Responsible thing: An energy company sending out scratch-and-sniff cards that smell like natural gas so customers can learn to identify the smell in case of a leak. Unfortunate thing: An entire box of said cards compressed in a garbage truck that then travels through town and makes residents think there’s a widespread gas leak.
The Houston City Council believes that 370,000 CenterPoint Energy customers may have been overcharged for their natural gas service to the tune of $15.7 million/year. And even though it’s launched a case to rein in those rates, affected consumers won’t be getting refunds. [More]
In the midst of the California gas hullabaloo (really, gas prices are a nationwide worry), Honda is dangling quite an attractive carrot in front of drivers: Anyone who buys a natural-natural gas powered Civic by Jan. 2 will get a $3,000 debit card good for purchasing natural gas at any of the Clean Energy chain of stations. Mmm, free gas.
Not all gas costs are soaring. Natural gas has dipped to its lowest price in 10 years, dropping to less than $2 per 1,000 cubic feet. The last time gas was cheaper than its current rate of $1.984 was January 2002. That’s a good sign for your home gas bills, but won’t do you any good at the pump.
A new study, the first of its kind, has found links between hydrofracking and water getting contaminated so badly that drinking taps burst into flame when exposed to a lighter.
At first glance this sticker I spotted on a water fountain appears to be from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, telling citizens that they’ve checked out the water and it’s probably safe. If you have any doubts about there being chemicals in there that seeped in because of hydraulic fracturing, don’t worry, just turn on the spigot and do the ‘ol match test and see if it bursts into flame. Wait, what?
This Fort Lupton, Colorado couple’s water catches fire. It didn’t use to catch fire, not until the natural gas drillers moved in and contaminated the groundwater.
Apparently, Chicagoland is under siege by door-to-door salespeople from “the gas company” who want to “see your gas bill.” My father, Edgar, demonstrates his technique for tossing them out of the house.
Universal Gas & Electric, a Canadian company, sends out door-to-door salesmen who lie to homeowners about the imaginary “savings” they’ll enjoy if they switch gas suppliers, when in reality Universal is currently about 50% higher than the default supplier. One former Universal employee says, “I’d have people ask, ‘What am I paying now?’ and they’d look at the bill and it’s right there in front of them and they don’t know where to look and I would avoid telling them that.”
Pity the clowning industry. Thanks to a global helium shortage, helium balloons, mainstay of spoiled children’s birthday parties, will be hard to come by in coming weeks.
Shades of Canada…
Last week we reported on US Energy doing a little hit and run salesmanship of their natural gas delivery service.
We may have an answer to what the strange man was doing in Philip’s wife’s office trying to pressure her into signing up for natural gas.