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(SFGate)   Live in California and don't have solar panels? That'll be 4% more on your electric bill, dirty energy consumer   (sfgate.com) divider line 171
    More: Asinine, solar panels, fixed costs, solar energy  
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7592 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Pud [TotalFark]
2012-12-18 08:24:08 PM
What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?
 
t0.gstatic.com
 
2012-12-18 08:35:23 PM

Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?
 
[t0.gstatic.com image 259x194]



The Matrix was not a documentary!  It was a science fiction film.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-12-18 08:41:43 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?
 
[t0.gstatic.com image 259x194]


The Matrix was not a documentary!  It was a science fiction film.



No, it was a documentary.  I have been powering my house with fetuses for years now.
 
2012-12-18 08:41:52 PM
Good.
 
2012-12-18 08:46:12 PM
I already pay a dear premium for wind power.  What a maroon.
 
Techno hippie.
 
2012-12-18 08:50:01 PM
That's cool, if they take that 4% and put it towards buying you some solar panels...
 
2012-12-18 08:50:41 PM
Can you imagine the utility bill of the last guy in California to get solar panels?
 
Pud [TotalFark]
2012-12-18 09:04:03 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?
 
[t0.gstatic.com image 259x194]

 
 
The Matrix was not a documentary!  It was a science fiction film.
 
 
Wait, it what?? Uh oh ..... BRB ........
 
**sound of running, and slamming doors**
 
2012-12-18 09:11:42 PM
This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.
 
2012-12-18 09:15:40 PM
What if you live in a basement? 
 
2012-12-18 09:18:36 PM
F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil
 
2012-12-18 09:22:44 PM
Meh.  I've been paying a fee on a two reactor project that isn't built yet, is already 15 months behind schedule, and has already overrun its budget.
 
2012-12-18 09:32:53 PM
We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.
 
2012-12-18 10:56:09 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.



yeah, would be great to have our electricity provided in the same manner that we get our crumbling bridges, and pot hole filled streets.
 
2012-12-18 11:02:00 PM
This also happens with out soh panus.

hitchcockandme.files.wordpress.com 

/obscure?
 
2012-12-18 11:03:49 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil


Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.
 
2012-12-18 11:04:56 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


If allowed to run its course, everyone will generate 120% of the power they actually need and will actually end up paying the electric company for the privilege.
 
2012-12-18 11:05:39 PM
Unintended consequences to liberal utopias?

Oh nos!
 
2012-12-18 11:06:06 PM

MrEricSir: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.


That would happen anyway.. their maintenance on their equipment is abysmal.
 
2012-12-18 11:07:24 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.



I don't know how it works in CA, but in GA you are FORCED to hook up your generation system to the grid and sell it back. Of course the laws aren't about anything other than the Southern Company maintaining their monopoly and throwing up a barrier to entry for any consumer who wants to generate his own electrons.
 
2012-12-18 11:07:33 PM

dahmers love zombie: What if you live in a basement? 


Well great. There goes the whole TF membership from California.
 
2012-12-18 11:09:42 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: yeah, would be great to have our electricity provided in the same manner that we get our crumbling bridges, and pot hole filled streets.


You mean because of people who benefit from said infrastructure but balk at paying for it?

Yeah, that manner does suck.
 
2012-12-18 11:09:57 PM
hot, poor person tax
 
2012-12-18 11:10:12 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: yeah, would be great to have our electricity provided in the same manner that we get our crumbling bridges, and pot hole filled streets.

 
 
Mind, it's not as if the electrical grid that exists in most parts of the US isn't falling apart anyways
 
2012-12-18 11:11:21 PM

MrEricSir: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

 
Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.
 
 
Na, they save the explodie stuff for the hardcore insults, calling em evil just gets a power line right-of-way ran through your bedroom....
 
2012-12-18 11:11:33 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


Most power companies have a special rate for low-income customers, so it's not as regressive as you might think.

No, the people this hurts are folks (like me) who rent. I can pressure my landlord to install solar panels, but in the end it's not my decision. And even if they did I'm not sure I'd see any discount on my power bill since it's not my building.
 
2012-12-18 11:12:40 PM

Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?


This always bugged me. Why not just have the energy generated by a perpetual motion machine? The science is essentially the same.
 
2012-12-18 11:13:03 PM

Girion47: This also happens with out soh panus.

[hitchcockandme.files.wordpress.com image 600x294] 

/obscure?


Oh god I just saw (parts of) that movie. It felt like a bowel movement in my brain. 

\and apparently there's a sequel
 
2012-12-18 11:15:07 PM
I'd also point out that if you're a homeowner with decent credit, you might be able to get a loan to install solar panels. Solar loans are usually set up so that your monthly loan payment and power bill added together are no more than your average electric rate before the panels were added.
 
2012-12-18 11:15:30 PM
www.aerojockey.com

/no solar panels
//cause I rent
 
2012-12-18 11:15:45 PM
So is this a genuine step towards reducing fossil fuel consumption or did some solar panel seller grease certain palms in Sacramento?
 
2012-12-18 11:17:51 PM
Hydrogen is the most abundant rresource in the universe.

That is all.
 
2012-12-18 11:18:47 PM
okay.
 
2012-12-18 11:19:21 PM
California is really good at spearheading changes that need to be made; unfortunately, California is also really bad at implementing them correctly on the first go-around
 
2012-12-18 11:19:48 PM
But you build one little tiny reactor in your garden shed, and they swoop in on you like you're some kind of a freak.
 
2012-12-18 11:20:23 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


Things that make you go hmmmmm....

Then why are Edison and DWP constantly whining about people using too much power and that they need to spend zillions of dollars to upgrade infrastructure to meet demand? Seems like they would see reduced demand AND extra sources of energy they could distribute to other users as a godsend.
 
2012-12-18 11:21:26 PM
Too bad the government and private industry colluded to keep free energy a secret in the 1940's, right on the brink of the biggest scientific discovery of all time: zero point energy. The Nazis discovered it at the end of WWII when they were trying to build time machines, and the breakthrough came shortly after the war. And then - nothing. It was completely stifled by the energy industries.
 
jvl
2012-12-18 11:22:36 PM
I pay 4% extra to help subsidize the solar panels installed on rich people's roofs?

I'm okay with this.
 
2012-12-18 11:23:41 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.


Sorry, I prefer electric like to candles. And it gets cold in the winter.

But then again, I'm living in a truck, so it really doesn't matter to me. So you morons can back that idea, if you want.
 
2012-12-18 11:25:07 PM
It's going to take time and money to utilize solar and other renewables, I think revisiting the rules on utilities integrating renewable energy into the grid is sensible. As a resident of California I am OK with paying a 4% premium until that happens.

Is this like the $65/year to cover people with pre-existing conditions that I'm supposed to be upset about?
 
2012-12-18 11:25:19 PM

tortilla burger: California is really good at spearheading changes that need to be made; unfortunately, California is also really bad at implementing them correctly on the first go-around


Very true, but you always need someone to try and fark up so others can make a better law afterwards. It would be cool if CA took the extra charge and gave it back to the public so we can get solar power for an affordable price.
 
2012-12-18 11:25:22 PM
Given the terrain and weather in California...this kind of makes sense. If they actually work, and they actually are a net gain, then...yeah. Can also look at it as 4% lower electrical bill for not being a dumbass and using what works.
 
2012-12-18 11:25:23 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Too bad the government and private industry colluded to keep free energy a secret in the 1940's, right on the brink of the biggest scientific discovery of all time: zero point energy. The Nazis discovered it at the end of WWII when they were trying to build time machines, and the breakthrough came shortly after the war. And then - nothing. It was completely stifled by the energy industries.



Shiat like this sounds crazy, but then you read about the Phoebus Cartel and you have to wonder...
 
2012-12-18 11:26:11 PM
It's called incentivizing, subby. A subsidy to one group always comes at the expense of another. Why does this specific instance surprise you?
 
2012-12-18 11:27:07 PM

LowbrowDeluxe: Given the terrain and weather in California...this kind of makes sense. If they actually work, and they actually are a net gain, then...yeah. Can also look at it as 4% lower electrical bill for not being a dumbass and using what works.


Serious question because I don't know much about the specifics of solar power, would your power supply be diminished in the winter (rainy/cloudy season in California)?
 
2012-12-18 11:27:39 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Too bad the government and private industry colluded to keep free energy a secret in the 1940's, right on the brink of the biggest scientific discovery of all time: zero point energy. The Nazis discovered it at the end of WWII when they were trying to build time machines, and the breakthrough came shortly after the war. And then - nothing. It was completely stifled by the energy industries.


Did this energy source involve separating children from their daemons?

/oh sorry, wrong universe
//and spoilers
 
2012-12-18 11:28:45 PM
No solar panels.

Because, many years ago before solar, I planted giant redwoods to block the sun from shining on my home - so it wouldn't require as much energy to cool it in the summer.

/and I still get solar panel folks knocking on my door
//I give them an incredulous look and ask them if they're paying attention
 
2012-12-18 11:29:28 PM

Insatiable Jesus: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Too bad the government and private industry colluded to keep free energy a secret in the 1940's, right on the brink of the biggest scientific discovery of all time: zero point energy. The Nazis discovered it at the end of WWII when they were trying to build time machines, and the breakthrough came shortly after the war. And then - nothing. It was completely stifled by the energy industries.


Shiat like this sounds crazy, but then you read about the Phoebus Cartel and you have to wonder...


Dude, if you're interested in this, check out The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. It's a fascinating investigation into 20th century claims of free energy, and how a looming breakthrough all but vanished mysteriously and abruptly.

The author reports his findings in a "just the facts" style, allowing the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Fascinating read.
 
2012-12-18 11:30:04 PM
As opposed to Texas where I have been in a legal battle with my city for 10 months to finish the alternative power project the initially approved but then halted construction after a local buipder complained.
 
2012-12-18 11:30:20 PM

ImpendingCynic: tenpoundsofcheese: yeah, would be great to have our electricity provided in the same manner that we get our crumbling bridges, and pot hole filled streets.

You mean because of people who benefit from said infrastructure but balk at paying for it?

Yeah, that manner does suck.


Mmmmmmmm.... they ARE paying for it, and the politicians are stealing it for other uses.
 
2012-12-18 11:30:20 PM

TheJoe03: Serious question because I don't know much about the specifics of solar power, would your power supply be diminished in the winter (rainy/cloudy season in California)?


Yes. That said, people tend to use more power in the summer to run air conditioning.
 
2012-12-18 11:31:32 PM

super_grass: So is this a genuine step towards reducing fossil fuel consumption or did some solar panel seller grease certain palms in Sacramento?


This. I'd love to hear who got what from whom.

Corruption, thy name is Sacramento.
 
2012-12-18 11:34:38 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.


No, you are a crazy socialist.

A government takeover is not a solution. We need to encourage competition. Why do I have only one option for electricity? Why only one option for water? What is this communist Russia? Where are the goddamn competitors? That is the only way to bring prices down to a reasonable level. As long as government selected monopolies control these things we will pay through the nose.
 
2012-12-18 11:37:33 PM
www.aerojockey.com

I'm a California homeowner with no solar panels and I'm ok with this.
 
2012-12-18 11:38:14 PM
I just get all my electricity from my neighbor's outside outlet. That counts as an alternative power source, right?
www.jfiveelectric.com
 
2012-12-18 11:42:15 PM
That whole article read like an industry spokesman op-ed.
 
2012-12-18 11:44:08 PM

MrEricSir: I'd also point out that if you're a homeowner with decent credit, you might be able to get a loan to install solar panels. Solar loans are usually set up so that your monthly loan payment and power bill added together are no more than your average electric rate before the panels were added.


I am dubious. It would take 100+ years to pay off the panels if paying at a rate that kept my payment below what I currently pay. Ok, I exagerate, but it would certainly be far more years than I want to owe someone money for. Say my power bill is $150/month and after I install the solar panels it is zero. I am guessing here but lets say the solar panels cost $20k between parts and labor. With no interest I would be looking at 11 freaking years of payments if they were to remain at $150 a month. With interest it would be more like 25 years.

All of which horribly conflicts with my goal to never be in debt to anyone again. Ok, I owe on my house for now and wont be able to pay that off for 10 years or so but no way in hell am I going to add anything else that I cant pay for in cash.
 
2012-12-18 11:45:23 PM
Go California! This'll drive the cost of solar panels and reverse power equipment down to livable levels, Now, they just need to incorporate the panels into roofing, so we can kill stones with one bird. How long does a solar panel last out in the weather, anyways?
 
2012-12-18 11:46:19 PM

vudukungfu: But you build one little tiny reactor in your garden shed, and they swoop in on you like you're some kind of a freak.

 
Yea nothing at al freakish about the dude....
 
 
i135.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-18 11:47:50 PM

Billybobgeorgebob: That whole article read like an industry spokesman op-ed.


Welcome to journalism 101: Why write something about a topic you don't care about when there are 50 other guys who really, really care about the topic and are just desperate to get their drafts into your hands?
 
2012-12-18 11:47:55 PM

TheJoe03: tortilla burger: California is really good at spearheading changes that need to be made; unfortunately, California is also really bad at implementing them correctly on the first go-around

Very true, but you always need someone to try and fark up so others can make a better law afterwards. It would be cool if CA took the extra charge and gave it back to the public so we can get solar power for an affordable price.


As I Californian I am much more skeptical. Not only is the state bad at implementing changes on the first go-around, they are bad at implementing them on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, nth go around. The best thing the CA government could do is disolve itself.
 
2012-12-18 11:48:22 PM
They don't care. They think they are saving the planet.
 
2012-12-18 11:51:03 PM
More well-intentioned laws that are having unintended consequences. I don't fault people for wanting to encourage society to use renewable sources, I fault them for failing to consider what laws on the books will force people to do.
 
2012-12-18 11:51:21 PM
Hasn't California been plagued with brownouts? Isn't that extra capacity simply providing electricity that they were previously unwilling, or unable to provide? This smells like bullshiat.
 
2012-12-18 11:52:01 PM

tortilla burger: California is really good at spearheading changes that need to be made; unfortunately, California is also really bad at implementing them correctly on the first go-around



Pretty much.
 
/new to California
//needs its own tag
 
2012-12-18 11:52:48 PM
Looking at my electric bill, I'm seeing at least ten dollars worth of fixed charges... so if I had solar panels (and didn't live in Utah) and I broke dead even kilowatt-wise with Rocky Mountain Power, I'd still end up paying them ten dollars. So they've already got their mark-up, maintenance cost, whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-it built into their billing infrastructure.

Not feeling sorry for PG&E
 
2012-12-18 11:56:40 PM

Mikeyworld: Go California! This'll drive the cost of solar panels and reverse power equipment down to livable levels, Now, they just need to incorporate the panels into roofing, so we can kill stones with one bird. How long does a solar panel last out in the weather, anyways?


20 years or so per http://scitizen.com/future-energies/how-long-do-solar-panels-last-_a-1 4-2897.html
Pay off is 12 years or so in per http://www.moneyweek.com/personal-finance/will-solar-panels-pay-for-th emselves-47322

Huge problem from my perspective. I dont want to be a slave to anyone for that long.
 
2012-12-18 11:56:48 PM

Pribar: vudukungfu: But you build one little tiny reactor in your garden shed, and they swoop in on you like you're some kind of a freak.
 
Yea nothing at al freakish about the dude....
 
 
[i135.photobucket.com image 350x450]


He go hunting with Dick Cheney?
 
2012-12-19 12:01:52 AM

Ima4nic8or: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.

No, you are a crazy socialist.

A government takeover is not a solution. We need to encourage competition. Why do I have only one option for electricity? Why only one option for water? What is this communist Russia? Where are the goddamn competitors? That is the only way to bring prices down to a reasonable level. As long as government selected monopolies control these things we will pay through the nose.


Competition for transmission wires? That's certainly free-market-y. You see, as I said before, I'm a crazy liberal, and I believe we tried competition for stuff like that and it didn't work (Philadelphia fire department, circa 1780 and New York DC electric wires in the Edison/Tesla days). I'm certainly open to the idea of putting enough solar panels everywhere to allow anyone to sell excess electricity and be their own power company, just like I support the idea that anyone could open their own ISP if the "tubes" of the internet are nationalized. Water is a bit more tricky, but if someone can present an actual viable solution to make monopolistic water utilities obsolete, I'd love to hear it. Until then, deal with it.
 
I want the method and medium of transmission as public property, not the actual companies behind it. But just keep whacking at that strawman.
 
2012-12-19 12:02:08 AM

Ima4nic8or:
Pay off is 12 years or so in per http://www.moneyweek.com/personal-finance/will-solar-panels-pay-for-th emselves-47322

Huge problem from my perspective. I don't want to be a slave to anyone for that long.


When I was in sixth grade, lo these many years, I wrote a report on solar energy. At the time, I vaguely recall that the payoff time was 10-12 years. *sigh*
 
2012-12-19 12:02:48 AM

Ima4nic8or: Mikeyworld: Go California! This'll drive the cost of solar panels and reverse power equipment down to livable levels, Now, they just need to incorporate the panels into roofing, so we can kill stones with one bird. How long does a solar panel last out in the weather, anyways?

20 years or so per http://scitizen.com/future-energies/how-long-do-solar-panels-last-_a-1 4-2897.html
Pay off is 12 years or so in per http://www.moneyweek.com/personal-finance/will-solar-panels-pay-for-th emselves-47322

Huge problem from my perspective. I dont want to be a slave to anyone for that long.


20 years is the expected life but I've seen people saying that as long as they're undamaged the ones that have been around 30-40 years are still pumping out electrons.
 
2012-12-19 12:04:43 AM
It's like a child deduction but THE SUN!
 
2012-12-19 12:05:04 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?

This always bugged me. Why not just have the energy generated by a perpetual motion machine? The science is essentially the same.


Because in the original script they were apparently ACTUALLY using humans for processing that the machines were not as good at/as efficient at. Our meat brains were much, much better suited for some tasks, apparently.

Some of that processing power was used to *maintain* the matrix, which was what allowed humans aware of it (and with sufficient mental fortitude/abilities) to alter their environment within it: Because they were *part* of the processing, they could alter it.

.. Executives decided this was 'too confusing' for moviegoers and made them change it.
 
2012-12-19 12:05:26 AM
hmm, an article with it's only sources Southern Edison and PG&E.

How remarkable the conclusions.


Why nary a mention of the cost of building new coal and natural gas and nuclear plants to meet the power needs and the transmission lines and approval process in their cost projections that have been saved by consumer photovoltaic supply.


funny that.
 
2012-12-19 12:07:21 AM
Oh and privatization lol.

The rules are shortsighted because eventually rates must be raised to make up the difference, according to Southern California Edison, which has joined with competitors to estimate potential losses.

/fees shorty fees
 
2012-12-19 12:08:04 AM
Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? Goddamn bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.
 
2012-12-19 12:11:18 AM
Power companies always have complained about this. They get all sorts of right of ways to run those power lines. California's goal is to have 33% of their power from renewables by 2020, but only some of that will be solar. Most home solar installations don't produce that much surplus energy, and when they are producing the most energy, it's when the grid needs it the most. Those same homes will buy it back at night. Utility companies actually build dams and pump water back up at night to do the same thing. They run the water back down during peak demand. It's basically a battery that lets them smooth their load. They actually build their own facilities to do this. Solar, they are getting without the outlay of cash. When these articles come along it's not because it's actually hurting the power companies, it's because it's not helping them as much as it could (if they could, for instance get it free). They pay for some PR releases and try to take money out of the pocket of people putting up solar. Why? Because most people putting up solar aren't part of a huge lobby. Utilities have all sorts of special perks that they won't give up. Their right of ways alone! Part of the social contract for letting them have all those right of ways is they have to charge and pay competitive rates. It's probably not practical to set up a market for selling home solar back to the company and negotiated rates. The companies hold publicly granted virtual monopolies on the delivery. Even on that day, very far off in the future, when we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, there will still be lots of demand for energy delivery.

The worst part of this article is the fact that the power companies are complaining trying to stir up sentiment with the people who they are charging more for electricity. Part of the deal with the public right of ways is energy commissions have some say in rate hikes. The power companies fight this tooth and nail. If they didn't have that monopoly though, they wouldn't be able to pass the price on to the consumer. They'd most likely have to eat it, because their competitors would undersell them. There is some competition in power delivery now, but it's mostly more costly, buy green power sorts of stuff. The power companies use the cheapest available power source and pay almost none of the social costs (like pollution downwind from their plant.)

This can effect poorer people. The solution is more programs to make low interest loans to low income households, and to let landlords sell to their renters at market prices. As long as those programs are in place, it's good economics.

Before anyone feels to sorry for the utilities, remember these are the same utilities that illegally manipulated the energy markets a decade ago.

Okay, maybe that was an incoherent rant. I see this silly argument over and over.  If they don't think they can make money on it, turn the grid over to the government. They can maintain it along with the roads and other public good projects.
 
2012-12-19 12:12:13 AM
Somehow, the entire Enron fark-up-the-ass has been forgotten entirely.

When your local production doesn't keep up, you pay double or triple for your power.


Thank Yahweh that you are getting microproduction all across the state. You farking morons. Stop trying to sneak in yet more ways to fark over your consumers.
 
2012-12-19 12:12:42 AM

Ima4nic8or: Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? Goddamn bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.


for what you would pay to power with gas etc you could buy twice the necessary amount of solar panels.

/go dave.
 
2012-12-19 12:14:38 AM

MrEricSir: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.


This reminds me of when their main grid station for the wind farm out here had a major component blow up, knocking out grid for close to 1000 wind turbines. Made my job easy for a few days until it came back on and all of my turbines were having a shiat fit over it.

/heard the pop in the distance from several miles away.
 
2012-12-19 12:16:04 AM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier:
But I'm just a crazy liberal.


i agree
 
2012-12-19 12:17:09 AM

Ima4nic8or: After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?


www.qwantz.com
 
2012-12-19 12:22:29 AM

dbaggins: Somehow, the entire Enron fark-up-the-ass has been forgotten entirely.

When your local production doesn't keep up, you pay double or triple for your power.


Thank Yahweh that you are getting microproduction all across the state. You farking morons. Stop trying to sneak in yet more ways to fark over your consumers.



Silicon Valley runs almost completely on Google windfarms and solar panels ? NO, but it would solve a hell of a lot of transmission requirements. Would you rather buy that power over wimpy powerlines from Oregon, or Washington, or Texas ? really ? well, that's what you are going to have to do next summer if you don't get with the program your dinosaurs.
 
2012-12-19 12:26:47 AM

lousyskater: MrEricSir: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.

This reminds me of when their main grid station for the wind farm out here had a major component blow up, knocking out grid for close to 1000 wind turbines. Made my job easy for a few days until it came back on and all of my turbines were having a shiat fit over it.

/heard the pop in the distance from several miles away.



Heh... not surprising
 
/that farm shows up on doppler radar
//I worked on those salt water intrusion gates near Crows Landing
 
2012-12-19 12:30:52 AM
"After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.
 
2012-12-19 12:32:03 AM

This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.


Not to mention the pollution standards that a home generator could never hope to match.
 
2012-12-19 12:34:22 AM

Girion47: This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.

Not to mention the pollution standards that a home generator could never hope to match.


Fark you... that air is on MY property!
 
2012-12-19 12:35:49 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: lousyskater: MrEricSir: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

Sshh, don't let them hear you say that. They might blow up your entire neighborhood.

This reminds me of when their main grid station for the wind farm out here had a major component blow up, knocking out grid for close to 1000 wind turbines. Made my job easy for a few days until it came back on and all of my turbines were having a shiat fit over it.

/heard the pop in the distance from several miles away.


Heh... not surprising
 
/that farm shows up on doppler radar
//I worked on those salt water intrusion gates near Crows Landing


Haha, yeah. We get text messages from a weather service for any kind of thunderstorms in the area so we can get down from the tower before any lightning shows up(rare as hell around here, but it still happens). We had to tweak the message settings so that it'd only send messages on lightning strikes within 30 miles because it was just sending us messages left and right because of the effect the farm has on doppler radar.
 
2012-12-19 12:35:55 AM
Good thing for me I don't live in California. Terrain and latitude physically rule out any sort of solar power for me. If I was charged a premium for not using solar - I'd make a big stink.

/So... Chop down a bunch of trees and flatten that mountain and change the declination of the planet then I would be able to produce my own solar power.
//They won't let me dam the nearby stream and generate my own hydro power.
 
2012-12-19 12:36:05 AM
So why is the government forcing utilities to pay an above market price for electricity generated by homeowners? The utilities could just pay the price they buy it from others and then everything would work out fine.

Or is this just a scheme to so that solar panel owners don't have put in storage systems for cloudy days and yet have the economic benefit as if they had? (They get to use the grid as a free battery essentially, they put power in on sunny days and take it out on cloudy days)
 
2012-12-19 12:36:17 AM

Girion47: This also happens with out soh panus.

[hitchcockandme.files.wordpress.com image 600x294] 

/obscure?


You want to put the solar panels on the ROOF? You mad geniuses!
 
2012-12-19 12:37:26 AM

Ima4nic8or: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.

No, you are a crazy socialist.

A government takeover is not a solution. We need to encourage competition. Why do I have only one option for electricity? Why only one option for water? What is this communist Russia? Where are the goddamn competitors? That is the only way to bring prices down to a reasonable level. As long as government selected monopolies control these things we will pay through the nose.



Like that neighborhood in Arizona where they let everyone choose their own trash company, so every day there's a dozen different trash trucks rumbling down the streets, spewing exhaust, and making noise, and all the garbage cans are always out because everyone's trash day is different.
 
yay free market!
 
2012-12-19 12:40:04 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Dude, if you're interested in this, check out The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. It's a fascinating investigation into 20th century claims of free energy, and how a looming breakthrough all but vanished mysteriously and abruptly.

The author reports his findings in a "just the facts" style, allowing the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Fascinating read.


Sounds like a crackpot book, to be honest. It's investigating claims that break every law of physics known, something that is quite literally impossible, and then "leaves the reader to draw his/her own conclusions" about something that is impossible.
 
2012-12-19 12:41:10 AM

This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.


But 240V is 240V regardless of how it is generated. So it's logically not the 'someone is incompetent so nobody can' safety reasoning behind banning just some methods.
 
2012-12-19 12:44:31 AM

jack21221: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Dude, if you're interested in this, check out The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. It's a fascinating investigation into 20th century claims of free energy, and how a looming breakthrough all but vanished mysteriously and abruptly.

The author reports his findings in a "just the facts" style, allowing the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Fascinating read.

Sounds like a crackpot book, to be honest. It's investigating claims that break every law of physics known, something that is quite literally impossible, and then "leaves the reader to draw his/her own conclusions" about something that is impossible.


Physics is heading towards zero-point, not away from it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy

In the early 20th century this would have been called 'the ether' or something similar.
 
2012-12-19 12:47:01 AM

leadmetal: This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.

But 240V is 240V regardless of how it is generated. So it's logically not the 'someone is incompetent so nobody can' safety reasoning behind banning just some methods.


So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?
 
2012-12-19 12:52:58 AM
Wow. Am I the only one who's having trouble summoning any outrage over this?

If a house burned down to the ground and never purchased electricity ever again, no one would think it unfair that that house never paid another penny for grid maintenance and upgrades. As the house is no longer a PG&E customer, it's no longer required to contribute to pay to maintain the grid it no longer uses.

Now replace "burned down to the ground" with "got solar panels and produced more electricity than it uses."
 
2012-12-19 12:55:01 AM

badLogic: leadmetal: This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.

But 240V is 240V regardless of how it is generated. So it's logically not the 'someone is incompetent so nobody can' safety reasoning behind banning just some methods.

So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?


Huh? WTF?
Again, if 240V comes from A how is that safer if it comes from B?

This is simple logic. Why do you trust Joe Blow not to kill you with generation method A, but not trust Bob Blow who uses generation method B? Why is the guy who uses A not presumed to be a moron?

It doesn't make any rational sense to do it that way. Regardless of generation method the same automatic switchover equipment to isolate the home from the grid or manual throwing of the main breaker is required.
 
2012-12-19 12:55:13 AM
I live just a few miles from the Livermore wind farm, which produces absolutely nothing, so I'm NOT getting a kick out of this.
 
2012-12-19 12:58:26 AM
Cant I just do away with the risk to the lineman by totally disconnecting the line coming in from PG&E? How could anyone object then?

As for the concerns about the air: feh. I am willing to breath it. It would be the smell of freedom. Air quality should be determined by the free market. If you want cleaner air, pollute less. If you think it is plenty clean you can chose some dirtier method to generate power. In the end those in the majority will win out. If most folks want really clean air then most will chose clean methods of power generation, cars, etc.. If most folks are willing to put a bit more stuff in the air to save some money then they would on occasion chose dirtier methods. Democracy at work.
 
2012-12-19 12:58:27 AM

OgreMagi: I live just a few miles from the Livermore wind farm, which produces absolutely nothing, so I'm NOT getting a kick out of this.


That's because those old Vestas turbines from the 80's are PoS's.
 
2012-12-19 01:00:22 AM

This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason.  "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.

 
 
You don't throw a chain across the lines? That's almost standard procedure. The danger you're talkin' about isn't from solar panels, It's been part of your job since you started. Portable generators have been around for three decades. There is a main breaker with a reverse trip that should be manditory with all typres of generation, but the smart lineman uses a shorting bar...everytime.

 
 
2012-12-19 01:01:10 AM

Pribar: vudukungfu: But you build one little tiny reactor in your garden shed, and they swoop in on you like you're some kind of a freak.
 
Yea nothing at al freakish about the dude....

[i135.photobucket.com image 350x450]


Man... Conan O'Brian has really let himself go hasn't he?
 
2012-12-19 01:03:25 AM

lousyskater: OgreMagi: I live just a few miles from the Livermore wind farm, which produces absolutely nothing, so I'm NOT getting a kick out of this.

 
That's because those old Vestas turbines from the 80's are PoS's.
 
 
They were kind of proof-of-concept.  They proved several things.  The man-power to keep them maintained was massive once they reached a certain age.  The amount of energy produced was minimal.  And environmentalists hate them because they are "bird choppers".
 
2012-12-19 01:04:07 AM

Billybobgeorgebob: That whole article read like an industry spokesman op-ed.


Pretty much. I especially like how they pretend that the cost saved from solar panels is somehow equal to the fixed costs of the companies.

If you actually believe the pile of bull that i TFA, I have a bridge to sell you...
 
2012-12-19 01:05:57 AM

pudding7:
Like that neighborhood in Arizona where they let everyone choose their own trash company, so every day there's a dozen different trash trucks rumbling down the streets, spewing exhaust, and making noise, and all the garbage cans are always out because everyone's trash day is different.
 
yay free market!



We have the same thing here in L.A., too. There seems to be three or four different garbage collection companies that service our 'hood. And it's possible to see two different companies out on the very same street on the very same day. Seems incredibly inefficient, if you ask me.
 
2012-12-19 01:10:29 AM
www.gamasutra.com
/hot solar sail
//with the money i'll save on solar...
///20yr fixed, no lein, 3k ballon payout, 3 tier, moniter, install, permits

fine, put your panels on my roof. but my roof better not leak for the next 60 yrs. or attract lightning. or drivebys and nosy neighbors. and get off my grid(TM)
 
2012-12-19 01:16:24 AM
"So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?"

I wouldn't go that far as to say someone would even consider doing that if they were aware of the hazards. There's many more than meets the eye. For instance, even if you opened a circuit breaker, what indication would you have that it is completely and sufficiently open? When's the last time that vintage 1940 CB has been operated? Who says some random guy isn't gonna wonder why the power is off and attempt to reclose it? Most equipment on a house is rather dilapidated. When we are issued a "clearance" (a legal term that indicates that all specified sources of energy are removed) there are many criteria that must be met. There are strict outlines in the law governing our work to keep us safe. When you have an unqualified or unauthorized person (another legal term), it throws a completely uncontrollable variable into the mix. Padlocks and accident prevention tags may only go so far. We had one instance where a farking contractor cut one of my locks and fired up a diesel generator because he wanted to get to work on an apartment complex. He energized the supposedly dead station I was working in with 30+kV through the transformer. The station wasn't even supposed to be in service yet; it was in the final stages of completion. OSHA fined that asshole's company a quarter million dollars for that fark-up. He was very close to earning himself a blanket and soap party from our crew additionally.

It's just ignorance on someone's behalf. That's all, really. No one would intentionally perform such an act.
 
2012-12-19 01:20:46 AM

trentrockport: Looking at my electric bill, I'm seeing at least ten dollars worth of fixed charges... so if I had solar panels (and didn't live in Utah) and I broke dead even kilowatt-wise with Rocky Mountain Power, I'd still end up paying them ten dollars. So they've already got their mark-up, maintenance cost, whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-it built into their billing infrastructure.

Not feeling sorry for PG&E


Except that's not their whole fixed cost.

The sensible thing to do would be to make the whole fixed cost a fixed cost on your bill and then you can sell all the solar back to the utility that you want (at least until it reaches the point that everyone's solar on the grid adds up to their variable load--once it reaches that point the utility should not be forced to buy power that will basically be wasted.)

Ima4nic8or: Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? Goddamn bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.


Pollution. Their plants are much cleaner than any fossil-fuel burning system you put in.

This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.


That, also. The solar rigs without batteries are designed to be controlled by the incoming line power (essential anyway if they are to feed back onto the grid) and simply go dead if they aren't being energized, thus eliminating the backfeed problem.

leadmetal: But 240V is 240V regardless of how it is generated. So it's logically not the 'someone is incompetent so nobody can' safety reasoning behind banning just some methods.


No--the problem is if you have a source of 240V that's independent of the grid and yet tied to it. That is very correctly illegal. You can have your own backup generator with a transfer switch so there's no physical way the generator power can go out on the grid. Connect your generator to the grid and if the grid goes down you have linemen who think it's cold when it's really hot.

It's like when you unplug something from the wall you think it's cold and safe to work with. I've got stuff around here that's not cold when unplugged--and it came with big warnings stuck on it and the internal battery was shipped disconnected.
 
2012-12-19 01:23:36 AM

jack21221: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Dude, if you're interested in this, check out The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. It's a fascinating investigation into 20th century claims of free energy, and how a looming breakthrough all but vanished mysteriously and abruptly.

The author reports his findings in a "just the facts" style, allowing the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Fascinating read.

Sounds like a crackpot book, to be honest. It's investigating claims that break every law of physics known, something that is quite literally impossible, and then "leaves the reader to draw his/her own conclusions" about something that is impossible.


Eh, I probably didn't do it justice in my description. It's a very dry and matter-of-fact book, actually, but quite compelling given the subject matter. Nothing crackpot about it, unless a highly reputable journalist investigating claims about military experiments during WWII is "crackpot."
 
2012-12-19 01:25:48 AM
It's not asinine, cocksucker. Jesus Hopscotch Christ. The idiocy! I am out of words.
 
2012-12-19 01:27:49 AM

This poster says: "So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?"

I wouldn't go that far as to say someone would even consider doing that if they were aware of the hazards. There's many more than meets the eye. For instance, even if you opened a circuit breaker, what indication would you have that it is completely and sufficiently open? When's the last time that vintage 1940 CB has been operated? Who says some random guy isn't gonna wonder why the power is off and attempt to reclose it? Most equipment on a house is rather dilapidated. When we are issued a "clearance" (a legal term that indicates that all specified sources of energy are removed) there are many criteria that must be met. There are strict outlines in the law governing our work to keep us safe. When you have an unqualified or unauthorized person (another legal term), it throws a completely uncontrollable variable into the mix. Padlocks and accident prevention tags may only go so far. We had one instance where a farking contractor cut one of my locks and fired up a diesel generator because he wanted to get to work on an apartment complex. He energized the supposedly dead station I was working in with 30+kV through the transformer. The station wasn't even supposed to be in service yet; it was in the final stages of completion. OSHA fined that asshole's company a quarter million dollars for that fark-up. He was very close to earning himself a blanket and soap party from our crew additionally.

It's just ignorance on someone's behalf. That's all, really. No one would intentionally perform such an act.


We had a guy try from the contractor that was handling the landing of the padmount transformer cables into our newest turbines try to bypass LOTO to get in to do some work on the transformer. We were in the turbine commissioning the turbine for it's initial ramp up stage and heard him roll up in his truck and start messing with the lock to get it open, so we poked our heads out to ask what was up. He tells us he needs to get in and we reply with you cant because that transformer is hot. He no shiat puts his hands up to the transformer to feel for heat.
 
2012-12-19 01:33:04 AM

This poster says: "So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?"

I wouldn't go that far as to say someone would even consider doing that if they were aware of the hazards. There's many more than meets the eye. For instance, even if you opened a circuit breaker, what indication would you have that it is completely and sufficiently open? When's the last time that vintage 1940 CB has been operated? Who says some random guy isn't gonna wonder why the power is off and attempt to reclose it? Most equipment on a house is rather dilapidated. When we are issued a "clearance" (a legal term that indicates that all specified sources of energy are removed) there are many criteria that must be met. There are strict outlines in the law governing our work to keep us safe. When you have an unqualified or unauthorized person (another legal term), it throws a completely uncontrollable variable into the mix. Padlocks and accident prevention tags may only go so far. We had one instance where a farking contractor cut one of my locks and fired up a diesel generator because he wanted to get to work on an apartment complex. He energized the supposedly dead station I was working in with 30+kV through the transformer. The station wasn't even supposed to be in service yet; it was in the final stages of completion. OSHA fined that asshole's company a quarter million dollars for that fark-up. He was very close to earning himself a blanket and soap party from our crew additionally.

It's just ignorance on someone's behalf. That's all, really. No one would intentionally perform such an act.


you sound like a very important wire-puller. thanks for keeping us all safe at night.
 
2012-12-19 01:46:15 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


are the privately produced power payments adjusted by supply and demand?

If the state operated power company is giving out a fixed amount out, that's California style retarded.
 
2012-12-19 01:46:39 AM
"We had a guy try from the contractor that was handling the landing of the padmount transformer cables into our newest turbines try to bypass LOTO to get in to do some work on the transformer. We were in the turbine commissioning the turbine for it's initial ramp up stage and heard him roll up in his truck and start messing with the lock to get it open, so we poked our heads out to ask what was up. He tells us he needs to get in and we reply with you cant because that transformer is hot. He no shiat puts his hands up to the transformer to feel for heat."

This kinda stuff happens all too often, you know it as well as I. Sad part is that some operators seem alright with some working without a OKTO or CLEARANCE. Glad that guy didn't end up mangling himself even though he's no clue about the station's equipment


"you sound like a very important wire-puller. thanks for keeping us all safe at night."

relcec, I'm not a narrowback wire-puller, smartass--that's a completely different trade. Get your facts straight before you run your mouth at me.
 
2012-12-19 01:48:51 AM
the kid just asked how come he could have some authorized technician (authorized by the farking utility) install solar panels but not a diesel generator and you took the opportunity to strut around preening yourself and explaining how highly technical and skilled your job is and how very dangerous it was and how likely he, johnny jackoff homeowner was to get him killed if he tried that shiat. wtf?

yes, I'm sure you're a lady killer, super intelligent, well paid, and lead a dangerous and thrilling life mr. pg&e man, when not cleaning up downed telephone poles.
 
2012-12-19 02:00:26 AM

leadmetal: Huh? WTF?
Again, if 240V comes from A how is that safer if it comes from B?
This is simple logic. Why do you trust Joe Blow not to kill you with generation method A, but not trust Bob Blow who uses generation method B? Why is the guy who uses A not presumed to be a moron?
It doesn't make any rational sense to do it that way. Regardless of generation method the same automatic switchover equipment to isolate the home from the grid or manual throwing of the main breaker is required.

 
No one actually answered your question.  They assumed you meant some kind of illegal hookup, but you're asking why you can't do it legally, will all the 'i's dotted and 't's crossed from the power company.

 
 
2012-12-19 02:01:25 AM

relcec: the kid just asked how come he could have some authorized technician (authorized by the farking utility) install solar panels but not a diesel generator and you took the opportunity to strut around preening yourself and explaining how highly technical and skilled your job is and how very dangerous it was and how likely he, johnny jackoff homeowner was to get him killed if he tried that shiat. wtf?

yes, I'm sure you're a lady killer, super intelligent, well paid, and lead a dangerous and thrilling life mr. pg&e man, when not cleaning up downed telephone poles.



Oh give him a break.  It isn't every day you can Fark about what you do as a living.
 
2012-12-19 02:03:12 AM

badLogic: leadmetal: This poster says: "After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF?"

With good reason. Because it is very possible to KILL me or my crew if everyone was allowed to generate in parallel with the grid. Transformers aren't directional; you generate 240v single phase for your house, and it will backfeed into the grid, even if I have a line out of service. However you generate it, it will feed into the distribution system stepping up to the tens of thousands of volts. Let's say I'm working on a supposedly dead line then someone turns on a generator somewhere without opening their main dx. That someone just energized what I'm working on with lethal levels of voltage. Co-generation is marked on area maps by a power system engineer so we know where to go to lock out their switchgear so that this cannot happen. "Rouge generation" (as it is called) can end someone's life.

It is a good thing it is illegal. You can't trust johnny jackoff the homeowner with these sorts of things.

But 240V is 240V regardless of how it is generated. So it's logically not the 'someone is incompetent so nobody can' safety reasoning behind banning just some methods.

So, when your rogue generation kills a linemen, you'll be ok with explaining that to their family, friends and co-workers?


So tell me, how many linemen die every day from the juice pumped in from all those solar panels? 240=240 from solar or fossil or hydrogen or whatever.

/automatic switches...how do they work?
 
2012-12-19 02:04:35 AM
Those are power lines. The telephone company typically pays us to use our poles with their telecom equipment. Authorized person is a legal term, it is not directly referring to a person who is authorized to perform specified work, or a qualified person (which is a completely different legal term).

Keep digging. I'm sure everyone else here wants to see you put your foot in your mouth again. But you are amusing me how you're taking it personally and attacking me, so I'll entertain you.

I don't work for PG&E, either.

I've never seen anyone stuff their foot in their mouth so badly before.
 
2012-12-19 02:10:53 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


The rules were created to protect consumers, obviously back in the day it wasn't possible for everyone to generate power. My bill is split between power generation and power transmission. The fixed costs of transmission should include the companies fixed cost for transmission. Not sure what the rules are in CA but something similar should cover it. If I sold power to the utility I'd only get the generation rate, and power I used I'd still be charged the transmission + generation rate.

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.


So rather than 4% more on the bill there would be 4% more on my taxes somewhere. Rather than have utilities regulated by government and generally held accountable we will have politicians in charge and effectively have no accountability.
 
2012-12-19 02:15:02 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


Oh so now you care about how less fortunate individuals fair in a free market.
 
2012-12-19 02:17:53 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: Pud: What is I use another power source? Like the one I saw in this documentary a few years ago. Do I get the discount then?
 
[t0.gstatic.com image 259x194]


The Matrix was not a documentary!  It was a science fiction film.


CAN YOU HEAR ME ALRIGHT? THAT JOKE WENT OVER YOUR HEAD SO FAST THAT IT BROKE THE SOUND BARRIER AND YOU MIGHT BE EXPERIENCING SO RINGING IN YOUR EARS RIGHT NOW. HOPEFULLY IT WILL PASS.
 
2012-12-19 02:19:20 AM

venerant: AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.

Oh so now you care about how less fortunate individuals fair in a free market.


If the rate of return on selling back to the power company is artificially inflated, probably due to legislation meant to incentivise selling back power at an attractive rate, then it isn't a free market.

Get a clue before commenting please.
 
2012-12-19 02:20:27 AM

Pray 4 Mojo: Not to mention the pollution standards that a home generator could never hope to match.

Fark you... that air is on MY property!


^Funny

Ima4nic8or: As for the concerns about the air: feh. I am willing to breath it. It would be the smell of freedom.


^Funnier
 
2012-12-19 02:25:12 AM

Ima4nic8or: Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? ******* bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.


Do you know how much gasoline or diesel it would take to run your home for a month? You're looking at 20 gallons of fuel PER DAY depending on the output wattage of the generator - Propane is better, but it will still burn through 250 pounds in under 2 weeks. (10Kw @ 50% load)

Natural Gas is by far the cheapest way to go; you can run a 10Kw whole house generator on natural gas (@ 50% load) for around $1 an hour - But that's still $600+/month.

Not to mention that most home generators (even the built in "standby" ones) aren't designed for extended usage; for that you would need a much more expensive water cooled type unit. Maintenance on either one would eat you alive. :)

I looked into all this when I was going to install a 13Kw standby generator in my home (I'm on the Texas gulf coast, "Hurricane Central", as my neighbor behind me has one that he used all through the 2 weeks we were out of power after Hurricane Ike. After picking his brain and looking into it more, I discovered it's cheaper just to live in a hotel for a month than it is to install, maintain, and power one of those standby generators. Not to mention those damn things are LOUD! I don't see how they managed to sleep with that thing running all day & night. :)
 
2012-12-19 02:36:29 AM
Ima4nic8or: Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? Goddamn bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.

While I realize that this is probably a troll,. it's exactly because of people like lma4nic8or why america is failing.
 
2012-12-19 02:37:54 AM

jvl: I pay 4% extra to help subsidize the solar panels installed on rich people's roofs?

I'm okay with this.


or you could just lease the panels for less than the difference of your current bill comparred to your new bill.

http://www.solarcity.com/residential/solar-lease.aspx
 
2012-12-19 02:39:56 AM

USP .45: venerant: AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.

Oh so now you care about how less fortunate individuals fair in a free market.

If the rate of return on selling back to the power company is artificially inflated, probably due to legislation meant to incentivise selling back power at an attractive rate, then it isn't a free market.

Get a clue before commenting please.


Le point: it went thataway.
 
2012-12-19 02:40:23 AM

Loren: No--the problem is if you have a source of 240V that's independent of the grid and yet tied to it. That is very correctly illegal. You can have your own backup generator with a transfer switch so there's no physical way the generator power can go out on the grid. Connect your generator to the grid and if the grid goes down you have linemen who think it's cold when it's really hot.

It's like when you unplug something from the wall you think it's cold and safe to work with. I've got stuff around here that's not cold when unplugged--and it came with big warnings stuck on it and the internal battery was shipped disconnected.


Huh? My exact argument is that it's a problem of an independent source of generation. 240 from the illegal fossil fuel generator is no different than the 240 from the solar system. Yet the law as reported here is based upon how that independent generation is done, not to require the proper equipment, but just banning certain methods of independent generation. Makes no sense from a safety point of view. A moron could just pick a legal method and create the same danger.

Thus I contend, the law is the way it is for reasons other than safety. All the law would need to do is require the transfer switch, the proper equipment, not limit the generation methods. That is if it were for safety.
 
2012-12-19 02:41:14 AM

venerant: AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.

Oh so now you care about how less fortunate individuals fair in a free market.



'fare'
 
2012-12-19 02:42:20 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil



you really think that PG&E is doing anything other than what the stupid law requires them to do in the first place? unintended consequences
 
2012-12-19 02:42:33 AM

Ima4nic8or: Cant I just do away with the risk to the lineman by totally disconnecting the line coming in from PG&E? How could anyone object then?


It's called a transfer switch. Many people have them. They are configured to automatically disconnect the house from the grid in the event of a power failure.

As for the concerns about the air: feh. I am willing to breath it. It would be the smell of freedom. Air quality should be determined by the free market. If you want cleaner air, pollute less. If you think it is plenty clean you can chose some dirtier method to generate power. In the end those in the majority will win out. If most folks want really clean air then most will chose clean methods of power generation, cars, etc.. If most folks are willing to put a bit more stuff in the air to save some money then they would on occasion chose dirtier methods. Democracy at work.

The problem is that when I invest in a clean energy solution, I'm paying more for the same product, with no benefit to me (as one person's energy production is only responsible for a minute proportion of all pollution). So there's no individual incentive. The free market is predicated on individual incentive, and you can never expect the free market to produce results inconsistent with individual incentive, even when there would be a group incentive for making some choice. It's a classic Nash Inequillibrium.
 
2012-12-19 02:42:54 AM
Also relcec, since you're interested, let me tell you: "lady killer, intelligent", whatever. I do what I do. I drink like a viking and made a somewhat anti-social hobby out of racing bikes and my m3. Sometimes drinking before, sometimes after. I hold journey-level titles in two different trades. I went through two different apprenticeships. I'm in the 3rd year pursuing my degree. I'm 28 years old and by far the youngest in this position at my company. Nothing comes for free--it cost me my youth. I still ask myself every day if trading the best years of my life for material success was worth it. Straight out of high school, I never farked around. I've lost so much in order to gain what I've got now, if I had the chance to do it all over again I'd probably reconsider.

Again, nothing comes for free. All the shiat and glitter you can collect gets old, and you get tired of it eventually. You can only hope that it's later than sooner. Then it's simply a matter of working yourself to death. But not before you get some jerk calling you a wire puller on fark.
 
2012-12-19 02:49:01 AM

Southern100: Natural Gas is by far the cheapest way to go; you can run a 10Kw whole house generator on natural gas (@ 50% load) for around $1 an hour - But that's still $600+/month.


thank you for the numbers. I have always wondered what the quick answer was.
mass produced power = dirt cheap
TADA
 
2012-12-19 03:25:17 AM

namatad: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil


you really think that PG&E is doing anything other than what the stupid law requires them to do in the first place? unintended consequences


Californians are a bit skittish aboit power companies these days. It's almost like they recently ILLEGALLY farked us in the ass for a whole year. And basically got away with it.
 
2012-12-19 03:33:39 AM
I was around in 2001 when Texas power companies fsxked us Californians ... I mean "arbitraged" us to the tune of a million dollars a day.

Rolling blackouts + deadlines at work = urge to kill Texans rising
 
2012-12-19 03:38:45 AM
P.S. "Come to California, have a few laughs ... We've privatized our utilities ... It'll be great..." 

www.originalprop.com
 
2012-12-19 03:46:40 AM
I talked to PGE ("piggy") about getting solar panels. The guy asked me what my electric bill was. I said it was 27 bucks a month. He politely chuckled.

I'm all for solar power. I just don't use enough to justify the cost of it. If I'm subsidizing someone else's, that's OK, especially since it's, oh about a buck a month.

It might be up to 30 this year because I have two laptops and not just one.
 
2012-12-19 04:15:42 AM

Lt_Ryan: AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.

The rules were created to protect consumers, obviously back in the day it wasn't possible for everyone to generate power. My bill is split between power generation and power transmission. The fixed costs of transmission should include the companies fixed cost for transmission. Not sure what the rules are in CA but something similar should cover it. If I sold power to the utility I'd only get the generation rate, and power I used I'd still be charged the transmission + generation rate.

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: We could nationalize the wires and treat it like a public good, similar to the highways or (hopefully) the internet. Then use public money to upgrade and maintain it - similar to the Department of Transportation on the state level.
 
But I'm just a crazy liberal.

So rather than 4% more on the bill there would be 4% more on my taxes somewhere. Rather than have utilities regulated by government and generally held accountable we will have politicians in charge and effectively have no accountability.



Again, the difference is that I don't support the government owning the actual power production. Only the means of transmission. Those big buildings with turbines are separate from the wires that squirrels climb on.
 
2012-12-19 04:26:33 AM

Insatiable Jesus: I don't know how it works in CA, but in GA you are FORCED to hook up your generation system to the grid and sell it back.


No one is allowed to be off-grid in GA? That sounds weird. Though I do recall a guy in Colorado back in the seventies who was off grid and supposedly had some trouble getting the rep from the power company to understand why he didn't have to pay an electrical bill. But in his case, it took a while to make the rep understand that he was not hooked up, and therefore the "connection charge" or whatever didn't apply--there is no obligation to be connected to the grid in Colorado.

In Colorado, we have some houses that can't get connected to the grid even if the residents wanted to be. Others could get connected a great cost, and find it cheaper to put in solar and a back-up generator.
 
2012-12-19 04:33:29 AM
"Planet's Primary, Alpha Centauri A, blasts unimaginable quantities of energy into space each instant, and virtually every joule of it is wasted entirely. Incomprehensible riches can be ours if we can but stretch our arms wide enough to dip from this eternal river of wealth." - CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
 
2012-12-19 05:04:26 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: jack21221: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Dude, if you're interested in this, check out The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. It's a fascinating investigation into 20th century claims of free energy, and how a looming breakthrough all but vanished mysteriously and abruptly.

The author reports his findings in a "just the facts" style, allowing the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Fascinating read.

Sounds like a crackpot book, to be honest. It's investigating claims that break every law of physics known, something that is quite literally impossible, and then "leaves the reader to draw his/her own conclusions" about something that is impossible.

Eh, I probably didn't do it justice in my description. It's a very dry and matter-of-fact book, actually, but quite compelling given the subject matter. Nothing crackpot about it, unless a highly reputable journalist investigating claims about military experiments during WWII is "crackpot."


Let me save you some trouble. Zero point energy (the idea of free energy, not the quantum energy state) is complete nonsense. People investigating it doesn't mean diddly. Folks have been investigating perpetual motion machines for hundreds of years. They have never worked. They will never work.
 
2012-12-19 05:13:57 AM
My parents live in L.A. and recently installed solar panels. It's pretty cool - you can actually see the meter ticking backwards.

If they actually owned the panels, any unused energy they produced would feed into the grid and they'd be entitled to compensation from SoCal Edison. However, they decided to lease (I think they were worried about what would happen if the solar company went bust) and so they don't get any money back - but their energy bills have obviously decreased considerably.

My parents are part of Big Sun.
 
2012-12-19 05:25:41 AM
Engineer here, with some familiarity with the numbers.

On average, consumer rates nationwide are about $0.10/KWH.
However, electrical companies BUY power in bulk on a market. It's about $0.06/KWH. That's their profit margin that pays for their massive distribution network.

Some people say the power at the consumer is much more valuable because the grid is inefficient and has transmission losses. But on average, losses are LESS THAN 7% in the USA.

Solar is valuable in that it provides power that doesn't stress the transmission system, during hours of peak loading due to air conditioning. That's very true.

But it's also unreliable and unpredictable, and runs the risk of power not being available and crashing the grid. This kinda makes it suck, I mean you wouldn't want to build a mega-expensive nuclear power plant with 300MW of capacity and not run it or sell it 90% of the time and just keep it in reserve to back up solar. In fact nuclear CAN'T operate that way, sudden throttle changes up OR down when the weather surprises you aren't even possible. So this forces the power company to buy technology with rapid throttle controls like natural gas turbines, which are relatively expensive to fuel. The problem is they're buying equipment capacity that they don't get to utilize, though.

And there's the same issue of transmission capacity. The lines need to be rated so they won't burn up when fully loaded between source and destination, even if the destination has solar and doesn't use much of that capacity. This does create that same problem, we still have the purchase that equipment even if it's not used much so the savings are debatable in that respect.

Now if you're just reducing your own usage at any given moment, the logic doesn't have any holes in it.

But selling power back to the grid at the consumer sale price- $0.10/KWH- doesn't seem right. You're getting a service for free, and that situation just can't last forever, which can throw off estimates of your long-term return on investment.

In the sunny southern parts of the USA, we get about 5 solar hours per day averaged across the course of a year. So for each KW of installation rated capacity, you get 1825 KWH of generated power. Worth $182.50 if you're getting the $0.10/KWH rate, but only $109.50 if the power company gave you the $0.06/KWH rate it normally pays producers.

Solar prices are crazy. About a year ago, they went down to $2/watt ($2,000 for 1KW system), but now some are almost $1/watt. Now that could mean it'll almost pay for itself in 5.5 years IF you keep seeing the $0.10/KWH payoff. However, rooftop installation costs are probably gonna be like $1/watt, as much as the panel. That's for the installation and inverter. The thing is, sloppy installation can also damage the roof over time, and if you ever work with contractors, it's hard to tell who's gonna do what without being an expert. The cost of a premature roof replacement- and uninstalling and reinstalling all that solar- could be like $10K+. You could save on installation via DIY, and if you're good you may be closer to guaranteeing the long-term safety of the roof, but you could also be the guy who screwed up his roof by a bad DIY job.
 
2012-12-19 05:30:09 AM
This is wonderful. In Cape Town, South Africa, solar-panel users are in fact charged an extra service fee by local municipalities, which is an outrage.
 
2012-12-19 06:36:31 AM
Hmmm, government wants to encourage efficiency and alternative energy use to save on fossil fuel, so it employs a subsidy available to anyone willing to make an up front investment. That's a whaddaya call that, um, a market-based solution? No, no, just kidding, it's teh socialisms.
 
2012-12-19 07:29:44 AM

diaphoresis: Hydrogen is the most abundant rresource in the universe.

That is all.


I would say time and energy are probably the most abundant resources.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element though.

It is almost never found as pure H2 though, but instead as part of a compound. These compounds require energy to seperate the componant H2 out, reducing the overall availability of readily useful Hydrogen.
 
2012-12-19 07:44:04 AM
arcanumdeepsecrets.files.wordpress.comupload.wikimedia.org
*ahem*
 
2012-12-19 07:51:41 AM

USP .45: venerant: AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.

Oh so now you care about how less fortunate individuals fair in a free market.

If the rate of return on selling back to the power company is artificially inflated, probably due to legislation meant to incentivise selling back power at an attractive rate, then it isn't a free market.

Get a clue before commenting please.


Um, no matter which side of this argument your on, public utilities are regulated monopolies...pretty farking far from a free market situation to begin with.
 
2012-12-19 07:54:33 AM

Ima4nic8or: MrEricSir: I'd also point out that if you're a homeowner with decent credit, you might be able to get a loan to install solar panels. Solar loans are usually set up so that your monthly loan payment and power bill added together are no more than your average electric rate before the panels were added.

I am dubious. It would take 100+ years to pay off the panels if paying at a rate that kept my payment below what I currently pay. Ok, I exagerate, but it would certainly be far more years than I want to owe someone money for. Say my power bill is $150/month and after I install the solar panels it is zero. I am guessing here but lets say the solar panels cost $20k between parts and labor. With no interest I would be looking at 11 freaking years of payments if they were to remain at $150 a month. With interest it would be more like 25 years.

All of which horribly conflicts with my goal to never be in debt to anyone again. Ok, I owe on my house for now and wont be able to pay that off for 10 years or so but no way in hell am I going to add anything else that I cant pay for in cash.


There are some companies in some areas that will put up solar panels on your house for free, if you've got the right pitch, square footage, etc.

You get the power, they get the tax credit, is my understanding.

I'd read any fine print EXTREMELY carefully, of course.

No idea what would happen if the tax credit went away.
 
2012-12-19 08:07:21 AM

namatad: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil


you really think that PG&E is doing anything other than what the stupid law requires them to do in the first place? unintended consequences


It's not like anyone ever made a mainstream movie about PG&E doing something illegal...
 
2012-12-19 08:12:30 AM

Ima4nic8or: Ok, now I am mad. This article got me to wondering if I could escape PG&E by simply installing a full time diesel generator. After a google search it turns out that creating residential power using gas, diesel, or propane among other methods is illegal. WTF? Why is it anyone's business how I power my own home? Goddamn bunch of facists whores for PG&E is what the government is.


Does that law cover emergency backup generators?
 
2012-12-19 08:16:50 AM

TheJoe03: LowbrowDeluxe: Given the terrain and weather in California...this kind of makes sense. If they actually work, and they actually are a net gain, then...yeah. Can also look at it as 4% lower electrical bill for not being a dumbass and using what works.

Serious question because I don't know much about the specifics of solar power, would your power supply be diminished in the winter (rainy/cloudy season in California)?


Sure. But solar CAN be viable even in more northern areas, and pretty cloudy ones, to boot.

Problem is, a lot of our housing stock was built when heating oil was 30 cents a gallon, so it's not exactly efficient to heat, for example.

Solar's a great ADJUNCT, and we should be throwing serious Manhattan-project money at it, but realistically, it won't be replacing coal, oil, or gas anytime soon.
 
2012-12-19 08:21:42 AM

Contents Under Pressure: I talked to PGE ("piggy") about getting solar panels. The guy asked me what my electric bill was. I said it was 27 bucks a month. He politely chuckled.

I'm all for solar power. I just don't use enough to justify the cost of it. If I'm subsidizing someone else's, that's OK, especially since it's, oh about a buck a month.

It might be up to 30 this year because I have two laptops and not just one.


I'd get a second opinion from a company that's not a monopoly whining about solar panels.

They may still not be right for you, of course.
 
2012-12-19 08:28:39 AM

tortilla burger: California is really good at spearheading changes that need to be made; unfortunately, California is also really bad at implementing them correctly on the first go-around


There's a reason, back in the old days, why they used to put those little rubber things on the ends of pencils.
 
2012-12-19 08:35:08 AM

Girion47: This also happens with out soh panus.

/obscure?



Came here for this. Thank you.
 
2012-12-19 08:57:29 AM
and they keep voting Democrat.... sometimes i just get some popcorn turn on the tv and see what new law California has come up with this week... Geez you Democrats love to make laws, tax and spend money.
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-19 09:03:40 AM
Good. You are no longer externalizing the social cost of your energy. This is the free market at work. Republicans don't like it because it actually expects you to act like you give a shiat.
 
2012-12-19 09:25:03 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: This is what happens when you let private individual users sell energy back to the power companies. The more private power that gets produced, the more cost to the utilities it becomes, and worse, that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


Wait ... WHAT?!

I am confused.

Let's say that PowerGrid Inc has contracts with a set of Companies C={c1,c2,c3... cn} and each of these has a quantity X={x2,x2,x3 ... xn} and a price P={p1,p2,p3 ... pn}

Then there is some price p, which is (Σ pi xi) ÷ (n ÷Σxi) which we can call the median,

PowerGrid Inc then charges me (and all its customers) p + r , with r being some state-limited premium on units of energy.

Surely, when I sell my power back, I get p for my energy, and not p + r, right?

I mean who would require that the power company would buy my power at the retail price?

/Grad school just finished for the semester
 
2012-12-19 09:45:33 AM

Ima4nic8or: out the air: feh. I am willing to breath it. It would be the smell of freedom. Air quality should be determined by the free market. If you want cleaner air, pollute less. If you think it is plenty clean you can chose some dirtier method to generate power. In the end those in the majority will win out. If most folks want really clean air then most will chose clean methods of power generation, cars, etc.. If most folks are willing to put a bit more stuff in the air to s


Obviously you were not alive prior to the EPA.
 
2012-12-19 09:55:11 AM
Oh that dirty dirty California electricity.

Link

energyalmanac.ca.govenergyalmanac.ca.gov
 
2012-12-19 10:03:58 AM
Since power generation is decoupled from Power Transmission in many areas, it makes sense for the Transmission owners to encourage or even subsidize photo voltaic usage. The grid becomes the most important thing instead of the generation of power.

Too bad they have been shirking the upkeep and investment in the lines. Missed opportunity.
 
2012-12-19 10:05:20 AM

Insatiable Jesus: I don't know how it works in CA, but in GA you are FORCED to hook up your generation system to the grid and sell it back.


Do you have a link? Because that doesn't make any sense.

The only way I can think of where that statement becomes reasonable is if it's prefixed with "In order to use grid electricity and solar panels on the same circuit, you have to hook the solar panels up to the grid and sell it back."

But I suspect you're entirely free to put up solar panels and connect them to batteries to fully isolate yourself from the grid.
 
2012-12-19 10:24:38 AM

leadmetal: Loren: No--the problem is if you have a source of 240V that's independent of the grid and yet tied to it. That is very correctly illegal. You can have your own backup generator with a transfer switch so there's no physical way the generator power can go out on the grid. Connect your generator to the grid and if the grid goes down you have linemen who think it's cold when it's really hot.

It's like when you unplug something from the wall you think it's cold and safe to work with. I've got stuff around here that's not cold when unplugged--and it came with big warnings stuck on it and the internal battery was shipped disconnected.

Huh? My exact argument is that it's a problem of an independent source of generation. 240 from the illegal fossil fuel generator is no different than the 240 from the solar system. Yet the law as reported here is based upon how that independent generation is done, not to require the proper equipment, but just banning certain methods of independent generation. Makes no sense from a safety point of view. A moron could just pick a legal method and create the same danger.

Thus I contend, the law is the way it is for reasons other than safety. All the law would need to do is require the transfer switch, the proper equipment, not limit the generation methods. That is if it were for safety.


You missed the relevant part of my post. The 240v from the solar system is safe due to the design of the inverter. It has to be energized by line power in order to work--no line power, no output, no feedback into the wires. Generators don't need an inverter and will automatically match themselves to the line power without any control electronics. (If the generator is ahead of the line it acts as a big drag on the generator, this slows it until it falls into sync.)
 
2012-12-19 11:54:17 AM

Krieghund: leadmetal: Huh? WTF?
Again, if 240V comes from A how is that safer if it comes from B?
This is simple logic. Why do you trust Joe Blow not to kill you with generation method A, but not trust Bob Blow who uses generation method B? Why is the guy who uses A not presumed to be a moron?
It doesn't make any rational sense to do it that way. Regardless of generation method the same automatic switchover equipment to isolate the home from the grid or manual throwing of the main breaker is required.
 
No one actually answered your question.  They assumed you meant some kind of illegal hookup, but you're asking why you can't do it legally, will all the 'i's dotted and 't's crossed from the power company.


Because doing it legally with all the i's dotted and t's crossed would necessarily require a transfer switch, negating the issue. Properly installed solar panels don't feed back into the grid when the local lines are dead.
 
2012-12-19 12:05:18 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: that cost gets pushed back on the poorest users who can't afford to put up their own generation units.


Are you trying to say that if 50% of the customers are selling power back to the utility, then the utility will still be operating at 100% capacity, buying 100% of the coal they were buying before and generating the exact amount of power that they were producing before individuals started installing their own energy generation equipment?
 
2012-12-19 02:15:08 PM
My power comes from a Municipal Utility District. I get to vote on what they do. And if I sell power back to them, it actually lowers everyone's rates, since they have to invest less in new infrastructure. Since they're not-for-profit, they only have their operating budget to worry about. And during the rolling blackouts of a few years back, we had... how many? Oh right. Zero.

PG&E can go fark itself. ConEdison can go fark itself.
 
2012-12-19 02:57:44 PM
are the power companies actually paying people who are adding power back to the grid or are they just giving them credits? I knew someone who had panels in upstate NY and I thought he said they gave him credits that he would never end up using fully, because of the.. .you know.. solar panels..
 
2012-12-19 08:43:49 PM

Mike Chewbacca: namatad: MaudlinMutantMollusk: F*ck PG&E
 
/seriously... they're just evil

 
 
you really think that PG&E is doing anything other than what the stupid law requires them to do in the first place? unintended consequences
 
Californians are a bit skittish aboit power companies these days. It's almost like they recently ILLEGALLY farked us in the ass for a whole year. And basically got away with it.
 
If you are referring to that year when energy prices went through the roof while we experienced rolling blackouts, you can thank the government for that.  They kind-of sort-of created a free market approach, except they forbid the power companies from buying long-term energy contracts from the producers (which stabilizes prices).  This created the perfect opportunity for the energy producers to create artificial shortages to drive up the spot price.  It was a government created disaster.
 
2012-12-19 08:46:13 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: diaphoresis: Hydrogen is the most abundant rresource in the universe.

 
That is all.
 
I would say time and energy are probably the most abundant resources.
 
Hydrogen is the most abundant element though.
 
It is almost never found as pure H2 though, but instead as part of a compound. These compounds require energy to seperate the componant H2 out, reducing the overall availability of readily useful Hydrogen.
 
When they pass the energy break even point for quickly producing H and O from water, we'll see a drastic change in society.  It will probably cause major economic collapses throughout the world as a side effect.
 
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