Now, I wouldn't badmouth TVA for anything -- not until that becomes absolutely necessary, anyhow. This is simply an experienced skeptic's knee-jerk response to yesterday's announcement that TVA intends to help us all by simplifying their electric rate structure and billing practice.
First, we're all aware that TVA is somehow a non-government government agency. I've never been able to figure out exactly how that works, except that it must work to the benefit of TVA and the federal government. Else why would it be that way? And we're all aware of the impact of any statement that begins, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you ... ."
Second, keep in mind that this government agency that now benevolently proposes to be of service to the general public is one of those government outfits that has, for a long time now, helped to solve the old problem of occasional, periodic, local flooding by the most obvious method possible: Flood the whole area permanently, which really does eliminate the uncertainty and anxiety.
Third, I don't understand exactly how "adding a fixed rate charge to access the power grid" will simplify anything for anybody. I do recall when the government got involved and telephone bills went from a single bottom-line number to a 6- or 8-page itemized list at a higher price for everybody.
A long-gone friend told me how the public water system in Chattanooga worked to help him and others long ago. First, citizens were provided with a reliable source of reasonably clean water at a cost of only a dollar or two per quarter -- the very low water bill came every three months. Then the bills began to come every month -- still at the same dollar cost. And then, surprisingly, that monthly dollar amount began to increase steadily for several years.
And I haven't forgotten the local gas company's solution to their problem of lower income when we collectively cut down on our use of their gas: They decided to raise the cost of gas in order to maintain their profits. I do know that, when my grandma's income from selling fresh eggs wasn't enough to suit her, she sure didn't raise the price of eggs.
I'll reserve judgment on this new move by TVA to charge us individually for all of the poles, wires, transformers, fuses, insulators, etc. in addition to the electricity they provide. Let's all wait and see how that new scheme works out for individual and collective consumers.