I just got a mailer from my local electric provider.
"For as little as $7.99 per month, you can get one simple protection package
that covers your home's interior electrical wiring system from breaker panel
to outlets as well as your consumer electronics."
They're evidently hawking a "whole-house" surge protector.* The stated fee
does provide up to $1,000 per year for repairs to interior electrical wiring
(?) and up to $500 for repair or replacement of consumer electronics.
* Whole-house, electronic, surge protectors are available for 35-50 bucks
and are dirt simple to install.
Here in SW Ohio both electric utilities and natural gas vendors are
doing the same thing.
They are doing it because they have lost their monopoly in the area
due to a state law that allows anyone to choose a different electric
or gas supplier other than the one who does the delivery of the
commodity. For as long a sI can remember Dayton Power & Light was
bothe the electric and gas supplier. They could get rate increases
almost at will by applying to the PUCO for approval. Customers could
only go to hearings and complain about service, etc, but almost
always did not stop the increase. Sometime after 1983, the gas part
of DP&L was broken off into a separate unrelated company, causing
lost revenue stream. Sometime later the law allowed cuatomers to
choose other supploeres for electric and gas further eroded revenue
streams to the local companies.
In order to recoup some of this revenue, the local companies offered
"maintenance" packages to its local current and previous customers.
The gas company offered a protection package for all our gas pipes in
the house up to the gas meter. It was for something like $14.95 per
month. It was a good bet for the gas company, because how ofter does
a gas pipe in your house go bad, spring a leak, etc? A local news
article researched it and said that a gas pipe in the house would
fail once every 43 years (did not provide how that was determined),
but I am 66 and except for 9 years, have lived all my life with nat
gas (houses of different ages) and have never experienced a pipe
As for wiring protection, there is a greater chance of some type of
failure, depending on the age and type of wiring you have. I don't
think a whole house surge suppressor is what they are talking about.
I wouder if an inspection is required? Suppose you live in a house
that the previous owneradded some outlets, either by himself or an
unlicensed elec that was not installed to code? Will they protect
that sight unseen?
On our area the electric wiring protection is just getting started,
so I haven't been offered and there is no infoto work from.
I do remember when AT&T or whomever was yourtelco, owned the wired
inyour house, but after the Telecommunications break-up around 1974
or so, they then belonged to you and the local telco offered "on-
premise" wire maintenance for AFAIR about $0.92/month. I never
bought it brcause I knew how to connect phones, add jacks, etc. My
neighbor did not and he paid the price for cutting 2 wires, rather
than just stripping and wrappping them arounf jack posts. He paid
nearly $90 to have the wire reconnected.
Maintenance plans for wires and gas pipes are just anothe way to get
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