Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Patrick Maue of Midwest Utility Consultants (513) 831-2800. His company helps local companies save money through understanding and setting up lower utility rates with companies. Patrick got into this business when he was a church treasurer who didn't like paying the high utility bills. He learned the trade and has grown his business ever since simply by referral from his various satisfied clients. He has not 'cold called” in years.

Anyone can go to http://www.duke-energy.com/ to see the numerous types of rates available to Ohio businesses. Patrick helped us see there are many details which go into an electric bill. Midwest Utilities also helps with other utilities such as trash, water, gas, etc. They typically share the savings with a company 50/50 for 4 years then you keep 100% of the savings. Midwest guarantees they will be within $.02 when they factor your savings or otherwise they consider themselves to be in breach of their own contract with you.

Patrick has been in business of the past 16 years. It is not unusual to save someone up to 50% of what they are currently paying. Situations vary and there are often a variety of rates and options available to your company.

A couple of questions were asked and answered:
Is the first year the baseline? No. You can look at your bill and see what rate you are on. For example: Duke changes their rates often. You can see that Duke rates have been raised 93% over the past 67 months.

Why are there not just 2 rates, commercial and residential? There are actually 5 tiers just for commercial. The PUCO sees themselves as an agent to provide Ohio with reliable energy. What this actually means is that utility companies must make money and PUCO must ensure they do.

Would Midwest help a group involved in aggregation? Yes

Our speaker next week is:
No Morning Meeting – Dan & Barb Haglage will be hosting an evening Christmas party at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Patsy Baughn of The Cincinnati Association of the Blind. She is the development specialist. They have been in business since 1911 when they were formed to provide employment. Their main offices are downtown but they also work out of the Senior Services building in Batavia. They provide employment such as providing tape to the government (they are the government's largest supplier). There is a 70% unemployment rate for the blind and visually impaired. Unemployment and transportation are the largest problem facing the blind and visually impaired.

She talked about how many people suffer from age related eye disorders. They have vision aids that must be prescribed (some have lights, some are on stands for those with weak hands, some are monoculars, some are binocular glasses for TV or sports watching), they teach how close to hold devices and how fast to track across pages. They provide many talking devices such as talking key chains. The association provides a special radio station which works within 50 miles of downtown called Radio Reading Services where they read several local newspapers.

She shared how blindness is increasing for several reasons such as premature birth (eyes form last). They teach children brail and help children attend school with seeing students. They have music classes for children to teach them walking rhythms or to give them an alternative to sports, for therapy, to learn how to take turns, learn names of states, learn the alphabet, etc.

There are many opportunities for volunteers. They currently have 500 volunteers who come to their downtown location to read on the radio (this can also be done over the phone), help someone go to the grocery, label cans of food, read their mail, etc.

Our speaker next week is: Ken Geiss Who will share about TIFs