This post is not about me. It is about PG&E. For those outside of California, it is the utilities company with a monopoly on the California energy market. Thanks go to Sam for the debate that spawned this post.
Friday was a pretty good day. Nice weather, no tests, an agreeable lunch. That was until I came home and found a PG&E flier on my doorknob. Then it was a great day.
On the program, they were advertising a program for saving money on my utilities bill. That’s nice, they’re looking out for me. They know they charge me too much, and they feel guilty, so they’re giving me an opportunity to save money. Awesome!
The problem is, they don’t actually want to save me money. Why would they? They’re a corporation. They’re in the business of making money, not giving it to customers! Seriously, they have the word “gas” in their name. Of course they’re trying to make money. This simple fact led to skepticism about the original offer.
So I read it all through, front and back. It was offering to save me a bunch of money on my utilities bill, if I just filled out the included form. But the most noticeable thing was that I had to be in quite a low income bracket to even qualify for the program ($25,000 for two people in household). Right away, that disqualifies 90% of the people in my neighborhood.
Surely PG&E knows this. They’ve got the resources to figure out that the fairly affluent town in which I live is not going to have many eligible people. Of those few that do qualify, even fewer would actually sign up. Yet still, my entire block was lined with fliers.
Now, this begs the question: “Why would they send the entire town fliers if they know no one will actually use their program?” And the answer is quite obvious: they don’t actually want to save us money!
They’ve sent out these fliers as PR propaganda. As a typical Californian citizen, I’m supposed to pick up this flier, get excited about saving money, get angry that I don’t qualify, realize that PG&E is just looking out for those less fortunate than I, and then come away with a new found respect for the well-meaning company that powers my television.
How else could you explain it? That they actually want to save their customers money? If that’s the case, someone at PG&E has got to get fired. That business plan is going NOWHERE! Or, perhaps, the government is making ‘em do it. If so,
go Arnold! go Public Utilities Comission!