Saturday, November 28, 2009
If you are overcharged on your electric bill one month as a result of an incorrect meter reading, you think, and are probably told by SDG&E, they it will be lower next month and it will even out. Not so!
Facts are that any electricity you are billed for, whether you use it or not, over the "baseline allowance" of 326 kilowatt hours is charged at a higher tier rate. The rates are based at up to 100% of baseline, 101% to 130% of baseline, 131% to 200% of baseline and then another charge of 131% to 200% of baseline for some odd reason. I'm sure SDG&E can explain away the second charge that is higher for half the month than the earlier charge but that's beside the point here.
The next month, if your meter is read correctly, your bill will be lower. Lots lower, since you will be getting billed likely at the under 100% baseline usage, and thus, the lowest rate. But you already paid a premium rate the month before for electricity you never used, and SDG&E didn't give you credit on your bill for your overcharge, either, did they? You just got gouged by the utility that you have no choice but to use.
Your protection? Check the date your meter has been read in the past, learn to read your meter, and read it every month. Both gas and electric if you're wise. Because you can't trust the gas and electric company to be right every time, and when they're wrong you'll come up on the short end.
You probably heard SDG&E is spending 500 million dollars to install a million "Smart Meters in San Diego County. Their publicity and bill inserts and media would have you think this is all for your benefit, and how you'll be able to watch your meters on-line and be able to track your own energy use. Right? When the hell did the electric company do anything good for YOUR pocket that didn't line theirs?
Truth is that THEY will be able to watch your energy use, and in the future, you will see peak demand pricing just like the big energy users. If you use energy during peak hours you will pay a big price for it. It will be Big Brother Utility's way of keeping their thumb on you, to be sure you don't use more at any given time than they want you to, and if you do, they'll slam you with a big surcharge for using more than you should. In this manner they can avoid building more power plants, and make you pay for plugging in your coffee pot when you come home from work, for that extra cup of coffee. It won't be worth it! There's nothing in this for you, unless you want to spend your time at the computer watching your electric and gas meter. Incidentally, having the computer on just adds to the electric bill...should there be a credit for checking your own meter?
Oh, by the way, those "smart meters"? They're presently dumb! They have to be read by meter readers, and there are already reports of severe overcharging, as the meter readers apparently have not gotten used to reading them yet. Once again, learn to read them every month and don't depend on SDG&E to do so. If you see a mistake, call them on it immediately, or you'll end up paying the bill, and the credit you get next month will not be equal to what you paid this month.
Finally, expect BIG problems when the system goes fully computerized. Can you imagine what will happen when you put 1 million meters on line? Mistakes will likely be rampant, so read those meters, and try and keep SDG&E honest. Because if you don't tell them they made a mistake, they sure as hell won't tell you!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
YES or NO? Fast...you must make a decision. Because the next decision the government will likely make could be forcing Obamacare upon you and your family, like it or not. And, you need to make every effort to tell your senators your feelings about having that edict rammed down your throat, or up another orifice, before it happens and it's too late.
What happened to the original "every American being covered by health insurance"? That sure didn't last long. Those tall tale figures waned from perhaps a hundred million additional insured people to what, 36 million or so at last count? And the bill for covering one-third the number never dropped a dime, rather it seems to have remained the same or even increased?
And nobody will see the benefits of this 1.2 trillion dollar debacle (plus the billions spent by the current politicians playing with the bill to get this far) for about four years. All the while we'll be paying for it in the form of reduced Medicare benefits, reduced Medicare Advantage benefits, increased taxes and God knows what else they have cooked up to screw the taxpayer.
It comes down to a simple question. How can a government that can't get the swine flu vaccine out to the public, during a declared public health emergency, be counted on to handle a huge national health care reform en total? The simple answer is that they can't.
Does that surprise you?
Here it is the middle of November and the H1Ni vaccine is nowhere to be found, except in some public health clinics, and that's on a spotty basis. Healthcare workers are being told they must wait for vaccinations, as are senior citizens and others with cardiac and specific needs for immunization. Can you imagine having a true pandemic sweep a city or county, and all the healthcare workers who are supposed to aid the sick are instead ill themselves, too ill to care for those who need their skilled medical help? That could happen due to the manner in which the current vaccine shortage seems to be going. YOU could end up having to take care of yourself and not be able to seek medical aid. That's a scary thought.
- The Obama administration ordered 250 million doses of vaccine.
- They confidently predicted that 120 million doses woule be available by now (Nov 14).
- Only about 42 million doses have been received by the government as of Thursday and not all of those have been distributed.
According to Fox News "A study released Tuesday from Purdue University said it may be too late for the H1N1 vaccine to be of any benefit to Americans, as they may contract the virus before the vaccine takes effect. The study said most people would be infected during the month of October at a time when the vaccine is not available to most Americans."
Of course, the government won't admit this. "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleeen Sebelius disagreed and said government health officials anticipate a spike in both seasonal and H1N1 cases going forward, not a drop off — meaning that the vaccine will not reach the majority of Americans too late. She added that even those infected with H1N1 in the spring should consider getting the vaccine once widespread availability is made."
Believe what you will. It's no different than fighting a war. If they sent you into battle with no defensive weapon or bullets, how good would you feel? The flu enemy is insidious and silent, but just as deadly to many. Yet the promises of a shield to stop the flu bullet just isn't coming in time for many.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Even one of their own AARP members on Page 40 of the November 2009 bulletin asks "Does AARP believe that when Medicare cuts 14 percent from its payments to Medicare Advantage plans, the 25 percent of Medicare recipients enrolled in those plans will not lose benefits?" AARP didn't respond. No surprise there!