Friday, October 16, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For....

We've all heard the old expression "be careful what you wish for" and that is exactly how I see this issue... Fortis may appear to be uncompassionate by times but it's been my experience that this company from the "top down" are a well run organization who have a sincere interest in delivering top notch service and reinvesting into capital infrastructure to keep our "lights on"... on the other hand my experience with Government running a business like the meat plants, fish plants, technology centres, golf courses, industrial parks, and I could go on and on.... while compassionate, not very financially rewarding for the stakeholders being us taxpayers and the thought of Government running our “utility” is the scariest thing I could ever imagine.... all I have to do is look at the windmills the Government own down East that sat idle for months this summer due to broken parts... and then think about the dedicated men and women at Fortis who prevail through unprecedented storms to see that every single Islander get their power back as quickly as possible when there are outages... I can only imagine what this Fortis critic would do if he called a Government run utility around 4:00 in the afternoon to inquire why his power was out and why the price had near doubled.... and a recording said "I'm sorry but we're on summer hours.." so as my Mom said “please be careful what you wish for”....
Turn Fortis into an election issue
The Charlottetown Guardian
October 16, 2009
Another of our frequent power outages took place this week, continuing a wearyingly-familiar pattern of instability in the Fortis power grid. It is time our government held an inquiry into the state of our electrical service on the Island and strip Fortis of its monopoly. I have called and spoken to company officials who are unapologetic and seem utterly unconcerned with providing the uninterrupted service modern society demands. While no one expects to have no outages, it is time we saw an unbiased comparison between our province's stability of power with others. I asked a company official and he said he did not care how Fortis compared to other power providers. If I didn't like it (I was told) I could write to my MLA. I find that arrogant. Power should be a public utility owned by Islanders. As it is now, Fortis is unmotivated to improve its service. It is time they faced the loss of their monopoly in favour of a new public utility - Island Electric. I hope our politicians will act upon this and that it becomes an election issue.
Trevor Leclerc,


Anonymous said...

Maritime Electric might indeed be a well-managed and competent company were it operating in a competitive market. It is not. It is bathed in the warm waters of monopoly and has thoroughly captured its supposed regulator, IRAC. You may recall Richard Brown on the subject of ME before the election. He was right then. I wish he could summon up the balls to walk the talk.

Anonymous said...

Fortis as a distribution company is doing a good job.

The problem is on the generation side.
Installing a 50MW gas turbine in Charlottetown, that they can't afford to run, at a cost of $35 million dollars is only good for their ROE of 9.75%.
Maritime Electric should be split up and become a distribution company. PEI should become an Industrial Customer of NB Power.

Anonymous said...

We had a perfectly good deal with Maritime Electric at one point when Islanders agreed to pay NB prices plus 10% but then for some reason the government (i'm not even sure which one) decided that paying 10% more wasn't enough, so now we are paying about 40% more.

I agree the government shouldn't take them over because then we would be paying 100% more, but they do need to control them and bring prices back to something near normal with the rest of the country. There is no reason what so ever that PEI should pay more for energy than everyone else, except for the greed of Maritime Electric.

No doubt they are well run for their shareholders, but they are a monopoly and have no compassion what so ever for the common Islander.