Consumers say National Power Company is pulling a fast one

 

The story we first broke about the Houston-based National Power Company trying to raise the rates on all of its fixed rate customers has taken more twists and turns than the old Texas Cyclone at Astroworld.

Here’s a timeline to help you keep up:

From: David Barrett [dbarrett@nationalpowerco.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:42 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Announcement

National Power Company has decided to rescind the scheduled rate increase set for late June 2008.  All Fixed rate pricing and terms shall remain as originally agreed.  National Power Company apologizes for any confusion caused by the rescinded letter.  All customers to whom the rate increase letter was sent to will recieve additional confirmation via mail. 

 David Barrett

Chief Financial Officer

National Power Company

616 fm 1960 w

Suite 700

Houston Tx 77090

281-377-7543

  • Tuesday, May 27th: The Public Utility Commission says National Power is no longer qualified to sell power as a retailer. The PUC has switched all of NPC’s fixed rate customers to “Providers of Last Resort.”  I emailed NPC’s CFO to tell him we plan to report that his company has gone out of business and that I would like to speak with him. No reply.
  • Wednesday, May 28th: National Power Company employee emailed customer, telling him “the media has it wrong”- they are not closed- then proceeds to try and sign him up for a new plan.  Read it for yourself:

From: Brittany Nix [mailto:bnix@nationalpowerco.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:11 PM
To:
Cc: Javier Torres; Latoshia Williams
Subject: Concerning Fax

Mr. and Ms. (name removed at consumer’s request),

    I would like to apologize that you feel this way towards National Power Company, and also National Power is in no way going out of business. In order for the invoices to be sent to your home address, a new plan must be selected that does not include the automated payments.  If your still interested in cancelling the automated payments then please call the customer care line at 1-877-333-POWER to select a new plan. Also I would like to apologize for any inconvenience that this is causing you.

Thank you,

Brittany Nix

Account Executive

Bnix@nationalpowerco.com

National Power Company

616 FM 1960 RD W STE. 700

Houston, TX 77090

http://www.nationalpowerco.com/

Office-(281) 377-7570 EXT. 2219

Fax- (713) 715-6953

Customer Care (Toll Free) 1-877-333-POWER

Back to the blog here:

Here’s what you need to know. The PUC says “National Power Company is no longer qualified to sell power as a retailer” bcause NPC failed to pay its ERCOT bill. That means it can’t get the electricity to sell to you.

You should also RUN, DON’T WALK and find a new electric provider if you were one of the NPC customers on a fixed rate that just got switched to a Provider of Last Resort (POLR). If you do not choose a new company, you will be stuck with one of the highest rates available. Right now, the POLR’s basic rate is 16.1 cents a kilowatt and that doesn’t include other fees and charges POLR’s are allowed to charge.

We are committed to covering “Your Electric Bill” at KPRC.  Please let us know what you’re hearing and seeing so we can keep an eye out for you.

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16 Responses

  1. So if we have a one year contract with national power company and we want to find another provider will we have to pay the fee for canceling the contract?

  2. How is one supposed to know if they have been switched over? I’ve
    received no letters, e-mails or phone calls.

    Regards,
    Gary

  3. Amy,
    Thanks so much for all you do to keep people informed! Keep up the
    good work!

  4. Thank’s for the info Amy. It’s too bad we are getting screwed with the pol for a month ( I switched to Direct Energy when this fiasco started.) Perhaps KPRC could do a story on what has happened since electricity was deregulated. Wasn’t this supposed to save consumers money? Instead, rates have doubled!

    On another note, I love your pic. You seem pretty hot!

  5. My wife and I think you are doing a great job reporting this issue. If you get the opportunity, I would like to see a similar investigation on why Houston is paying some of the highest energy rates in Texas. My wife Debra checked the PUC website and found that Austin and San Antonio rates are less than 10 cents per KWH. This is far below the 14 – 15 cents per KWH that is charged in the Houston area. Austin and San Antonio have evidently negotiated lower rates for their citizens. I don’t understand why this can’t be done in Houston. You would think that the self proclaimed “Energy Capital of America” would have some of the lowest rates in the country and state.

  6. I think myself and a lot of other folks owe you. Thanks for reporting on this.

  7. Thank you so very much for becoming involved with this issue. I have no doubt that our complaints would have been swept under the rug without your help. Because I use electricity for life support, the rate I pay has a huge impact on the budget, and this would have been devastating.

    You can be sure I will remain a loyal viewer of the station, thanks again and good luck.

  8. Amy,

    Thanks for being the voice of Houstonians. Please feel good about what you
    do for us.

    About National Power Company, they will lose me. I do not trust them any
    more.

    God bless you.

  9. I just wanted to reply and pay you a compliment. I sent this same story to channel 13, 11, and the Houston Chronicle. At this time, the only person I have received any communication or reply from is yourself. I appreciate your professionalism.

  10. This has to be some of the most unfair treatment I have ever received in the form of utilities. Now that more time has passed since the letter saying that they will honor out rates they have increased even higher and the PUC is doing nothing to help us out. So now I have to switch providers at the start of summer when rates are at their highest. This is 100% not fair!

  11. Thanks Amy. This is certainly an issue of great concern to many people. There are some interesting comments in electricitybid.com about National Power Company. Look under residential, then Houston rates, then recent comments. Also, I believe that Riverway Energy just cancelled fixed contracts as well. Greed and stupidity likely lead to these companies not properly hedging their positions when offering fixed contracts. Of course, when things don’t go their way they want the consumer to cover them. Keep up the great work!

  12. Well, thanks, again, for doing the PUC’s job. Without you, consumers would be up the perverbial river.

  13. We all already know how our governor and legislature
    pulled a slick one on us when they passed electric
    deregulation in Texas. Now the PUC lets the electric
    utilities take us to the cleaners for more. Last July
    I signed a 16 month contract with a provider (National
    Power) for 11.9
    cents per kwh. I payed more in order to lock this rate
    in for 16 months. Now just 10 months into this
    CONTRACT I received a letter telling me to either
    cancel my service with them or they are going to raise
    my rate to 15.3 cents per kwh. If I had wanted to
    cancel from my end, there would have been a $200.00
    penalty. This is not right or fair. They are using a
    clause called “Material Change”. What is material
    change? That could be anything they want it to be.

  14. Unfortunately, I talked several co-workers into switching over to this company a few month ago (I had been using them for 6 months or so at the time) and now they are all going to hate me 😦

  15. I received a bill from National Power that is estimated. Do I still pay the money to them since they are no longer in business? Why would they send an estimated bill instead of the final reading? I have already switched to Reliant and that took effect on June 8. Thanks

  16. Well not only did I get the same letter about National Power Co rates being changed but then last week I got a $920 bill from Reliant Energy who I do not have service with. When I called them they advised me that National Power went bankrupt at the end of May and my account was transferred to them without my knowledge. The sent me a disconnect notice if I would not pay them the $920 deposit to continue service…it was until 2 days ago that I got a letter from National Power Co saying that they went bankrupt on 5/30 and as of then my power has been transferred to last of choice…obviously at 21.7 per kilowatt I was highly upset..they not only didnt give me a choice of change but they didnt even attempt to call or notify me until after the fact. I have since moved to Stream but at obviously a higher rate.

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