our own water...ideas which are actually absurd when you consider it is not necessary these days to live like friggin' cavemen.

Let's take my state of California. It's pretty much true across the board in my state that every household and every business is charged a monthly fee for use of electricity, gas, and water. My household is two-bedroom/one-bath. My electric/gas bill runs anywhere from $100 to $250+ per month depending upon the time of year. My water bill, which includes garbage and refuse pickup, runs around $100, most of which is for the water service. If my city has 250,000+ residents, and another unknown number of businesses paying these monthly fees, the figures total in the tens of millions PER MONTH. I have a hard time believing that it takes that much money to provide these services each month even if you're including the salaries of the employees who work for the plants.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by rakkasansct
 





I grew up on a farm that got its water from a well. Best tasting water i've ever drank to me. My wife who grew up on city water hates it


Actually, rakkasansct, I wish I was in a position where I COULD get my water from a well after doing some research into the water test results my city has undergone. Aside from the fluoride (LOL), our company has received countless violations for toxin levels that are above the allowable limit. Sometimes our water smells and tastes like chlorine, and sometimes it just smells like rusty pipes. This prompted my recent purchase of a water filtering system...

Off topic post, but since you brought it up I just thought I'd ad those little factoids...lol



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:07 AM
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Originally posted by humbleseeker
You are not forced to pay for water or electricity, You could use candles for light and do things the way they did for thousands of years. As for water you could go collect it from your locol river or lake ect... then boil it over a fire pit, so that it is clean.


I lived for several months without water or electricity. Was living quite well. One day the cops came banging on the door with some inspector. Since the address wasnt paying for electricity or water they thought it was some sort of crack den or flop house or whatever.

Long story short, to avoid legal harassment and fines I am forced to pay for water and electricity.

I suppose if I was on some mass acreage away from the town I could get away with it but being 'in town' I can't.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by NightGypsy
It just hit me like a ton of bricks how inhumane it really is for us to have to pay for the very things we cannot survive without.


You do realize that most people that have lived on the Earth lived without electricity? I don't think it is something you cannot live without. By the same logic within a few years you'll be making the case that you cannot live without the internet, or without a mobile phone... This is of course where the 'state' wants you -- incapable of supporting yourself, of growing your own food, of accessing your own water, unable to find employment or access opportunity without their roads which they tax and toll for, to be unable to get rid of your own trash, the list goes on and on. What used to be a common and basic part of life is now completely unthinkable to this generation requiring it to be fully dependent on the service of the government. Its sad because I think we all know the inevitable outcome.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:14 AM
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The majority of people don't live in area where it would be feasible to go completely off grid for an extended time. Sure there are things even city dwellers can do. But completely supporting yourself and truely living off grid? Majority of people have neither the skills or the space to do it.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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I think you are mischaracterizing the rate structure. Power companies don't arbitrarily charge what they want. It's a highly regulated industry, as far as residential rates are concerned. Rates are approved by regulatory boards.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 





Long story short, to avoid legal harassment and fines I am forced to pay for water and electricity.


Actually, I meant to include that fact in my opening post. If your home is without electricity and running water and you have young children, YES, you could be reported to CPS and they can use that fact to take your children away. It may not be the case if you're getting your water through a well, but I know if you have no electricity, they will take your kids into protective custody for being a negligent parent. This is a fact. Ultimately, if you have children, you have no other options if you wish to avoid CPS meddling around.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by NightGypsy
 


We are not actually "forced." When I was a kid, we lived in several coal mining camps, my Dad and Grandpa worked for the Van Lear Mining Company in Kentucky. We pumped water from from an up-ground hand pump in the yard, and we had coal oil lamps for light at night.
We cooked with wood, heated with coal, and every day my Mom cleaned house because coal is very black and dirty, and leaves coal dust on everything. Eventually we moved to northern Indiana, we got a house on a share cropping deal. Again the water came from a hand pump in the back yard, I can remember my Dad and Grandpa driving that well. I would pump 55-20 gallons a day for washing clothes, dishes, bathing, (we all bathed in a tin wash tub) and cooking. Later when we got a milk cow, two more 5 gallon buckets had to be pumped. We lit our house with kerosene laps and heated with it too, we had a kerosene stove that leaked a puddle on the floor each night. I can remember waking up with a small snow drift across my blankets in the morning in winter, those Indiana winters got real cold in those days, and still does, I am told. We insulated our house with cardboard on the walls.

Nikola Tesla had plans for free electricity for everyone, but Edison and Westinghouse shut him down, there was no money to be made in free energy. My electric bills are high too, and the water where I live is not fit to drink. Man has poisoned the Earth so that one can no longer pump water from the ground for free, and even wood is expensive, whether you but it,, or cut it yourself. You can still buy oil lamps. Some days I long for the old days before all this money grabbing minions came along and made us pay for everything.



posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 09:20 AM
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Basically, this is an entitlement issue.

You think, and others responding also, that somebody or something OWES you something?. They don't. You want a form of welfare, and it isn't cheap and isn't available to EVERYONE. Somebody has to pay.

Everything in your world, your house, your roads, your defense, your health, has been paid for by the backs of those willing to pay the price in one way or another.

'Don't like it? Go find yourselve a nice quiet section of a national forest, ... and good luck.



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