Utilities Watch

A PROJECT OF NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM

EXPLANATION & OBJECTIVES:
Nebraska homeowners and businesses pay increasingly higher rates for their gas, water, and electricity services. Both private and public utilities are raising their rates in order to pay outrageous salaries and health and group insurance benefits to their management personnel and union labor forces. These salaries and employee contracts are higher than average in both the public and private sectors; most are blanket raises. Now, our public utilities face drastically underfunded employee pensions, a future burden to ratepayers. Contracts for energy supplies are unreasonably high. Beleaguered ratepayers have not benefited from cost changes in the supply of resources, e.g., Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) did not lower rates for natural gas customers, though natural gas costs have plummeted. Nebraska public utilities could outsource more work to private companies to save money and curtail expenditures for operational costs.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS:
Join the NTF Utility Watch Project.
Read your project packet to familiarize yourself with ratepayer issues and utility board members.
Read NTF previous and current issue papers and worksheets on local utilities to familiarize yourself with issues and problems our project attempts to solve.
Attend utility board meetings.
View board meeting agendas in advance.
Take detailed notes at these meetings.
Speak on issues to the board.
View board meeting minutes to tabulate relevant votes.
Meet periodically with utility board members and executives to discuss issues and concerns.
Attend periodic town hall meetings scheduled by utilities.
Solicit NTF members and others to join this project.
Hold periodic meetings with project members to discuss ongoing activities.
Use relevant documents from a utility in formulating actions.
Attend periodic workshops for orientation to basic project work and terminology.
Learn how to navigate the utility website, lobby board members, and speak at board meetings.
Find conservative candidates to run for utility board positions.
Limited reimbursement for expenses incurred, e.g., parking fees, gas.
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