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house Bill H.R. 2984

If Federal Regulators Don't Act, Should Consumers be Able to Appeal a Proposed Utility Rate Hike?

Argument in favor

People shouldn’t face higher utility bills simply because federal regulators fail to make a decision. This bill gives consumers, cities and states an opportunity to appeal and prevent a rate increase and bring transparency to the process.

Heather's Opinion
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03/14/2016
Energy companies more often than not maintain a monopoly in the areas they serve. This means that the market itself is unable to exert any real control that would work in the consumer's favor over these companies. If the government is also turning a blind eye to consumer needs, then the consumer needs to have recourse to correct the problems they face when they have no alternative to whatever the energy company decides. If the company holds more fear of the consumer's displeasure, this will encourage it to consider what it does more carefully. It may also allow for smaller, newer, and/or cleaner energy to get a better foothold within our energy infrastructure.
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operaman's Opinion
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03/14/2016
Hell yes. It's the consumer who always pays the final utility bill.
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MICKEY's Opinion
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08/13/2016
Should always be able to appeal anything. Whether or not you win is whole other ballgame.
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Argument opposed

Regulators should be acting in a manner that balances the needs of stakeholders, and if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chooses to do nothing about a proposed rate hike that should be the end of the matter.

Stephen's Opinion
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03/14/2016
We need to liberalize (liberalize as in make more free, not the modern meaning) the energy market to allow more competition and easier entry into the market. Market rates 1) promote conservation and 2) promote infrastructure investment. If we really opened the market up households could create miniature solar farms and sell back to the grid. Regulating rates won't fix the problem, the market will.
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T's Opinion
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03/20/2016
Why is the federal government involved at all?
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RedPandaInSpace's Opinion
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08/16/2016
If consumers actually had choice, we wouldn't have to negotiate price. We could just pick a different provider.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed March 14th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Energy
    IntroducedJuly 8th, 2015

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    Energy companies more often than not maintain a monopoly in the areas they serve. This means that the market itself is unable to exert any real control that would work in the consumer's favor over these companies. If the government is also turning a blind eye to consumer needs, then the consumer needs to have recourse to correct the problems they face when they have no alternative to whatever the energy company decides. If the company holds more fear of the consumer's displeasure, this will encourage it to consider what it does more carefully. It may also allow for smaller, newer, and/or cleaner energy to get a better foothold within our energy infrastructure.
    Like (30)
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    We need to liberalize (liberalize as in make more free, not the modern meaning) the energy market to allow more competition and easier entry into the market. Market rates 1) promote conservation and 2) promote infrastructure investment. If we really opened the market up households could create miniature solar farms and sell back to the grid. Regulating rates won't fix the problem, the market will.
    Like (21)
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    Hell yes. It's the consumer who always pays the final utility bill.
    Like (8)
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    Why is the federal government involved at all?
    Like (5)
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    Bottom line - consumers should be able to shop utilities just like anything else. There are many monopolies on utilities and with rates continuing to rise, people should have a choice.
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    Should always be able to appeal anything. Whether or not you win is whole other ballgame.
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    This is a no-brainer. Why restrict the rights of a consumer to appeal the decision of a monopoly?
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    If the federal watchdog doesn't do it's job. Then the customer should have some avenue for recourse.
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    Of course. And when the regulators don't do their jobs the should be shown the door like any employee who won't do their job
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    Good idea. Plus Duke Power has gotten away with not paying consumers that generate more electricity than they use. They are given credits but if the credits aren't used within a given time frame, you guested it, they lose it. I wonder who negotiated these rules, Duke Power maybe. Sounds like the old shell game to me.
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    .
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    The Feds should regulate and fine them if appropriate
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    There is little oversight to rate hikes. We deserve input
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    In times of low fuel prices, I find it baffling that my utility prices keep going up. I also find it baffling that no one seems to question the utility companies about this. I'm tired of being told by my local authorities that there is nothing they can do about it.
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    Taxpayers should always have a voice. This has been long forgotten by the political aristocracy.
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    Why not, we are the rate payers.
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    More transparancy in rate setting is a good thing.
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    While you are at it, stop all utility monopolies! How is it that we don't have choices?
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    The competition argument is wrong,when you understand why we allow the "monopoly" of utilities. We need more regulation in them to ensure they do not abuse the power we give them.
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    We should also eventually replace government regulations with market regulation through enhancing transparency in the private sector.
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