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March 17, 2011     The Tuskegee News
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March 17, 2011
 

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The Tuskegee News, March 17, 2011, Page A-5 [- UBT general manager responds to concerns about electricity rates Editor, The Tuskegee News: served by Alabama Power or Dixie Electric Coopera" tive, then her electric bill would have been higher than Upon reading the letter to the editor in The her bill in Tuskegee, not lower. Tuskegee News by Mrs. Kalia Lane "Will somebody You might ask then, if the electric charges are lower, please buy my house? I've got to go!" (March 3, 2011), why do people perceive that the charges are higher? like most, I was concerned about Mrs. Lane's com- Well, we believe that this perception is caused ments about.her elec.tric bill and her perception that mainly by the fact that for customers who reside in the electric rates in Tuskegee are higher thanthose of Tuskegee the electric, water, sewer, and garbage rates charged by Alabama Power and Dixie Electric charges are included on one billing statement, Cooperative. whereas in most other communities, these charges are I contacted Mrs. Lane, and we are currently conduct- billed using separate billing statements. By putting all ing an energy assessment at her home to determine of these charges on one billing statement, the percep- what may be causing her enormous electricity con- tion is that the "electric bill" in Tuskegee is higher sumption. Based on her energy usage, Mrs. Lane's than in other areas. electric consumption was higher than 99.5 percent of In order to provide some perspective about the elec" the other residential customers residing in Tuskegee. tric bills that are incurred by cqstomers who reside in Such a high usage may be the result of a malfunction Tuskegee, the following billing information for Janu- in equipment or appliances in her home, and through ary, 2011, and February, 2011, may be useful. this energy assessment process we hope that we will be able to identify the cause of the excessive electric consumption and Billing Profile. will be able to recommend actions Number of Customers with an Electric Bill Less than $100.00 that she can take to reduce her en- Number of Customers with Electric Bill Larger than $300.00 ergy usage which in turn will reduce her electric bill. Just recently, we performed an assessment at an- other home and discovered that the heat strips in the customer's heat pump were malfunctioning, resulting in a larger-than-normal electricity usage. Once this problem is repaired, this customer should see a dra- matic decline in his energy cor[sumption and corre- sponding energy bill. Although we do not finda problem each time we per- form such an assessment, more often than not we are able to make recommendations to the customer which, if implemented, will reduce his/her energy bill. There isa widesprea misperception about the resi- dential electric rates that are charged by UBT com- pared to those charged by Alabama Power Company ' and Dixie Electric Cooperative. Some perceive that UBT's residential electric rates are significantly higher than those charged by Ala- bama Power Company and Dixie Electric Cooperative. However, based on a recent comparison, UBT's resi- dential electric charge was shown to be 'qess" than the amounts charged by Alabama Power Company and Dixie Electric Cooperative. A copy of this comparison was provided to UBT's cus- tomers along with their March utility billing state- ment. Given this comparison, had .Mrs. Lane been January 2011 3.206 or 82.23% 8 or 0.21% Average Residential Electric Bill in Tuskege $126.37 Thus, in January, 2011, and February, 2011, 82 per- cent and 74 percent, respectively, of the residential customers residing in Tuskege received an electric bill that was less than $100. While this information may be helphil, it is of no comfort to someone who has a large electric bill. Thus, through our energy assessment process, we will do our best to help Mrs. Lane identify the cause of her high electric consumption and assist her in reducing her en- ergy usage, which in turn will reduce her electric bill. I encourage any customer who has an electric bill that they consider to be excessive to contact UBT and request a free energy assessment. The staff of UBT will gladly perform this assessment and help you iden- tity ways to reduce your utility bill. We realize that there are times when, due to a hard- ship, a customer is unable to pay all of his/her utility bill. UBT has several options that are available to cus- tomers,who are experiencing a hardship and who need help or extra time paying their bill. To qualifying cus- tomers, we also offer an Average Monthly Payment (AMP) program which aJlows customers to pay an av- erage bill rather than their actual bill. This program is In remembrance of Woodia S. Pryce Editor, The TuskegeeNews: daily practice under her guidance, I played this as my first hymn for the On March 9, 2011, Sister Woodia S. Children's Day Service and accompa- Pryce made the inevitable journey, nied the Children's Choir. Fortunately, I 'q ransition From Earth to Glory." The did not miss a note! Thus, for every love, joy, peace, patience and kindness hymn or sacred tune that I have played that she exhibited will be recognized since that initiation performance, I owe and welcomed "Fruit of the Spirit" by it to God and Sister Woodia S. Pryce. the Creator. I also remember that she shared her My early childhood (8-11 years) was musical skill and beauty as organist and enriched and cultivated by Sister Pryce, pianist at the Church. Her touch set a my then neighbor and Youth Choir Di" special tone for worship. The Angelic rector at the Greenwood Missionary Choir will welcome her as a heavenly ac- Baptist Church. As a 10-year-old, when companist. we observed Children's Day, it was Sis- In expressing my SACRED MUSI- ter Woodia who caught a glimpse of and CAL MEMORIES OF SISTER captured my piano skills. For several WOODIA S. PRYCE, I also forward a years, I had been a piano student at four hundred dollar $400 donation to Tuskegee Institute with Mrs. Lexine H. the Raymond Francis Harvey Scholar- Weeks. ship Fund. Sister Woodia S. Pryce launched out into unknown sacred musical territory Remembered By, and taught me how to play the hymn, Elaine C. Harrington "When He Cometh," on the piano. With similar to the budget billing programs offered by other utility companies, and it allows customers to pay a more consistent bill each month. In addition, later this year, we will be evaluating a pre-pay service offering as an alternative to our tradi- tional offering. With this pre-pay service, a customer will be able to purchase service in advance which will provide the customer more control over the amount of service he uses. Finally, in an effort to increase our customers' knowl- edge and understanding of UBT's operations and pro- vide our customers an opportunity to learn more about the work that is performed by UBT, we be hosting monthly dialogue sessions with our customers. These sessions will be held at various locations within UBT's service area and will provide our customovs the oppor- tunity to meet with UBT's staff and discuss issues or concerns they may have. The first dialogue session will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at 9 a.m. in the Gregg Audito- February 2011 rium at the Tuskegee Municipal 2,880 Or 73.81% Complex. In addition to these ses- 46 or 1.18% sions, this spring UBT will be con- ducting its f st UBT Academy. $118,81 The UBT Academy is an intensive program that will provide participants an in-depth working knowledge of UBT's operations. In the coming weeks, customers will be receiving additional informa- tion about the UBT Acaddmy. Everywhere you go-whether it's. to the grocery store, the gas station or the pharmacy-prices are rising. No one is more frustrated than I at the rising utility prices we are experiencing. Over the last decade, wholesale electricity prices in Alabama have increased over 50 percent, and if the federal government does not stop the out-of-control en- vironmental improvements that are being mandated, then prices will continue to rise. 'Given this uncertain future, we are taking all the steps we can to minimize the cost impact on our cus- tomers. We are committed to serving this community and working to improve the economy in our area. If you have any questions, suggestions or recommen- dations as to'how we can do a better job serving you, please feel free to come by my office, have a cup of cof- fee and chat awhile. Sincerely, Mark S. Ennis, General Manager Ford asks for meeting with governor Editor's note: Following is a letter from 7bskegee's Johnny Ford to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. Dear Mr. Governor: Today (March 11) we were able to fulfill your request that-we meet with the Attor- ney General to discuss the issue of re- opening gaming facilities illegally closed by the previous administration. I met with Assistant Attorney General Sonny Reagan. I was accompanied by county officials and representatives from Macon, Greene and Lowndes Counties, the three counties that have passed con- stitutional amendments that allow elec" tronic bingo to be played in their counties. We expressed to Mr. Reagan, that the gaming facilities in our counties, estab- lished via constitutional amendments should be allowed to be reopened without fear of closure, in order to restore the 10,000 lost jobs, and the much needed revenue for our communities, and be- cause our electronic bingo machines, which have never been declared illegal by any court, are legal. He disagrees, so our meeting ended in an impasse. We ask now that you grant us a meet- ing, as soon as possible, so that we can ap- peal to you to use your executive power to allow our facilities to open. You said be- fore and after your election that gaming facilities created as the result of constitu- tional amendments should be able to re- open. Meanwhile, we are continuing on our 2011 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery in order to bring national at- tention to this still flagrant violation of our voting rights, here in Alabama. We look forward to our meeting with you Mr. Governor. We believe that you are a man of your word. Johnny Ford, Co-Chair The National Policy Alliance Dance Theatre session March 19 The fihal session Of the season of the Alabama State University theatre outreach program will be conducted Saturday, March 19 in Macon County. Available for ages 6-17, the free program will be held at Washington Chapel Parish House, 2508 Old Montgomery Road, Tuskegee beginning at 11:30 a.m. Free lunch will be served. For additional informa- tion, call (334) 229-6755 or (334) 2 9-6929. Walter J. Oldham We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Tuskegee communi- ty for the many acts of kindness you have shown our family upon the loss of our loved one, Walter J. Oldham. He had a genuine love and concern for all peo- ple. What a bless- ing it is to have otl;ers share won- derful memories of one we hold dear because of the lov- ing ways in which he touched many lives.