Jesse Tilton and ElectriCities Further Tangle the Web of Deceit

I write to encourage our group, many just readers, to keep up the work. We are fighting the devil and the newspapers are not our friends. I am astounded when I read the junk coming out of the Wilson TImes.

This reporter does not put the date or place or time of the rate committee and says it is July, when we were told JUNE 27 10 am ROCKY MOUNT BRASWELL LIBRARY. I suppose I should assume Jesse Tilton is trying to pull a sham on us by CHANGING it or the Wilson Times does not fact check or they are scheming to throw us off the track because they know we will be there and ask questions.

Readers - Show up. Ask the questions there and by email. I thought Ken Raber was a straight shooter but he appears to be the messenger of the devil now. He dodges the truth which in my book is lying. This rate increase certainly includes increasing costs for fuel BUT it also includes increasing costs for all the big RAISES these people get, including Mr. Raber, and the fun trips, filet mignons, hotel suites and general lavish spending AND it includes the botched refinancing deal Jesse TILTON pushed for that blew up in his face. Pretty lame reporting when the Wilson Times misses all of this. It has been said in public meetings. Millions of dollars blown because a CEO did a bad deal, covered it, delayed telling about it and is now trying to pretend it never happened.

Email jesse.tilton@electricities.com and ken.raber@electricities.com and ask them directly to explain what percentage of the rate increase is due to operational costs at ElectriCities and what percentage is due to missed/botched/stupid refinancing. See if they lie to you in email. Ask them to send you the notice of the meeting on rates. And by all means call Sam Noble in Tarboro, Fred Turnage in Rocky Mount, John Craft in La Grange and Bruce Rose in Wilson and ask them straight up why they keep a CEO who mismanages and covers up his misdeeds, and then spins a tale people fall for.

The Treasurers office is likely the biggest disappointment in this whole issue. This is their realm and we hear nothing.

Thanks to BlueNC and Talking About Politics for a forum to exchange this information.

Thursday, May 22, 2008, 10:06 AM
Energy rates to rise
By Rochelle Moore | Daily Times Staff Writer
Wilson's electricity provider said Wednesday that it will have a rate increase in September, meaning that Wilson Energy customers could see as much as a 15 percent total spike in electric costs by the fall
Ken Raber, senior vice president of the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency, told the NCEMPA board Wednesday at the Wilson Operations Center that the electric wholesale rate could increase as little as 7 percent but as much as 10 percent.
The increase would be implemented Sept. 1 and passed onto the 32 cities that buy wholesale power from NCEMPA. It would then be up to the city to decide what part of that increase to pass on to its customers.
The increase will follow on the heels of a proposed 5 percent electric rate increase included in the city of Wilson's fiscal 2008-09 budget. The city budget goes into effect July 1.
Raber estimated in March that NCEMPA could pass on a 5 percent rate increase, but the increasing costs of energy and energy resources continue to push those estimates higher, he said Wednesday.
"There are economic factors that are really out of our control that are affecting not just the Eastern agency but every utility," Raber said.
NCEMPA staff is in the process of gathering information and will analyze rate projections based on estimates by Progress Energy. The rate projections, short and long-term, will help NCEMPA know how to set electric rates that will cover the costs of supplying energy in the future.
"The models that we're receiving from Progress Energy now are showing substantial increases in not just the fuel cost but our system average fuel rate," Raber said. "The more the Progress Energy system average goes up, it affects the Progress Energy customers and it also affects us."
NCEMPA owns a minority share in two nuclear plants and two coal-fired plants owned by Progress Energy. Progress Energy, as a major stakeholder and electricity supplier for the region, also has detailed economic forecasts and cost projections for energy worldwide.
Raber said that a variety of factors are playing a role in increasing prices for electricity.
The worldwide demand for energy sources, including uranium and coal, has increased and contributed to depleting supplies and increasing costs. The cost of creating energy from uranium has also increased and the costs to fuel coal-fired energy plants has increased.
"We're dealing with an emerging economy that is really absorbing the world's energy supplies," Raber said. "China and India are bringing on one coal-fired power plant every week.
"As coal that's in the U.S. is being exported, then the U.S. has to import more coal from either South America or some other countries. When that happens, as you expect, our prices are going to go up."
Some of the other factors impacting energy prices are power plant additions, maintenance and operation costs, increasing costs for electric transmission service and government mandates that include clean air standards and renewable energy sources.
NCEMPA staff plans to meet with the rate committee in July before presenting the rate increase to the NCEMPA Board of Directors on July 30.
The last electric rate increase Wilson Energy customers experienced was in November 2006 when rates rose by 5.85 percent. Wilson Energy customers also experienced a 10.3 percent jump in January 2006 after NCEMPA increased its wholesale rate.
rochelle@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818Thursday, May 22, 2008, 10:06 AM
Energy rates to rise
By Rochelle Moore | Daily Times Staff Writer
Wilson's electricity provider said Wednesday that it will have a rate increase in September, meaning that Wilson Energy customers could see as much as a 15 percent total spike in electric costs by the fall
Ken Raber, senior vice president of the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency, told the NCEMPA board Wednesday at the Wilson Operations Center that the electric wholesale rate could increase as little as 7 percent but as much as 10 percent.
The increase would be implemented Sept. 1 and passed onto the 32 cities that buy wholesale power from NCEMPA. It would then be up to the city to decide what part of that increase to pass on to its customers.
The increase will follow on the heels of a proposed 5 percent electric rate increase included in the city of Wilson's fiscal 2008-09 budget. The city budget goes into effect July 1.
Raber estimated in March that NCEMPA could pass on a 5 percent rate increase, but the increasing costs of energy and energy resources continue to push those estimates higher, he said Wednesday.
"There are economic factors that are really out of our control that are affecting not just the Eastern agency but every utility," Raber said.
NCEMPA staff is in the process of gathering information and will analyze rate projections based on estimates by Progress Energy. The rate projections, short and long-term, will help NCEMPA know how to set electric rates that will cover the costs of supplying energy in the future.
"The models that we're receiving from Progress Energy now are showing substantial increases in not just the fuel cost but our system average fuel rate," Raber said. "The more the Progress Energy system average goes up, it affects the Progress Energy customers and it also affects us."
NCEMPA owns a minority share in two nuclear plants and two coal-fired plants owned by Progress Energy. Progress Energy, as a major stakeholder and electricity supplier for the region, also has detailed economic forecasts and cost projections for energy worldwide.
Raber said that a variety of factors are playing a role in increasing prices for electricity.
The worldwide demand for energy sources, including uranium and coal, has increased and contributed to depleting supplies and increasing costs. The cost of creating energy from uranium has also increased and the costs to fuel coal-fired energy plants has increased.
"We're dealing with an emerging economy that is really absorbing the world's energy supplies," Raber said. "China and India are bringing on one coal-fired power plant every week.
"As coal that's in the U.S. is being exported, then the U.S. has to import more coal from either South America or some other countries. When that happens, as you expect, our prices are going to go up."
Some of the other factors impacting energy prices are power plant additions, maintenance and operation costs, increasing costs for electric transmission service and government mandates that include clean air standards and renewable energy sources.
NCEMPA staff plans to meet with the rate committee in July before presenting the rate increase to the NCEMPA Board of Directors on July 30.
The last electric rate increase Wilson Energy customers experienced was in November 2006 when rates rose by 5.85 percent. Wilson Energy customers also experienced a 10.3 percent jump in January 2006 after NCEMPA increased its wholesale rate.
rochelle@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818

Comments

Malfeasance

We are keeping up and will continue fighting the tyrannical monster who is misuing public money. Since there is now an announced investigation of oil companies, I would think this place is ripe for one.

The Wilson Times supports Bruce Rose, why is beyond me since no one knows what he is talking about, ao trying to get a rookie reporter there to understand this complicated subject is not worth the air.

The meetings are public so we need to email and confirm the date as we were told. If it has changed, it needs to be re-noticed. Dont be surprised if they try to change it to a small room where 5 people will fit. They do not want us there.

Spinning and lying is the name of the game with everyone there.

To me the story is the botched refinance and failure to report it and the costs. If the local officials are in bed with the devil, we need to take it to the treasurer candidates and let them duke it out. Everyone is covering everyone out of sheer embarrassment for letting things get so out of hand.

Has the N&O written a story

about ratepayer frustration and the insider back-scratching? I can't find anything.

N and O

No. Not a word. The Wilson Times was interested and so was the Rocky Mount paper but then they put a beat reporter on the story and they get misled and do not ask the right questions, basically have no idea how to uncover a story. I heard the Charlotte Observer was looking into it. The way I see it - if a bunch of us old people can uncover things by asking questions, talking to people (legislators, reporters, legislative staff, city staff, NCUC staff) then they should be able to figure it out. The biggest fiasco is this refinance deal on the debt that the CEO fires the CFO for (couched as retirement) because it goes belly up but then the CEO sits on it for 6 months and then tells his board. The whole thing is about 3% of the rate increase to get out of the deal and pay for the interest that was run up on the variable rate. The operational costs are about 2%. The other 5% is legitimate fuel costs. But no one is asking about the 5% that is unacceptable and avoidable. Now I think the board looks bad because the CEO is so bad so they are sitting on it hoping it will blow over. Energy is in the spotlight so I think it will not. The lobby team stuff is a mystery - 10 contract lobbyists being paid, including one who quit after 3 months; a completely changing team over the past five years; legal settlements; and a revolving door. That is the poster child for bad management. We have a lawsuit drawn up and need some more information. We hear some former employees are together and suing for breeches of settlements. And we hear the current lobbyist who is all tied in with Richard Morgan and others has an EEOC claim on her which is costing legal fees and a lawsuit pending, more legal fees. The place needs to be cleaned out, gutted.

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run

New Developments, ElectriCities

We are hearing from smaller papers in electric cities that they will be attending the meeting on June 27.

We have a good group assembled.

Hope some of you will come out to support. We would appreciate it.

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run