Thursday, August 2, 2012

Where's Mungo Jerry when you need him?

"In the summertime when the weather is can chase right up and touch the sky...when the weather's right you've got women, you've got women on your mind...have a drink have a drive, go out and see what you can find..."

Of course don't drink and drive...but stay away from the spigot, especially if your home gets water service from California American Water, like here in Sacramento. Yeah, it's our fault for living in California, right? Especially Sacramento...but have no fear, this water conglomerate also serves multiple jurisdictions throughout the state, including San Diego, Ventura and Los Angeles.

It started about the time the bottom fell out of the housing market. Yes, I guess you could say it is our own stupid fault...especially those of us who haven't walked away from our homes...even though we could have and PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE.

I'd say around 2006, we were paying about $30 bucks a month or so...billed bi-monthly. Flat rate service...and even though rates tended to inch upward every few months (like ALL utility bills), we did our best to conserve. Sure, we griped...but what can you do, right?

Then, around 2010 came the good news (good, according to the Cal Am water). Per state law, water meters would be installed in order to "better track water usage in the community," and "hold water wasters accountable, etc.," and blah, blah, blah...oh, by the way, the federal government was kind enough to "front the money," in order for our "local water company" to provide this service. Nice!

Naturally, rates had continued to "inch up" over the years and the company was quick to point out that "other communities with meters have actually had their bills drop after the installation." Ahhhh, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha." Easy there, Sam  (Kinisen),  it gets better...the bills started arriving. Oh, just as an aside, NOT in poorer neighborhoods (who are subsidized) and not in the richer neighborhoods (who knows why), but we started "getting our new bills."

The first couple...higher, but not too much more than what you expected...that is, since the water folks had been regularly "probing us," for the past few years...i.e. driving around in their brand new Toyota Prius vehicles (really surprised they weren't GM) to cite water  scofflaws. But then, come summertime, whoa, hold on to your hat their Shamus, it we conserved.

And guess what? That's right...the water company went to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), requesting new rates because they lost revenue due to customers conserving "too much." What? Yeah...and double-guess what? In order to "further help the customer," Cal Am has now seen fit to send billing every month instead of know, to "help us."

Needless to say, a bill which was around $30 a month in 2006, well, my most recent (one month) bill totaled $121. Wow...that's quadruple nice! And now, I can't wait for summertime to be over. Wait, is that a moving van I see backing up to my house? Very Nice!!!

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