The Best Control of Public Utilities

Author(s): Frank G. Baum
Publisher: IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Publication Date: 1 January 1915
Volume: XXXIV
Page(s): 145 - 167
ISSN (Paper): 0096-3860
DOI: 10.1109/T-AIEE.1915.4765213



The author states as an axiom that ``the best control of a public utility is that which develops an eagerness and ability on the part of the company to furnish the service, and an equal eagerness and ability on the part of the consumer to purchase the service.'' Five elements requisite for the development of this eagerness and ability on the part of the company and the consumers are stated and analyzed. One of the important elements is confidence in the company and its rates, and the author states his conviction that class rates are absolutely necessary for the best development of the business. All classes of consumers benefit by a diversified use of electric energy, which makes lower rates possible. The principle at the bottom of all rates is to make the plant earn all it can during every hour of the day so that the burden of the investment may be distributed. The same principle applies to nearly all public utilities, railroad, telegraph, express and postal service. There is confusion in the minds of consumers because rates for power are lower than rates for electric lighting, and the electric energy for the two very different kinds of service is measured in the same units, kilowatt-hours.