Unethical Business Practices Within Electric Utility Industry Costing Consumers Money--It’s Time for Reform Says Industry Expert

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Unethical business practices of electric utility contributing to rising cost of electricity and harming residential and commercial users of electricity. It's time for reform.

Joe Seeber, founder and president of Tristem, Ltd, which has been auditing utilities for businesses, federal agencies, local and state governments as well as colleges and universities for more than twenty-five years, says that in light of the rising cost of electricity, it’s time to take a hard, critical look at how the electric utility industry operates. According to Seeber, utility cheating and manipulation has gone unchecked for decades, costing businesses as well as individuals countless dollars. “It’s time someone pulled the plug on the unethical behavior of the utility industry,” says Seeber.

In Wired For Greed: The Shocking Truth About America’s Electric Utilities (iUniverse.com, November 2005) written by Seeber together with New York Times best-selling author and journalist Jim Moore, the authors paint a damming portrait of the industry, describing it as monopolistic and operating with maximum focus on profits and minimum concern for customers. They allege that utilities get away with malfeasance, manipulation, fudged financials and even fraud because of the cozy relationships they enjoy with those who are charged with regulating them. Using real life stories drawn from Tristem’s work on behalf of its clients, Wired for Greed describes 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, among other things.

Seeber and Moore also present a prescription for industry reform in Wired For Greed. Among other things, they lay out a plan for true deregulation (or re-regulation) in order to 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.

Seeber is the founder and president of TriStem, Ltd, a Texas-based company that serves as an advocate for large users of electricity. Its services include auditing electric utility bills, recovering refunds, and negotiating (and renegotiating) contacts with utilities for its clients. 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, 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 and the first biography of then Governor Bill Clinton written in 1992. 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. He divides his 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 http://www.iuniverse.com, by calling 1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677) and at traditional and online bookstores.


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Mary Reed
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