The Piracy of the Power Grid

Funny that my last “serious” post was on pirates and profiteers.  The last two days I have experienced such disgusting behavior first hand.

When the fast and furious storm hit us on Wednesday afternoon, we lost power at dinner time.  Our new generator kicked in and has been a blessing.  However, only part of the house is serviced by that generator and even though my computer is hooked into the alternative power source, my server (COX SUX), went down.  I just got the Internet back, although my power has yet to be restored.

My electric company is Dominion Virginia Power.  Their constant use of the term “customer service” is a farce.  When a customer calls them to report an outage, all we get, after going through six recorded menus, is a robot.  This live person, as well as her supervisors, have absolutely NO decision-making authority.  They are paid their wages to “yes, ma’am” you to death.  The company’s worst sin however, is that they will not provide their customers with the names and phone numbers of the executives at their corporate offices in Richmond.  These top company officials have built the perfect firewall around themselves.  They are fully protected from the ire of their customers.  The robots who do answer the phones are perfectly content to protect their masters.  There is no denying that the executives in Richmond, while sitting on their toasty asses, have no regard for or offer any compensatory actions for their cavalier service.

If any of you have access to a Value Line survey, which lists the corporate info on publicly-held companies, please look up the name of the CEO of Dominion Virginia Power and the direct phone number of its corporate offices.  Then please relay that info to me.  At the minimum, I guarantee that there will be a phone number for Shareholder Relations.  Mind you, NOT for customer service (which is a figment of their imagination), but definitely for shareholder concerns.

About twice a year, we see Dominion trucks pruning the trees and foliage around the above-ground power lines.  Idiots: to trim a few inches is not the solution.  Whether these trees are on state-owned land or private property is irrelevant.  These pretty arbors must be clear-cut.  That is the only way to avoid these constant and frequent outages.  How come the powers-that-be at Dominion in Richmond have not figured this out yet?  Such rocket scientists are they who earn millions of dollars a year.

Do not tell me that this was an act of God over which we have no control and that we have to roll with the punches.  Preventative measures , like significant tree trimming and burying the cables are viable solutions.  However, one has to be smart enough to tackle these issues BEFORE the big one hits.  Instead, the Dominion bigwigs pocketed their huge salaries into their own bank accounts.  As long as they are fat and happy, who needs to actually prepare their system for these major storms?  Even an act of God does not allow for a total repudiation of transparency and accountability.  The upper echelons of corporate management are getting away with murder simply because they can.

More pirates and profiteers.  Just what we need.

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