Arizona: ACC utility engineer can’t do basic math

Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ July3, 2015
Posted on

I just received another batch of emails and documents from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) via a Public Records Request. One of the emails, dated February 9, 2015 is from ACC Utility Engineer Margaret Little to ACC Utility Engineer Jeff Francis.

Little forwarded Francis a news story entitled, “AMI saves Central Maine Power $8 million in 1 year.” Little added this comment, “Wow! – a savings reported due to Smart Meters. Awesome.”

Evidently poor Margaret Little cannot do basic math, nor is she capable of the critical thought necessary to recognize propaganda when she sees it.

Central Maine Power (CMP) claims it did not lay off any meter readers but instead shifted them to other positions. Supposedly the savings then come from reduced “truck rolls.” CMP claims it reduced costs due to 1.4 million fewer annual vehicle miles traveled.

1.4 million miles sounds impressive. But when you divide $8 million by 1.4 you realize that CMP is valuing each mile at the ridiculously inflated amount of $5.71. Persons deducting mileage on their taxes might be interested in learning more about CMP’s method.

Let’s assume for sake of argument that CMP’s bogus ‘$8 million in one year’ figure is actually true.

CMP’s “smart” grid cost $195.9 million. If the $8 million is true, it will take CMP 24.5 years to recoup the $195.9M that was spent. Is that “Awesome?”

But wait, since “smart” meters only have about a 15 year life, the time needed to recoup the $195.9 million will get pushed farther into the future. Then of course the huge, ongoing costs associated with operating and maintaining the “smart” grid will push the time out even farther.

Meanwhile, the $8 million “savings” has been passed on to CMP ratepayers in the form of a 4% rate increase to pay for CMP’s “smart” grid. Only at the ACC could that be considered “Awesome.”

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