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Electric Companies Now Offering Electrical Services

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by jar546, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Across the United States, many utility monopolies have tried to use their infrastructure and deep pockets to enter the electrical market and compete with local contractors. Most states have acted quickly to regulate or prohibit the use of ratepayer funded utility resources to stop subsidization, joint marketing, sharing of customer data and more because it creates a wildly unfair competitive landscape where local electrical contractors cannot possibly compete. Florida has yet to deal with this issue and Florida Power & Light is crossing the line with the purchase of a contractor and the creation of FPL Home. This utility subsidiary is:

    • Accessing Utility Customer Data
    • Marketing Services Through the Utility Billing System
    • Offering Below Rate and Sometimes Free Deals to Attract New Customers
    • Billing Electrical Contracting Services On Utility Bills
    • Using Utility Recruiters, Trucks, Buildings and Infrastructure
    • And much more.
    A group called the MEP Coalition is fighting back. They are air conditioning, plumbing and electrical contractors from across Florida who believe this is a long term threat to their jobs and businesses and that FPL is just the first to try it. If FPL is allowed to do it, it will spread across the state to all of the other utilities. The coalition is pushing legislation that would prohibit utilities from using their resources to subsidize entry into these industries. If they want to compete, they are free to do that just like everyone else but they need to do it without all of the resources, marketing and muscle of a ratepayer funded monopoly utility.

    It is important that everyone rally and join the fight. The utilities have vast resources and political power. The primary weapon that the MEP Coalition has is its statewide coalition. They have been holding meetings around the state, talking to the media and meeting with legislators to push for regulation and legislation that will ensure a level competitive playing field. All electrical contractors should stand with the MEP Coalition and fight this threat before it is too late.

    You can join the coalition here and learn more on their website MEPCOALITION.ORG.

    This information was brought to our attention by the MEP Coalition for Fair Competition. For additional information, you can email them directly here.
     
  2. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    I can see where that could be a good business. If i needed exterior services, like changing the meter base or something, i would be very tempted to use the poco. Inside work ... adding a new outlet or light fixture or similar ... probably not. I would not support the pushback. For one thing there is a very high probability that the work will be done correctly.
     
  3. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    No, not a high probability at all. They fail inspections just like everyone else because they hire electricians just like any other company. There is nothing special about them. The first one I ever inspected failed the inspection.
     
    Ty J. likes this.
  4. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Fox guarding the hen house.

    Next thing, they will offer inspectors too.
     
  5. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    i would imagine they would only hire licensed electricians, and they would all have proper insurance. And if there was a problem, there’s a big company backing up the work. Compare that to a hack who works out of the back seat of a Chevy Nova with no insurance and gets his jobs through angies list or craigslist.
     
  6. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    I guess it depends what state you live in. Some states have very strict licensing laws and don't allow homeowners to do electrical work.
     
  7. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    And some states ... or counties ... require residential electric to be in conduit. So who’s right?
     
  8. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    Kind of a violation of a free market, when a government agency starts offering services that private companies typically offer.

    I always worry that these organisations can offer below market rates to run competition out of town, then gouge customers however they want. Large organisations like this require large overhead to operate. They will never be cheaper than the independent contractor who's desk is his kitchen table.

    I would agree, just because someone is working for any large company, does not make them more competent than anyone else.
     
  9. BLangley

    BLangley Registered User

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    This was a big deal back in the 90's in Maryland. BGE (Baltimore Gas and Electric, utility) was spinning up BGE Home to provide HVAC and plumbing services.

    I was doing HVAC at the time, and we ended up subbing for the BGE Home crews to drop chimney liners. The main allegation was BGE gas techs were red-tagging furnaces on gas leak calls and leaving the BGE Home info for repair/replacement. Home owners were paying stupid high prices for new systems by BGE Home. Couple BGE guys we met on jobs were adamant they never gave BGE Home stuff to owners because it smelled funny.

    BGE Home was split at some point and all their ads now say it is "not the same as BGE, a regulated utility". They definitely benefited from name recognition and customer access, let alone all the cash that was thrown in to starting a big service company rather than growing it organically.
     
  10. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    FPL is not a government agency they are a private company with many subsidiaries

    FPL Group, with annual revenues of more than $9 billion, is nationally known as a high-quality, efficient, and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With a growing presence in 26 states, it is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Its principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, serves more than 4.2 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, an FPL Group energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPLGroup.com, www.FPL.com and www.FPLEnergy.com.

    FPL Group is owned by NextEra Energy, Inc. which is listed on the NYSE
     
  11. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    It wouldnt be a free-market violation unless the home owner was forced to use them.
     
  12. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    Can I buy my electricity somewhere else?
     
  13. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    Maybe. We have two choices for our natural gas supplier. Not sure how that works, since there is only one set of pipelines.
     

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