Today I received my utilities bill from National Grid. To say I am shocked (no pun intended) is the understatement of the century.
Upon perusing the charges to our account, I learned that last month the Hazelton household gluttounously consumed $9.86 worth of natural gas. Side note: my family would have a field day with my use of the term "consuming gas." Anything even remotely hinting of a fart joke is uproariously funny to these people, but I digress.
So here we have an invoice for $9.86. To this point I have no problem. The delivery charge for said $9.86 of natural gas? $24.89!! I know, right?! NOW I have a problem. Wait, wait...it gets better...
The actual usage of electricity was $160.14. The delivery? $162.17!! So herein lies the question:
Was that pool cover purchased by National Grid executives and paid for with National Grid funds spun out of silk? Exactly how extravagant were those holiday parties we paid for?
Upon learning National Grid allocated $4 million dollars in questionable expenses to consumers' cost of services, CEO Steve Holliday reportedly claimed to be "hugely annoyed." Really? Really, Steve? Hugely annoyed are ya'?
In an attempt to pass a $400 million rate hike onto consumers, an audit revealed $4 million in questionable expenses covering everything from pool covers to wine shipped over seas to private school tuition for executives' children to unwarranted gifts to lattes. Well, at least we have a starting point. We Americans struggling in these economic times have been told that in order to save our homes, the FIRST step is to give up the lattes (see http://moneyning.com/frugality/the-latte-factor-and-becoming-a-millionaire for further information on "The Latte Factor".)
Hey Steve, write that link down! (I figured we are on a first name basis as National Grid has been so intimate with us consumers, though usually you get dinner and a show before taking the relationship to THAT level.)
Anyway, Steve claims this has been "a huge accounting error." No, Steve. A huge accounting error is forgetting to deduct a debit from your check book that results in a returned check (not that I would know anything about that) or forgetting to pay your child's orthodontist bill on time (no knowledge on that one, either.)
What National Grid has done is not only shocking, it is vile and reprehensible.