Friday, January 30, 2009

Locals eager to get screwed by a different utility company

Look, I know Unitil Sucks. Their rates suck, their customer service sucks, even their name sucks. This is nothing new.

I also know that Unitil pretty badly fucked up the response to the big December ice storm. Even worse (for them), they fucked up the public relations aspect and did unbelievably idiotic things like sending out inflated "estimated" bills to people who had been without power for a good chunk of the month.

So it's hardly surprising that people are angry and want to get rid of them. Hell, people wanted to get rid of them before the whole ice storm debacle.

Currently, locals are going to the statehouse and complaining to the governor about how crappy Unitil is. Which is fine. Unitil is crappy, and they did fuck up. I'm not about to defend Unitil.

But what I really don't get is what people expect to happen if they're successful in getting rid of Unitil. Here's a quote from the last link:
"I think we should oust Unitil and bring in National Grid," Lynn Mortis, of Lunenburg, told the governor in a face-to-face meeting at the Statehouse.
Hardly a shocking demand. This idea of replacing Unitil with National Grid seems to be repeated by everyone in the area about 800 times a day.

Sure, Leominster has National Grid. And Leominster got their power back sooner than Fitchburg, in general. Yay for Leominster!

Know who else has National Grid? Westford.

But in Westford they're trying to get rid of National Grid because neighboring Littleton (who use the publicly-owned Littleton Electric Light and Water Department) got their power back faster.

National Grid must be wonderful! Except that most people who actually have it think it sucks too. The same is true of basically every utility company in the country. They all suck. The only people who think they're good are people who have something even worse.

But here's the thing: Saying you want to ditch Unitil for National Grid is like saying that you're fed up with being anally violated by a 12-inch dildo, but you'd be totally cool with an 11 1/2 inch dildo.

It's an improvement, but you're still going to have an awfully sore ass.

So how about solar panels? Or geothermal heating/cooling? Or wind power (though you'd have to deal with your NIMBY neighbors)? Or even just a goddamn wood (not pellet!) stove? Is anybody talking about these things instead, or are they all just dying to be abused by someone new?

Sure, those all involve an initial expenditure, and that's a big problem, but they also help get you out from under the thumb of the power company. Because no matter who's running the show, at some point you're going to lose power. And if you think having National Grid instead of Unitil as your power overlord will significantly improve your life service, you're only fooling yourself. (It will improve your bills, though.)

If you don't like the way the grid is run, get off of it.

Now for fuck's sake, could everyone please start talking about something else?