Sunday, June 20, 2010

I never agreed to an audit when I bought electricity

Recently, I was reflecting on the stupidity of the Austin City Council when they enacted the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure ordinance. As the only provider of electricity in my geographic location in Austin, Texas, I'm forced to purchase electricity from Austin Energy. I can't buy electricity from any other utility.

When I agreed to sign up for electricity service from Austin Energy, I didn't recall any mandatory requirement to have an energy audit performed on my home when I sold it.

How can a provider of a service in a free market mandate an audit and change the terms of my contract after I've signed up for the service?

It's easy, if you're a city-owned, protected monopoly.

The City of Austin owns the utility, so it enjoys protection from competition as a regulated monopoly. When I signed up for electricity service from Austin Energy, in no part of my contract did it mention a requirement for an owner of a home older than 10 years old to have a mandatory energy audit performed at the point of sale.

I think a judge would be interested in hearing this case.

I keep asking for members of the Austin "green-community" to send me a check for $300 to cover my mandatory energy audit.

Still no takers.

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