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Wired for Greed Sheds Light on Electric Utility Abuses, Assails Failure of Industry Deregulation, and Argues for True Reform

 

 

Austin, Texas…For more than a quarter of a century, Joe Seeber, president of TriStem, Ltd.  has audited electric utilities for such clients as the World Trade Center, General Electric and Pfizer, federal agencies and offices, and state and local governments and universities. Now, in his eye-opening new book Wired for Greed: The Shocking Truth About America’s Electric Utilities, Seeber together with New York Times best-selling journalist Jim Moore, paint a disturbing picture of an industry that provides one of our economy’s most essential services, describing electric utilities as being “hard-wired for greed, outright fraud and eventual failure.” 

Illustrating key points using fascinating stories drawn from Seeber’s client work, the authors create a damming portrait of an industry that is characterized by mismanagement and malfeasance, that operates with maximum focus on profits and minimum concern for customers and that gets away with its unethical behavior because utilities receive scant scrutiny from regulators and legislators, even in states where the electric power industry has been deregulated. Among other things, the authors write about major utilities that billed their customers for electricity they did not use, charged their customers the wrong rate for electricity they did use, manipulated their customers’ meters, manufactured meter readings out of whole cloth, and even sold the same electricity twice. Seeber and Moore write in Wired for Greed, “Utilities make their money at the behest of legislators and regulators, not by virtue of the quality of service they provide ordinary consumers like us.  For better or worse, the success of utilities lies in the hands of those who are also charged with safeguarding the interests of consumers. For utilities to succeed beyond creating for themselves a modest profit, they must assist regulators in compromising those safeguards. Time and time again, the utilities find that the regulators themselves happily aid and abet the power company’s best efforts.”

Seeber and Moore make a convincing argument for industry reform, explaining why deregulation has failed consumers of electric power.  They also lay out a plan for true deregulation (or re-regulation) that will force power companies to work on behalf of their customers, make them accountable for their behavior and motivate them to reduce their customers’ electric bills through technological innovation and increased use of renewable resources, among other changes.

Joe Seeber is the founder and president of TriStem, Ltd, a Texas-based company that serves as an advocate for electric utility customers. TriStem’s services include auditing electric utility bills, recovering the refunds they are entitled to and negotiating (and renegotiating) contacts with utilities for its clients. The company has generated approximately $100 million in refunds and savings for its clients since it was founded in 1979.  TriStem’s clients have included the World Trade Center, Exxon, Texaco, General Electric, Hyatt, and Pfizer, the U.S. Coast Guard, General Services Administration, Postal Service and the Veteran’s Administration, among other federal government agencies and offices, the states of Arizona, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas, the cities of Dallas, New Orleans, Savannah, Pensacola, and West Harford, and such universities as Texas Tech and Louisiana State.

Jim Moore is the author of nine books, including his landmark study of the Kennedy assassination, Conspiracy of One. In 1992, he wrote the first biography of then Governor Bill Clinton and he also co-authored a book with Clinton’s brother, Roger. Moore has been mentioned in more than 30 books and has appeared on more than 700 television and radio programs including 48 Hours, The CBS Evening News and Larry King Live. Until recently he served as Mayor Pro-tem and City Councilmember for Hillsboro, Texas. Now, he divides him time between London and Texas.

Wired for Greed: The Shocking Truth About America’s Utilities (iUniverse, ISBN: 0-595 -35744-X softcover, $13.95) is available at www.iuniverse.com, by calling 1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677) and at bookstores and online booksellers.