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:
- Monday, May 12th: National Power Company fixed rate customers received letters from the electric provider telling them their fixed 11 cent rate was being raised to 15 cents a kilowatt. http://www.click2houston.com/investigates/16251234/detail.html
- Tuesday, May 14th: The Public Utility Commission removes the National Power Company from the state’s “Power to Choose” website and begins an investigation of the company. http://www.click2houston.com/investigates/16264309/detail.html
- Wednesday, May 15th: National Power Company Chief Financial Officer emails me that the company plans to honor the fixed rate contracts afterall. Here’s that e-mail:
From: David Barrett [email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:42 PM
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 National Power Company apologizes for any confusion caused by the rescinded letter.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.
Chief Financial Officer
National Power Company
616 fm 1960 w
Houston Tx 77090
- 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:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:11 PM
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.
National Power Company
616 FM 1960 RD W STE. 700
Houston, TX 77090
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.