Letters to the Editor

“ËœHide Your Hammers’ Nailed It

Teresa:

Thanks for the insightful Commentary. I’m surprised that it hasn’t prompted more response, but I’m looking at your online version. Hopefully it will make some waves after folks read it in the print magazine, which I just received.

I used the word “hopefully” above because your piece should resonate with utility leadership and indicate that something is wrong in their industry. As a company, we work on the B2B side. And unfortunately, I see this same “your call is not important” philosophy on the business end also. I do believe that the industry has lost its sense of purpose. Providing the energy resource to customers (individuals, as well as commercial/industrial companies) at a reasonable cost is the purpose. The customer should be the major focus, not Wall Street, regulatory boards, municipal authorities. Our philosophy, which seems to be true from our 30-plus years’ business experience, is that if your take care of your purpose of assisting your clients/customers, they will make sure your organization reaches its goal (usually revenue).

The statistics you indicated are interesting, but one thing jumped out at me: the costs indicated were just for answering the call, just the connection, not listening to the customer’s voice and solving a problem. I think utilities have lost sight of this situation and with it customer care and service. In many ways, utilities are not involved in simple buy-sell transactions. There is a far more complex set of conditions surrounding the energy industry as a whole, and utilities as a major subset. Unless we change the transactional culture becoming so prevalent in our business dealings, we will have lost our higher purpose and made into a commodity that which cannot and should not be dealt with in this way.

Your dad’s experience is the result.

Thanks for taking a stand for all of us.

Kathy Scheessele
Executive Vice President
MBDi, Mastering Business Development Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.

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July/August’s Corrosion Control Article

Dear Ms. Kathleen Davis,

I have comments concerning the article in the July/August issue of EL&P on Page 46, “Corrosion-control Coatings Protect Power Plant FGD Systems.”

I’m a mechanical engineer who has spent 40 years in the utility business. One of the many things I have worked on was flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) systems that first started to be installed in the early ’70s. Corrosion problems have plagued FGD systems since the beginning. Some of the initial FGD systems were constructed of carbon steel and then were lined with protective coatings. The protective coatings typically had very specific requirements for proper installation, such as relatively tight ambient temperature requirements during the installation. Corrosion failure of the underlying material resulted in major outages and large expenditures for replacement and repair.

The Electric Power Research Institute, FGD manufacturers, coating suppliers, engineering companies and utilities have been working on understanding corrosion mechanisms and corrective actions since the initial failures in the ’70s. It seems to me that corrosion failures on FGD systems are well-understood unless the initial specifications for the FGD system was not properly vetted or the specifications were put together considering only the capital cost and not the future O&M cost.

Thank you,

David L. Tackett
Owner, Tailored Business Solutions LLC
Canfield, Ohio

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