Home > CO2-Free Energy (Example: Solar Electricity), Fande = Fact & Evidence, Original Thought, self-sacrificing, The Economy > Speak of the Devil and he appears (when Bill Murray said it in “King Pin”)

Speak of the Devil and he appears (when Bill Murray said it in “King Pin”)

Utility rates are designed to encourage homeowners to use less electricity.

In 2000, when Enron was pulling its shenanigans by extorting billions of dollars from California…well, in response to that Free Market exploitation, the California State Legislature enacted laws so that we would have a baseline amount of energy per month at a locked-in price.

Tier 1 and Tier 2–what we call the baseline–are roughly 11 cents and 13 cents pretty much everywhere you go in California. Some municipalities may be structured differently, but San Diego, Orange County, LA and San Francisco all have approximately 350-400 kilowatt hours per house every month at 11-13 cents per kilowatt hour. This is the baseline amount and price.

Then the upper tiers come into play after 400 kilowatt hours, and the price of electricity can be 20 cents, 30 cents, even 40 cents per kilowatt hour. The more you use, the more you pay.

Solar electricity is cheaper than the electricity at the higher tiers. We use solar electricity to displace the above-baseline consumption of electricity. Now PG&E wants to lower rates for high-consuming clients of electricity from its natural-gas-fueled pipeline…while at the same time the power provider wants to raise the electricity rates for low-consuming clients.

It just might be, whether intended or not, a sabotage of the solar industry.

And also, why should I pay for your big screen TV? You use more electricity, you pay more money. It’s as simple as that.


To PG&E,

You and I both know that the Return On Investment of solar relies on grid prices going up, as they have been doing since the 1970s. For PG&E to lower prices in the top tier while simultaneously raising prices in the bottom tier…well, this not only punishes those who use less electricity from the grid but also punishes people who have invested in solar electricity. The ROI of a solar-electric system is thrown all out of whack if PG&E is allowed to flip the board and change the rules of the game.

California homeowners entered into an agreement to use solar electricity because it makes dollars and sense. It is not fair and it is not right to change the price structure of grid-delivered electricity to favor high consumers of electricity while monetarily hurting people who consume less from the grid (solar clients consume less from the grid, don’t they? Yes they do). No, “this aggression will not stand, man!” (The Dude).

You and I also know that utility prices are designed to encourage people to use less electricity. However, if PG&E is allowed to lower prices in the top tier while simultaneously raising prices in the bottom tier…well then, PG&E just has it all ass-backwards when it comes to encouraging people to use less electricity.

Sincerely, your fellow Californian and fellow American

Clarification: The goal is to use CO2-free electricity.

The future of an energy independent America = a solar-electric system on the roof that powers the plug-in electric car in the garage. Then it’s game over. We have put a cap on the cost of running our homes and our passenger vehicles. We won! Ah, thank you, Sun. : )




Others warn that PG&E’s plan to lower electric rates for high-end users has negative consequences for AB 32, the state law requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. They worry that if consumers no longer have a strong incentive to conserve energy, electricity consumption will rise, leading to more peak demand, more greenhouse gases and increased air pollution….

Silicon Valley solar executives are just beginning to dig into the proposed rates and what they could mean for the industry. Customers who use 1,500 kWh per month would see their average bills drop by $108.62, from $480.08 to $371.46. But customers who use 550 kWh per month would see a $10.73 increase in their average monthly bill, from $77.40 to $88.13.

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