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(AZCentral)   Energy company in Arizona is encouraging homeowners to put solar panels on their roofs by offering all kinds of incentives. Just kidding. They're threatening to jack up the monthly bill of anybody who does that   (azcentral.com ) divider line 187
    More: Asinine, energy industry, bonuses, natural kind, ratepayers, rooftops, solar panels, homeowners, Arizona Corporation Commission  
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14699 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jul 2013 at 2:22 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-12 01:02:21 AM  
Will they credit me if I install rain panels? haha just kidding I'm not on APS.
 
2013-07-12 01:38:44 AM  
are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.
 
2013-07-12 01:51:23 AM  
corporate douchebaggery
 
2013-07-12 02:12:10 AM  

Bucky Katt: corporate douchebaggery


Meh. They did suck when I was on lines they maintained, but just about everything they try to do, good or bad, is still regulated by the elected commissioners of the corporation commission. And the ACC likes renewable energy.
 
2013-07-12 02:12:42 AM  

Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.


Yes - The meter can spin backwards if you generate more than you draw. Of course, during the peak hours you might pay $0.25/kWh for usage, but if your array does generate more than it draws, you only get the off-peak rate of about $0.05/kWh in crediting towards your bill (despite it generating during peak time). So APS is already making $0.15/kWh off of your panels by reselling your power when they need it, but now they want another $100/mo?

I won't invest in solar since they're a 5-10 year ROI, but this would basically negate that indefinitely. Which is of course what APS wants, and I hope the regulators see this.
 
2013-07-12 02:16:33 AM  
img692.imageshack.us
 
2013-07-12 02:25:36 AM  
It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.
 
2013-07-12 02:26:16 AM  

Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.


Actually that can be quite useful to the power companies. The big issue these days with power isn't generation, it is distribution. In the Us we have adequate generation for our needs and we can build more as needed. However distribution is an issue, because people don't want power plants near their house. It is a constant issue for grid controllers how to get power to people at peak times without overloading segments of the grid. Solar panels can really help, particularly since they tend to do a lot of output when it is hot, which is when the load is high in AZ. Since they are local, not at the end of big links (which are what gets overloaded) it works well.
 
2013-07-12 02:27:43 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.


It's comforting to know that assholes are everywhere. Reaffirms faith in the universal order.
 
2013-07-12 02:35:12 AM  
I can see maybe tacking on an extra maintenance fee, but $50-100 a month seems insane. While I realize we don't have to run the AC as much here as in Arizona, I've never had my electric bill over $200.
 
2013-07-12 02:35:19 AM  
How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.
 
2013-07-12 02:35:42 AM  

sycraft: Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.

Actually that can be quite useful to the power companies. The big issue these days with power isn't generation, it is distribution. In the Us we have adequate generation for our needs and we can build more as needed. However distribution is an issue, because people don't want power plants near their house. It is a constant issue for grid controllers how to get power to people at peak times without overloading segments of the grid. Solar panels can really help, particularly since they tend to do a lot of output when it is hot, which is when the load is high in AZ. Since they are local, not at the end of big links (which are what gets overloaded) it works well.


as i understand it, there are maintenance & management costs incurred by having so many different sources of current, but most of them are related to synchronizing generator waveforms.
 
2013-07-12 02:36:00 AM  
Solar power is unnatural and against Gods will. Why would he go to the trouble of creating natural oil for us to use, straight from the earth, if he wanted us to mess with science.
 
2013-07-12 02:38:33 AM  
I saw this on the news, and I don't think that the rate hike would prevent me from putting panels on my roof.  You still are paying far less than you would if you were 100% relying on APS/SRP. (This month's electric bill, $397 for a 2400 sf house - I am at $150 in the winter).

When we were shopping for a house, I would ask the agent if it was APS or SRP (then what bandwidth was available).  I think RE agents need to understand that these things really matter.
 
2013-07-12 02:39:00 AM  
Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.
 
2013-07-12 02:39:21 AM  

dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.


Politics, pure politics. That's why.
 
2013-07-12 02:42:06 AM  

Freschel: dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.

Politics, pure politics. That's why.


Keeping down solar in Arizona makes hippies cry. Isn't that reason enough?
 
2013-07-12 02:43:08 AM  

Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.


Feeding power back only causes headaches if they have a shiatty power grid.

If they have a non-shiatty grid, it provides a significant benefit to the power companies because the power company doesn't need to generate as much power to meet demand of businesses during the day.  Look at the power demand curve (CAISO, for instance) and you'll understand.  Power draw during business hours is much higher than during non-business hours.  All of that excess energy generated by solar systems helps normalize the demand on the power company's generating systems.  And solar is very predictable and reliable with the amount generated correlating pretty well with that peak demand during business hours.  They couldn't design a more useful supplementary power system if they tried.
 
2013-07-12 02:43:21 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.


Have a citation for that? That strikes me as.. something a gaijin would do.

/Gaijin
//I'd like to go back at some point. 86-89.
///Miss Tokyo.
 
2013-07-12 02:45:09 AM  
This is why infastructure should not be privatised.

It doesn't make sense for everyone to duplicate storage and inverters.
 
2013-07-12 02:45:50 AM  
We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.
 
2013-07-12 02:52:55 AM  

SearchN: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

Have a citation for that? That strikes me as.. something a gaijin would do.

/Gaijin
//I'd like to go back at some point. 86-89.
///Miss Tokyo.


I'll look for one. It was a big deal during the summer of 2011. Most everyone pitched in to conserve energy because of the loss of the Fukushima plant.

From 2011: Rates raised 3% due to revenue shortfall and debts.
http://business.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/topics/20110823/222219/

From 2012: Tepco got govt approval to raise rates by 8.46% (they wanted over 10%)
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/07/26/business/tepco-gets-ok-t o- raise-electricity-rates-8-46/#.Ud-mXT7k8dI
 
2013-07-12 02:55:10 AM  

Bonzo_1116: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

It's comforting to know that assholes are everywhere. Reaffirms faith in the universal order.


Biggest lesson I learned from my wife are that people are the same all over. The details vary, but the motivations remain constant.
 
2013-07-12 02:56:10 AM  
WAITAFARKINGMINUTE... these corporate assholes want to charge people MORE because they refuse to waste their product?
"Bu-bu-bu the grid is on 24 hours a day!" SO FARKING WHAT? I pay for the time I'm using the grid.
THIS is why solar is catching hell, not the cost of the panels or any of that sh*t. The corporations want that cashflow to their greedy assed shareholders.

Fark that sh*t. NO.
 
2013-07-12 02:56:26 AM  
img593.imageshack.us

imageshack.us
 
2013-07-12 02:57:00 AM  
You couldn't pay me to live in that shiathole of a state.
 
2013-07-12 02:57:32 AM  

sminkypinky: Solar power is unnatural and against Gods will. Why would he go to the trouble of creating natural oil for us to use, straight from the earth, if he wanted us to mess with science.


If God wanted us to use solar energy, He would have put it everywhere, like gas stations.
 
2013-07-12 02:59:45 AM  

Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.


If  they're getting no service, why don't they just withdraw from the grid?  Oh, because  they  need it sometimes.  But when they need it and it works for them, that's not a service that APS provides.  Just look at how foolish you look!

Until solar systems are totally self-sufficient day or night, rain or shine, customers need the grid and have to pay for it. So, solar industry, get busy and make such systems.   That's innovation; this is politicking.
 
2013-07-12 03:00:58 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.


Saving up for the inevitable damages and fines that they will have to pay.
 
2013-07-12 03:03:09 AM  

rewind2846: WAITAFARKINGMINUTE... these corporate assholes want to charge people MORE because they refuse to waste their product?
"Bu-bu-bu the grid is on 24 hours a day!" SO FARKING WHAT? I pay for the time I'm using the grid.
THIS is why solar is catching hell, not the cost of the panels or any of that sh*t. The corporations want that cashflow to their greedy assed shareholders.

Fark that sh*t. NO.


But anything that causes corporations' profits to drop in any way is unconstitutional, immoral, and makes you EXACTLY the same as Stalin!
 
2013-07-12 03:03:16 AM  

Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.


Except in a place like Arizona, photo voltaic produces power in phase with demand from air conditioning.  Thus reducing the amount of peeking power needed to supply the grid.  And supplying power at night, you ever see an 'adult community' after 9pm?  It's lights out.
 
2013-07-12 03:04:42 AM  

HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.


?  Food here in Phoenix is actually quite good and varied, not sure where you're getting that.  There's good Mexican of course, lots of very quality Thai places for some reason, a few random African countries, most of Asia represented in good restaurants.  I can't think of any kind of food that doesn't have at least one good restaurant here.  You can even get very good buffalo wings.
 
2013-07-12 03:08:39 AM  
This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.
 
2013-07-12 03:10:20 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Until solar systems are totally self-sufficient day or night, rain or shine, customers need the grid and have to pay for it. So, solar industry, get busy and make such systems.   That's innovation; this is politicking.


They do make these systems. But it would be a ridiculous waste of energy and resources to require city users to all put in their own seperate battery banks and inverters.

The whole idea of clean energy is to reduce waste.
 
2013-07-12 03:12:10 AM  

Gig103: Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

Yes - The meter can spin backwards if you generate more than you draw. Of course, during the peak hours you might pay $0.25/kWh for usage, but if your array does generate more than it draws, you only get the off-peak rate of about $0.05/kWh in crediting towards your bill (despite it generating during peak time). So APS is already making $0.15/kWh off of your panels by reselling your power when they need it, but now they want another $100/mo?

I won't invest in solar since they're a 5-10 year ROI, but this would basically negate that indefinitely. Which is of course what APS wants, and I hope the regulators see this.




Give some to your neighbor and...

Now I sound like a commie.
 
2013-07-12 03:15:00 AM  

HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.


We have hot chicks. Sometimes they even catch fire, if they don't apply the sunblock. I don't even want to hear derp about the food, Sonoran cuisine is amazing.
 
2013-07-12 03:15:43 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.


Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.
 
2013-07-12 03:16:22 AM  
LordJiro - But anything that causes corporations' profits to drop in any way is unconstitutional, immoral, and makes you EXACTLY the same as Stalin!

It always makes me angry that these corporate weasels won't just come on out and admit this is how they think, instead of spending massive amounts on advertising to try and convince us they have us little people in mind in everything they do.
 
2013-07-12 03:20:11 AM  

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: I can see maybe tacking on an extra maintenance fee, but $50-100 a month seems insane. While I realize we don't have to run the AC as much here as in Arizona, I've never had my electric bill over $200.


Cheap, quickly built homes with zero, and I mean, zero insulation = $300 a month and up for under 2000sf. I'm not kidding, I could put my hand on an exterior wall and feel the heat through it.

dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.


Because solar is for hippies, and Aribama is 100% red-blooded Amurricans.
 
2013-07-12 03:20:22 AM  

dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.


You specist, dont you care about the vetchweed?
 
2013-07-12 03:23:07 AM  
Meanwhile, in that sunny paradise that is Germany ...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany

Plus, they have kind of a "i generate twice as much power as your haus, mein freunde. hahaha "
 
2013-07-12 03:25:19 AM  

zzrhardy: BarkingUnicorn: Until solar systems are totally self-sufficient day or night, rain or shine, customers need the grid and have to pay for it. So, solar industry, get busy and make such systems.   That's innovation; this is politicking.

They do make these systems. But it would be a ridiculous waste of energy and resources to require city users to all put in their own seperate battery banks and inverters.


Nobody's required to put in any solar system.  If you can't afford to go totally off the grid, then you have to pay for the grid's availability.  If that irks you, save or borrow money until you can afford to go off the grid.

The whole idea of clean energy is to reduce waste.

But clean energy is not the whole idea of solar energy.  The main idea is to save gobs of money on one's electric bill.  If that isn't true, then the solar industry has nothing to fear from this APS proposal.
 
2013-07-12 03:28:41 AM  

Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.


Oh, yes, cars have a net negative impact on society; that is why there are so few of them, and so few miles of roads for them to use.
 
2013-07-12 03:39:15 AM  

Asa Phelps: as i understand it, there are maintenance & management costs incurred by having so many different sources of current, but most of them are related to synchronizing generator waveforms.


you're a waveform.
 
2013-07-12 03:39:39 AM  

evil saltine: Asa Phelps: as i understand it, there are maintenance & management costs incurred by having so many different sources of current, but most of them are related to synchronizing generator waveforms.

you're a waveform.


Your face is a waveform!
 
2013-07-12 03:42:32 AM  
Invest in batteries and cut the cord.
Problem solved.
 
2013-07-12 03:44:42 AM  

SearchN: Have a citation for that? That strikes me as.. something a gaijin would do.


Japan still gives business licenses to THE YAKUZA. They're officially business consultants.

They could teach Wall Street a thing or two about corruption.
 
2013-07-12 03:55:15 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.

Oh, yes, cars have a net negative impact on society; that is why there are so few of them, and so few miles of roads for them to use.


Are you seriously arguing that there's a bunch of them, so they must be good for society?  Because I don't think I even have to bother refuting that.

But ignoring that, and going into more detail, yes you driving a car is a net negative.  It'd be far far better overall if you used public transportation of some kind, or at least car-pooled, thus having less cars on the road.  Keep in mind, here "better" means for society as a whole, counting in the cost to the environment and etc.  Having roads and such infrastructure is a net positive, you personally driving is not.  Seems a bit counter-intuitive at first I guess, but if you think about it it's pretty obvious.
 
Ni
2013-07-12 03:55:40 AM  

Asa Phelps: as i understand it, there are maintenance & management costs incurred by having so many different sources of current, but most of them are related to synchronizing generator waveforms.


Then you don't understand it. The inverter for solar panels does exactly that. It synchs waveforms perfectly. In times of excess production, it ramps up the voltage to feed it back into the grid. And if the power is lost, the inverter shuts down so that the lineman who comes out to fix it doesn't zap the shiat out of himself from the other direction.

The only possible issue is if the power company uses idiotic meters that can't handle reverse flow... but I haven't heard of anyone installing those in a sunbelt state. That would be the most insanely dumb thing to do, but I guess that wouldn't surprise me... we are talking the Home of Arpaio.

zzrhardy: This is why infastructure should not be privatised.
It doesn't make sense for everyone to duplicate storage and inverters.


I hear you talking, but not making any sense. Very few people use storage who are on the grid, and inverters make perfect sense.

There's this thing called capacitance which results in transmission loss even on the high tension wires. When your house is 300 miles from the coal-smokin' generator and needs 50 kWh of power, they have to send you maybe 60 kWh because a lot of electrons will be lost travelling 300 miles due to the wires not being superconductors. And they have to send extra for all your neighbors, too.

However, if "infrastructure was privatized" by the homeowners, suddenly the efficiency goes way the hell up because it doesn't have to travel 300 mi to get to you, but more like 300 feet. And what you don't use goes only another couple hundred feet to your neighbors. As a result, during peak times the ripoff power company doesn't have to stoke up the fires and in fact gets a huge bonus due to higher efficiency in solar-dense areas. So let's say you produce twice what you need and feed the rest to your neighbor, the power company has to send both of you 0 kWh and pay for 100kWh (which you produced), when they would have normally had to send 120kWh and charge for 100kWh. They basically saved themselves 20kWh and did nothing.
 
2013-07-12 04:06:08 AM  

Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.

Oh, yes, cars have a net negative impact on society; that is why there are so few of them, and so few miles of roads for them to use.

Are you seriously arguing that there's a bunch of them, so they must be good for society?  Because I don't think I even have to bother refuting that.


It would have less of a net negative impact on society if you just wrote, "I can't refute that."  Every bit transmitted over the Internet pollutes, y'know.

Obviously, cars have had great positive impact on society and continue to  do so.  Show me a town or even a subdivision that is built without roads, parking spaces, garages, gas stations, etc.  Car bring people.  People  bring money. Cars or trucks bring stuff. People buy stuff.  It's called an economy.


But ignoring that, and going into more detail, yes you driving a car is a net negative.  It'd be far far better overall if you used public transportation of some kind, or at least car-pooled, thus having less cars on the road.  Keep in mind, here "better" means for society as a whole, counting in the cost to the environment and etc.  Having roads and such infrastructure is a net positive, you personally driving is not.  Seems a bit counter-intuitive at first I guess, but if you think about it it's pretty obvious.

Then it would be better for society if we lived 100 to a barracks, ate in mess halls, and shared toothbrushes, too.
 
2013-07-12 04:15:34 AM  

StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.


That's...that's just impressive.

/bravo!
 
2013-07-12 04:17:28 AM  

cuzsis: StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.

That's...that's just impressive.

/bravo!


I can only hope to be half that crotchety and vengeful when I reach old age
 
2013-07-12 04:20:56 AM  

violentsalvation: HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.

We have hot chicks. Sometimes they even catch fire, if they don't apply the sunblock. I don't even want to hear derp about the food, Sonoran cuisine is amazing.


And I live in the part of the state that has more New Mexico cuisine than Sonoran. Arizona would be an awesome state minus the assholes. Same with Utah.
 
2013-07-12 04:22:25 AM  
What a load of B.S. Our panels produce our entire demand. We pay $18/month in fees and such for the privilege of being connected to the grid. This is the same as if we had a meter with nothing connected to it.The utility doesn't even see what we feed back during the day in any real sense. Our meter is connected to a 15 k.v.a. transformer that also feeds three other meters. At mid day when we feed back these three other neighbors are using a whole lot more. So our array reverses current for a whole 200 feet of the grid. BTW I paid the entire cost of running that 200 feet when the house was built - so the utility "maintains" that line but didn't incur any cost to install it.
 
2013-07-12 04:27:01 AM  

Abner Doon: HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.

?  Food here in Phoenix is actually quite good and varied, not sure where you're getting that.  There's good Mexican of course, lots of very quality Thai places for some reason, a few random African countries, most of Asia represented in good restaurants.  I can't think of any kind of food that doesn't have at least one good restaurant here.  You can even get very good buffalo wings.


I know you're trying to defend it--yes, we do have a curiously high number of decent Thai establishments--and I respect the effort ... but it's not worth it, man. It's not worth it.
 
2013-07-12 04:31:54 AM  

Infobahn: I saw this on the news, and I don't think that the rate hike would prevent me from putting panels on my roof.  You still are paying far less than you would if you were 100% relying on APS/SRP. (This month's electric bill, $397 for a 2400 sf house - I am at $150 in the winter).

When we were shopping for a house, I would ask the agent if it was APS or SRP (then what bandwidth was available).  I think RE agents need to understand that these things really matter.


christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??
 
2013-07-12 04:33:54 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.

Oh, yes, cars have a net negative impact on society; that is why there are so few of them, and so few miles of roads for them to use.

Are you seriously arguing that there's a bunch of them, so they must be good for society?  Because I don't think I even have to bother refuting that.

It would have less of a net negative impact on society if you just wrote, "I can't refute that."  Every bit transmitted over the Internet pollutes, y'know.

Obviously, cars have had great positive impact on society and continue to  do so.  Show me a town or even a subdivision that is built without roads, parking spaces, garages, gas stations, etc.  Car bring people.  People  bring money. Cars or trucks bring stuff. People buy stuff.  It's called an economy.


But ignoring that, and going into more detail, yes you driving a car is a net negative.  It'd be far far better overall if you used public transportation of some kind, or at least car-pooled, thus having less cars on the road.  Keep in mind, here "better" means for society as a whole, counting in the cost to the environment and etc.  Having roads and such infrastructure is a net positive, you personally driving is not.  Seems a bit counter-intuitive at first I guess, but if you think about it it's pretty obvious.

Then it would be better for society if we lived 100 to a barracks, ate in mess halls, and shared toothbrushes, too.


I can't wait for that utopia. I hope we ride bikes and mules everywhere. We don't really need to travel to other places, we can spend our whole lives in the villages where we grew up. No one needs more than half an hour of computer time a day. Imagine how productive we'll be! And let's not get started and air conditioning and heating and television. And while we're at it let's get rid of airplanes, ocean liners and plastic. Think of the negative impacts!

There is no reason anyone should want to live in the country or away from other people, or travel to any place a bus doesn't go, ever. Let's just put everyone inside a giant borg cube, that would be so much more efficient.
 
2013-07-12 04:34:30 AM  

Bonzo_1116: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

It's comforting to know that assholes are everywhere. Reaffirms faith in the universal order.


Yep. Nothing makes me sleep better at night knowing assholes are pointing at the behavior of other assholes to justify their assholeish behavior.

I'm surrounded by assholes!

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-07-12 04:37:07 AM  
Arizona is what California points to when people laugh at us.
 
2013-07-12 04:38:10 AM  

StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.


Derek? No seriously?

/on a side note my buddy Derek, his parents did the same thing. They were Dutch Protestant Reform so basically cheap ass Scots with Dutch/Jew Religion. They tried to charge them some nominal $20 fee to upgrade to tone dialing. They didn't want too. Up until 2010 or so they still had the rotary pulse dial. They only reason they switched was because they were the last ones on the circuit and the utilities company begged them too. They were costing the phone company somewhere around $20k a month to keep the old rotary dial system alive....just for them.

Once they told his Dad that he got very serious (because the Dutch/Scot/Jew that he is) and told them in no uncertain terms that if they were willing to facilitate him with free phone service for life and a FREE phone that he would gladly switch over to touch tone. The regional manager did not know what to say... he said the free phone service would not be a problem but the actual phone might be a problem. What kind did he want? What color? How many receivers? He just simply replied the "nicest one you can find."

A package arrived less than a week later, with a three receivers $150+ VTEC phone, plus free phone service (not even paying the tax) for life.

// He considered that us getting "one up" on them
/// Even though I would have told them to piss off (and laughed at the end of each month)
 
2013-07-12 05:05:23 AM  
who loves the sun since you broke my heart?
 
2013-07-12 05:11:33 AM  
Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...
 
2013-07-12 05:26:11 AM  

payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...


so you/they are spending 397-35=362 dollars a month on AC and refrigeration? (obviously I have a fridge, but it doesnt have to work as hard as yours/theirs)

that seems... a lot
 
2013-07-12 05:39:00 AM  
I wonder how many batteries $100 a month could buy.
 
2013-07-12 05:46:36 AM  

payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...


I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.
 
2013-07-12 05:50:54 AM  
This shows the lie that is energy companies encouraging people to save energy.

All they want is more money for less product.

"Yeah, sure. Use less electricity. Whatever. We still want the same money though..."
 
2013-07-12 05:51:19 AM  
Stay classy AZ
 
2013-07-12 05:53:44 AM  
I assume if you live without electricity entirely there's a fee for that too?
 
2013-07-12 05:54:03 AM  

Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.


Assuming your in the UK, you must be living in a one room house and in the dark most of the time to get your bills that low!
 
2013-07-12 05:56:14 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: If they're getting no service, why don't they just withdraw from the grid? Oh, because they need it sometimes. But when they need it and it works for them, that's not a service that APS provides. Just look at how foolish you look!


So people who use less electricity from the grid should have an extra surcharge, to punish them for the power they're not using?
 
2013-07-12 06:01:01 AM  

I'm no expert but...: Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.

Assuming your in the UK, you must be living in a one room house and in the dark most of the time to get your bills that low!


2 bedroom house. just the two of us. we're both at work all day but the cat's home surfing the internet and leaving the freezer door open, and when me and Lord J are home we're conscious of being smart energy wise but we don't 'go without' to save money

in fairness heating etc is gas. we're paying just over £40 a month on gas, but that's an average of ~£15 a month in the summer and a lot more in the winter. when we get the dbl glazing done downstairs that'll go down
 
2013-07-12 06:20:12 AM  

Lady J: I'm no expert but...: Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.

Assuming your in the UK, you must be living in a one room house and in the dark most of the time to get your bills that low!

2 bedroom house. just the two of us. we're both at work all day but the cat's home surfing the internet and leaving the freezer door open, and when me and Lord J are home we're conscious of being smart energy wise but we don't 'go without' to save money

in fairness heating etc is gas. we're paying just over £40 a month on gas, but that's an average of ~£15 a month in the summer and a lot more in the winter. when we get the dbl glazing done downstairs that'll go down


I just checked my own leccy bill and for a 3 bed semi with 2 adults and 2 kids and it is only £45 a month, so, well, yeah, guess I'll just shut mah mouth! Gas is £60 but that mainly because of our freezing spring.
 
2013-07-12 06:25:52 AM  
More corporate dickery
 
2013-07-12 06:28:22 AM  

SearchN: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

Have a citation for that? That strikes me as.. something a gaijin would do.

/Gaijin
//I'd like to go back at some point. 86-89.
///Miss Tokyo.


You're Miss Tokyo?  Because in your profile pic, no offense, but you look like kind of a dog...
 
2013-07-12 06:35:00 AM  

PunGent: SearchN: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

Have a citation for that? That strikes me as.. something a gaijin would do.

/Gaijin
//I'd like to go back at some point. 86-89.
///Miss Tokyo.

You're Miss Tokyo?  Because in your profile pic, no offense, but you look like kind of a dog...


Dude, that's not nice.

We say "differently attractive person" now.
 
2013-07-12 06:35:07 AM  
"They have said that generating power close to where it is used saves the cost of building new power plants, as well as high-voltage power lines that would bring that power to the city. That also prevents "line losses" or electricity that is wasted when transmitted long distances.

APS officials agree that rooftop solar can bring about those benefits, but so far they have not prevented the company from having to build new infrastructure.
"We are miles apart on our numbers," said Chuck Miessner, pricing manager for APS, referring to the value rooftop solar companies ascribe to their installations."


Critical point.  They need MORE solar generators not less.  I also believe a specific tax by the tax would be a violation of interstate commerce clause or would setup the power company for anti-trust suits.
 
2013-07-12 06:38:52 AM  

Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

so you/they are spending 397-35=362 dollars a month on AC and refrigeration? (obviously I have a fridge, but it doesnt have to work as hard as yours/theirs)

that seems... a lot


Yes, but us real 'Mericans don't have to pay a license fee to watch television...
 
2013-07-12 06:45:48 AM  

cuzsis: StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.

That's...that's just impressive.

/bravo!


Drawing power off peoples cars is stupid. Drain the cars power leaving them unable to make the daily commute because its hot or the grid has issues... not to mention shortening a $5k batteries lifespan.
great plan.
I would sit down and rig the battery to switch off when the voltage drops while plugged in.
 
2013-07-12 06:47:24 AM  

jtown: Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

If they just have a box that doesn't draw from the grid unless the solar panels and batteries aren't cutting it, there isn't really a "service" that APS is providing them.

Feeding power back only causes headaches if they have a shiatty power grid.

If they have a non-shiatty grid, it provides a significant benefit to the power companies because the power company doesn't need to generate as much power to meet demand of businesses during the day.  Look at the power demand curve (CAISO, for instance) and you'll understand.  Power draw during business hours is much higher than during non-business hours.  All of that excess energy generated by solar systems helps normalize the demand on the power company's generating systems.  And solar is very predictable and reliable with the amount generated correlating pretty well with that peak demand during business hours.  They couldn't design a more useful supplementary power system if they tried.


I recently read that the majority of power grids are in desperate need of upgrades.

I suspect that it's much more cost effective to let the power grids fail at such a regular rate that power companies can raise the rates without a fight in order to pay for the upgrades.
 
2013-07-12 06:47:45 AM  

PunGent: Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

so you/they are spending 397-35=362 dollars a month on AC and refrigeration? (obviously I have a fridge, but it doesnt have to work as hard as yours/theirs)

that seems... a lot

Yes, but us real 'Mericans don't have to pay a license fee to watch television...


a whopping tenner a month. what are you spending on cable / equivalent?

in fact, from that verizon article yesterday I gather you guys also pay a shiatload for landline and mobile phone.

im coming across as defensive i realise and I'm not [much]. i just wonder whether it's become easy and bandwagony to rip on the UK as being incredily expensive, when it's actually not.
 
2013-07-12 06:51:39 AM  

Lady J: Infobahn: I saw this on the news, and I don't think that the rate hike would prevent me from putting panels on my roof.  You still are paying far less than you would if you were 100% relying on APS/SRP. (This month's electric bill, $397 for a 2400 sf house - I am at $150 in the winter).

When we were shopping for a house, I would ask the agent if it was APS or SRP (then what bandwidth was available).  I think RE agents need to understand that these things really matter.

christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??


I live in Georgia. My power bill is about 200 in the summer. I own a small 1390 sqft ranch home.

Every time my contract is up, I shop for the most competitive rates. I think I've switched companies every year... But I have the luxury of choice.
 
2013-07-12 06:54:45 AM  

Lady J: PunGent: Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

so you/they are spending 397-35=362 dollars a month on AC and refrigeration? (obviously I have a fridge, but it doesnt have to work as hard as yours/theirs)

that seems... a lot

Yes, but us real 'Mericans don't have to pay a license fee to watch television...

a whopping tenner a month. what are you spending on cable / equivalent?

in fact, from that verizon article yesterday I gather you guys also pay a shiatload for landline and mobile phone.

im coming across as defensive i realise and I'm not [much]. i just wonder whether it's become easy and bandwagony to rip on the UK as being incredily expensive, when it's actually not.


When I bundled my cable and Internet, I was paying a little over 100. We dropped cable and installed an HD antenna so now the cable is free and I pay about 25 for Internet.
 
2013-07-12 06:59:27 AM  
Bontesla:
I live in Georgia. My power bill is about 200 in the summer. I own a small 1390 sqft ranch home.

Every time my contract is up, I shop for the most competitive rates. I think I've switched companies every year... But I have the luxury of choice.


I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend
 
2013-07-12 07:09:01 AM  
Wherever there's an American, there's a raging douchebag.
 
2013-07-12 07:10:11 AM  
sycraft:
The big issue these days with power isn't generation, it is distribution. In the Us we have adequate generation for our needs and we can build more as needed.

I hate to be "that guy" but technically speaking the problem is transmission, not distribution.Transmission lines are what bridge the gap between generation and local distribution. Power at a generation facility is stepped up at one transformer, sent a long ass distance (What? it's a technical term, right?) along the lines on those large towers you see in the toolies, then stepped down at a transformer closer to your users, which is where the lines in your neighborhood come into play. Local transformers mounted on poles or pads step down the voltage one more time before the power reaches your house. When people talk about the power grid, they're generally referring to the transmission network.
 
2013-07-12 07:14:24 AM  

Bonzo_1116: Freschel: dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.

Politics, pure politics. That's why.

Keeping down solar in Arizona makes hippies cry. Isn't that reason enough?


The sad part being this is an actual (distressingly common) ethos.  "I'm anti-green because I hate hippies.  I've never even MET a damn hippy but I hate 'em that much anyway!   I'd rather hurt the environment than save money!  Take that stupid hippies!"
 
2013-07-12 07:21:55 AM  

StopLurkListen: It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.


Your parents sound awesome, I like them.
 
2013-07-12 07:34:37 AM  

Lady J: Bontesla:
I live in Georgia. My power bill is about 200 in the summer. I own a small 1390 sqft ranch home.

Every time my contract is up, I shop for the most competitive rates. I think I've switched companies every year... But I have the luxury of choice.

I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend


Partly.  Also America's grid has a lot of inefficiencies due to all the piecemeal ways it was developed.  It is a LOT hotter here.  A lot of our architecture is designed to be inefficient (bad window placement, poor heat management in the kitchen, poor lighting design/placement).  We have greedy energy companies.  NIMBYs refuse to allow sensible power construction, the giant anti-green movement.  It goes on and on.

My power bill ranges from 3 to 5 times yours (assuming average currency exchange) I'm in 1007 square feet.  Honestly I think the biggest waste continues to be the over-sized TV though (wasn't my idea or my purchase) which sucks down power and then generates a lot of heat that has to be cooled down.

I suspect the UK is "so super-expensive" because if you're a foreigner or even a local who has spent time living abroad you're probably living in London or one of the other major cities.  Poketown, USA to New York City is a difference of 300-600% cost-of-living and I'm betting it's the same if the international traveler who talks about your country being "sooo expensive" never leaves the most expensive part of the country,

If they even "live" there at all, a hotel is a lot more expensive than an apartment, but I know which one I'll be using when I'm a tourist.
 
2013-07-12 07:38:45 AM  
Because Fark you, that's why.

It's like in VA where if you have a hybrid, you have to pay an extra fee for not using as much gas (and paying gas tax). So where does the fuel efficiency/extra tax mark start? What if you just have a really efficent gas engine that gets 50 mpg? No, no extra tax, it's not a hybrid. Honda CR-Z that gets 36 mpg? It's gonna cost you extra.

It seems like politians get kickbacks to allow these rules to kill inovation from smaller startup companies who are cutting into the big boy's pockets.

Everyone biatches about high gas costs and the inevitable shortfall of gas. So someone comes up with an answer. But it costs someone else money. So it gets taxed/surcharged so much that it's not worth the effort. This in turn keeps down the research which would make the product even better and more cost effective. As long as some rich white guy can get another billion dollars, who cares. He's got his.
 
2013-07-12 07:45:36 AM  
$50-100 dollars?  So they're admitting they have no idea how much it costs and they're just throwing the number out there?

Install a maintenance charge.  That everyone has to pay, regardless of use.
 
2013-07-12 07:45:43 AM  

MythDragon: Because Fark you, that's why.

It's like in VA where if you have a hybrid, you have to pay an extra fee for not using as much gas (and paying gas tax). So where does the fuel efficiency/extra tax mark start? What if you just have a really efficent gas engine that gets 50 mpg? No, no extra tax, it's not a hybrid. Honda CR-Z that gets 36 mpg? It's gonna cost you extra.

It seems like politians get kickbacks to allow these rules to kill inovation from smaller startup companies who are cutting into the big boy's pockets.

Everyone biatches about high gas costs and the inevitable shortfall of gas. So someone comes up with an answer. But it costs someone else money. So it gets taxed/surcharged so much that it's not worth the effort. This in turn keeps down the research which would make the product even better and more cost effective. As long as some rich white guy can get another billion dollars, who cares. He's got his.


Huh? The fee is for the special license plates so you can use the HOV lanes.
 
2013-07-12 07:46:14 AM  

Gig103: Yes - The meter can spin backwards if you generate more than you draw. Of course, during the peak hours you might pay $0.25/kWh for usage, but if your array does generate more than it draws, you only get the off-peak rate of about $0.05/kWh in crediting towards your bill (despite it generating during peak time). So APS is already making $0.15/kWh off of your panels by reselling your power when they need it, but now they want another $100/mo?


That isn't at all what the article said.
 
2013-07-12 07:48:38 AM  

Abner Doon: HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.

?  Food here in Phoenix is actually quite good and varied, not sure where you're getting that.  There's good Mexican of course, lots of very quality Thai places for some reason, a few random African countries, most of Asia represented in good restaurants.  I can't think of any kind of food that doesn't have at least one good restaurant here.  You can even get very good buffalo wings.


Amy's Baking Company
 
2013-07-12 07:54:39 AM  

Satanic_Hamster: Install a maintenance charge.  That everyone has to pay, regardless of use.


How much would you like to bet that maintenance charge is already on the bill?
 
2013-07-12 07:56:52 AM  

TheBigJerk: Lady J: Bontesla:
I live in Georgia. My power bill is about 200 in the summer. I own a small 1390 sqft ranch home.

Every time my contract is up, I shop for the most competitive rates. I think I've switched companies every year... But I have the luxury of choice.

I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend

Partly.  Also America's grid has a lot of inefficiencies due to all the piecemeal ways it was developed.  It is a LOT hotter here.  A lot of our architecture is designed to be inefficient (bad window placement, poor heat management in the kitchen, poor lighting design/placement).  We have greedy energy companies.  NIMBYs refuse to allow sensible power construction, the giant anti-green movement.  It goes on and on.

My power bill ranges from 3 to 5 times yours (assuming average currency exchange) I'm in 1007 square feet.  Honestly I think the biggest waste continues to be the over-sized TV though (wasn't my idea or my purchase) which sucks down power and then generates a lot of heat that has to be cooled down.

I suspect the UK is "so super-expensive" because if you're a foreigner or even a local who has spent time living abroad you're probably living in London or one of the other major cities.  Poketown, USA to New York City is a difference of 300-600% cost-of-living and I'm betting it's the same if the international traveler who talks about your country being "sooo expensive" never leaves the most expensive part of the country,

If they even "live" there at all, a hotel is a lot more expensive than an apartment, but I know which one I'll be using when I'm a tourist.


Agreed. I live in an Atlanta suburb (Woodbury from TWD). I have an acre lot but the house is incredibly small. The cost of living is much higher than many other areas.

I just returned from a trip to Ohio. My cousin purchased a new home on a teacher's salary. It's 2.5 times the size of my home and is newer than my home but our house payments are. I pay a price for my area.
 
2013-07-12 07:59:04 AM  

Lady J: I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.


Meanwhile in Phoenix it'll be 37-43 deg C all week (and summer).

Lady J: I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend


A ranch home is a single level/floor/story home. IMHO a small home here in the US is in the 800-1,000 sq-ft range. Medium is around 1,000-1,600. Large is above that. For others 800-1,600 is small, 1,600-3,000 is medium, and large is above that.

My largest apartment was 1,100 sq-ft + 1 car garage and my current home is 1,300 sq-ft.

So, our homes (outside of places like NYC and LA) are larger plus most of what BigJerk said.
 
2013-07-12 07:59:33 AM  

Abner Doon: HotWingAgenda: We're starting to need a Zonie tag. It's like Florida with less hot chicks and more boring food.

?  Food here in Phoenix is actually quite good and varied, not sure where you're getting that.  There's good Mexican of course, lots of very quality Thai places for some reason, a few random African countries, most of Asia represented in good restaurants.  I can't think of any kind of food that doesn't have at least one good restaurant here.  You can even get very good buffalo wings.


And the waitresses in Phoenix are hot in a MILF-y sort of way:

killerbunnies.com

/I'd kiss her grits.
 
2013-07-12 08:00:36 AM  
Rent-seeking behavior.
 
2013-07-12 08:01:26 AM  
well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?
 
2013-07-12 08:12:11 AM  
Yeah, I used to like The Electric Company back in the '70s. The new, 2013 version of The Electric Company sucks.

superradnow.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-07-12 08:14:47 AM  

violentsalvation: Will they credit me if I install rain panels? haha just kidding I'm not on APS.


Not on APS? That'll be $250.
 
2013-07-12 08:15:06 AM  

StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.


Sounds like my folks.

They hate call-waiting so they never opted in for that as a "service."  They refuse to have voicemail since they already have an answering machine and don't want to learn how to use something new.  As a result their phone service is incredibly messed up.  It gets knocked offline about once a month.  They no longer program systems with a "busy tone" so if you call them while they're on the line then you get a combo of weird messages that always seem to conflict with each other.

I like to think they do it for the spiteful entertainment value but I'm probably pretty sure they do it because they're old.
 
2013-07-12 08:36:20 AM  

Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?


I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.
 
2013-07-12 08:38:53 AM  
You know what the problem with Arizona Public Service Co. is ?? They think they're King Sh*t of F*ck Island.
But they're *not*.
 
2013-07-12 08:39:41 AM  

Gig103: Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

Yes - The meter can spin backwards if you generate more than you draw. Of course, during the peak hours you might pay $0.25/kWh for usage, but if your array does generate more than it draws, you only get the off-peak rate of about $0.05/kWh in crediting towards your bill (despite it generating during peak time). So APS is already making $0.15/kWh off of your panels by reselling your power when they need it, but now they want another $100/mo?

I won't invest in solar since they're a 5-10 year ROI, but this would basically negate that indefinitely. Which is of course what APS wants, and I hope the regulators see this.


It's not about a return on investment for me -- it's about using less non-renewable power overall.  It's also why our next car is going to be a Prius...
 
2013-07-12 08:42:58 AM  
My parents have solar panels on their house and you can actually see the meter rolling backward. I tell them they're now part of "Big Sun."
 
2013-07-12 08:45:10 AM  
AZ has crazy great sun for electric production.  Rooftop solar should be freaking CODE in that part of the country.  And if you give me one months worth of what we spent on the Iraq war, I might just be able to pull it off.
 
2013-07-12 08:45:21 AM  

CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.


if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!
 
2013-07-12 08:51:05 AM  

Lady J: if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!


I'm not sure how it shows up on your computer, but yeah I meant to put the GBP symbol. I used Google for the exchange rate and used the alt + 0163 for the sterling symbol. Looking at it though, I'm not sure why I put them after the numbers.
 
2013-07-12 08:57:15 AM  

MythDragon: It's like in VA where if you have a hybrid, you have to pay an extra fee for not using as much gas (and paying gas tax).


Next we'll be charged more if we don't use as much water as the ten-kid family down the street.


It's a natural extension of the favors to big business paradigm. Use massive amounts of energy and get a huge volume discount. Use small amounts responsibly and be taxed for it. The conservative dream come true.
 
2013-07-12 08:57:35 AM  

Lady J: CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.

if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!


I think those are supposed to be sterling. Mixed drinks are usually $7+. Pints (of good beer, not Bud-esque swill) are about the same. Gallon of milk: $3.75. Bread: $1.50 - $3.00. Daily bus pass: $2.00.

/Raleigh, NC
 
2013-07-12 08:58:09 AM  
Solar power doesn't work in 'murica!

i40.tinypic.com

/nat gas!
 
2013-07-12 08:58:58 AM  
Fark APS. Seriously fark them in the ear.

Got my bill yesterday. $405 for a 1,400sqft house that we, at most, keep at 79 overnight. During the day the temp is set to 85 when no one is here.

Total usage: 2200kwh. We aren't on one of their time based peak usage plans and are getting seriously screwed. They have the basic plan tiered during the summer months based on usage.

From their website:
in summer you're billed at different costs per kWh depending on energy usage
the first 400 are billed at approximately $0.096
the next 400 are billed at approximately $0.13
the next 2,000 are billed at approximately $0.163
all remaining kWh are billed at approximately $0.174
in winter the cost is approximately $0.094 per kWh


I didn't realize that it changed in the summer so much. I was never told that when I signed up. So I went to see what one of their time based plans run:

Typically they are peak hours from Noon til 7pm.
time advantage plan details
winter (november-april billing cycles) $/kWh
on-peak kWh $0.19847
off-peak kWh $0.06116
summer (may-october billing cycles)
on-peak kWh $0.24477
off-peak kWh $0.06118

combined advantage 7 pm-noon
plan details
winter (november-april billing cycles) $/kWh
on-peak kWh $0.05747
on-off kWh $0.04107
demand charge per kW $9.30
summer (may-october billing cycles)
on-peak kWh $0.08867
off-peak kWh $0.04417
demand charge per kW $13.50


That's right, there is a plan that will charge $13.50 per kWh if you use more than a set amount. It doesn't say what that 'demand' amount is, but holy fark. The only clue you have is that it says you must stagger the use of appliances. So I take that to mean if you're using your oven and your refrigerator or A/C kicks on, you're getting charged $13.50 a kWh. Fark that.

Now, I went and used their fancy calculator and it said if I switched to their basic time based plan, based on current usage, I'd save something like $500 a year. Ok, fine, I'll try it. One catch: good luck actually getting your plan changed. Tried to do it on the website and kept getting errors like "a system error has occurred. Please call our 24 hour help desk." Tried to call them, spent over an hour on hold at three different times without ever talking to a human. I can totally see that they would try to screw people who are trying to save money by using solar or something.

I can't wait to get the hell out of this place.
 
2013-07-12 08:59:43 AM  
APS has to pay the solar customers RETAIL prices for their excess power, which is higher during peak times.    That might sound great and all, but the money is coming from somewhere.  The price difference is made up by the other customers.  So, when 2016 rolls around and the ACC let's APS raise rates again, the non solar customers will be subsidizing solar ever more.  That's In addition to the tax subsidies solar received.  Why do I have to pay for someone else's stuff?
 
2013-07-12 09:01:40 AM  

reklamfox: cuzsis: StopLurkListen: Not smart, utility manager CFO person. In ten, 20 years you may NEED your customers' ability to distribute electrical loads, maybe even draw power from everyone's electric cars when there's a brief excess demand.

Your average Arizonan is retired, watches their bill like a hawk, and has no problem holding a grudge against a utility for decades more.

For example: my parents. In the 1980's some brilliant AT&T exec decided that touch tone dialing would cost an extra monthly $1 or whatever. Nope, my parents were more than happy with their pulse rotary dialing phone, kthxbye Mr AT&T person. Then AT&T wanted all customers to upgrade to touch tone. Nope. Not gonna happen. Then my parents were the last people on that switch still using rotary and AT&T really really really needed their pulse rotary phone off their system.

It's 2013 and my parents still pulse dial out of spite over that stupid shortsighted touch tone dial surcharge from 30 years ago.

They also are thinking of buying an electric car and if the utility ever wants to do that "smart" distributed power thing where they temporarily draw power from electric cars? My dad will be in the garage, unplugging the car. Because he's retired, and has nothing better to do than pay the utility back for their petty billing act over the next couple of decades.

That's...that's just impressive.

/bravo!

I can only hope to be half that crotchety and vengeful when I reach old age


I knew a guy in the 1980s who was a WWII veteran. He had a crank phone that generated its own power, and for fun one day he plugged that into the tone dial network GTE ran.

By "ringing" that phone, he caused a spot outage at the local switch box/"Central Office" (affecting the neigborhood) because he just zapped it with whatever current one of those things put out, and the circuitry hadn't had to handle one of those in 30 years.

They sent a nice repairman out who told him don't do that again.
 
2013-07-12 09:02:58 AM  

Allen262: [img593.imageshack.us image 54x11]

[imageshack.us image 54x11]


I'd go with the top one
 
2013-07-12 09:06:55 AM  

Lady J: CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.

if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!


The UK is a white myth - like Larry Bird and Colorado.
 
2013-07-12 09:08:44 AM  

cmunic8r99: Lady J: CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.

if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!

I think those are supposed to be sterling. Mixed drinks are usually $7+. Pints (of good beer, not Bud-esque swill) are about the same. Gallon of milk: $3.75. Bread: $1.50 - $3.00. Daily bus pass: $2.00.

/Raleigh, NC


again about the same as here if not a bit more expensive. you can pay crazy money for drinks somewhere upmarket in London but I imagine that's true in any big city.

travel is expensive in London. My travelcard is £120 a month, but that's unlimited travel zones 2 to 5 which is a loooong way. there's no such thing as a daily bus pass but if you're using pay-as-you-go on oyster, bus travel is capped at about 5 squid a day

how illuminating. I wonder what's cheaper in the US. there must be something, as it's very widely believed it's a cheaper place to live than here.
 
2013-07-12 09:09:27 AM  

Liquid_Bacon: APS has to pay the solar customers RETAIL prices for their excess power, which is higher during peak times.    That might sound great and all, but the money is coming from somewhere.  The price difference is made up by the other customers.  So, when 2016 rolls around and the ACC let's APS raise rates again, the non solar customers will be subsidizing solar ever more.  That's In addition to the tax subsidies solar received.  Why do I have to pay for someone else's stuff?


APS sells that electricity to other users. Those customers aren't paying to subsidize someone's solar, it just isn't turning that extra over as profit for APS.
 
2013-07-12 09:10:55 AM  

Uranus Is Huge!: Lady J: CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.

if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!

The UK is a white myth - like Larry Bird and Colorado.


What about Rocky Marciano?
 
2013-07-12 09:15:47 AM  
Seems like a smart little upstarter has an opportunity to start a solar household coop.
 
2013-07-12 09:21:37 AM  

Generation_D: I knew a guy in the 1980s who was a WWII veteran. He had a crank phone that generated its own power, and for fun one day he plugged that into the tone dial network GTE ran.

By "ringing" that phone, he caused a spot outage at the local switch box/"Central Office" (affecting the neigborhood) because he just zapped it with whatever current one of those things put out, and the circuitry hadn't had to handle one of those in 30 years.

They sent a nice repairman out who told him don't do that again.


That reminds of a story I got from a Consumers lineman.  He was out one night trying to restore power after a storm when he found a branch resting on a line that caused the big fuse to blow.  He pulled the blown fuse and went to remove the branch before he could replace the fuse restoring power.  The line should be dead, but he still had his safety gloves on as he reached for the branch.  Sparks jumped from the branch to his fingers, the line was still charged.  A farmer up the line had his generator wired wrong and was back feeding and catching a transformer before the spot my friend was at and therefore the line was fully charged.  They had to make the farmer shut off his generator in order to finish the work, and I sure some repercussions were dealt.  My friend wouldn't be here if he didn't stop and put the big gloves and boots on, stopping him from being the ground.
 
2013-07-12 09:22:19 AM  

Gig103: Asa Phelps: are these people feeding power back into the grid? because if so they do cause the power company some headaches.

Yes - The meter can spin backwards if you generate more than you draw. Of course, during the peak hours you might pay $0.25/kWh for usage, but if your array does generate more than it draws, you only get the off-peak rate of about $0.05/kWh in crediting towards your bill (despite it generating during peak time). So APS is already making $0.15/kWh off of your panels by reselling your power when they need it, but now they want another $100/mo?

I won't invest in solar since they're a 5-10 year ROI, but this would basically negate that indefinitely. Which is of course what APS wants, and I hope the regulators see this.


My parents in the UK have solar panels. They were able to get back their investment in 3 years. That's in the UK. You know that dark dreary land of rain and misery. I imagine they work better in a desert waste land. The only thing that stops massive renewable energy for solar panels is the power companies themselves and the politicians they bought complaining that their bottom pocket is hurt because no one likes them because they jack up their prices 10% every year and it results in mysteriously 10% less electricity used every year in response.
 
2013-07-12 09:22:41 AM  
Just like a big company.  Using to much juice and stressing the grid, extra fees.  Not sucking enough of our koolaid like a good shill, extra fees.  Making your own koolaid to share with your neighbors, you better believe that's a hefty fee, you commie bastard.
 
2013-07-12 09:24:13 AM  

SurelyShirley: Solar power doesn't work in 'murica!

[i40.tinypic.com image 200x200]

/nat gas!


forum-img.pinside.com
 
2013-07-12 09:33:01 AM  
They learned how to do it frm Texas where it has been happening for years....damn people are slow
 
2013-07-12 09:33:54 AM  

CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: I dont think you mean 26.6. it's been high twenties all week this week.

Meanwhile in Phoenix it'll be 37-43 deg C all week (and summer).

Lady J: I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend

A ranch home is a single level/floor/story home. IMHO a small home here in the US is in the 800-1,000 sq-ft range. Medium is around 1,000-1,600. Large is above that. For others 800-1,600 is small, 1,600-3,000 is medium, and large is above that.

My largest apartment was 1,100 sq-ft + 1 car garage and my current home is 1,300 sq-ft.

So, our homes (outside of places like NYC and LA) are larger plus most of what BigJerk said.


I'm a Texan and the idea of anyone calling 1930 sq. ft. a small home makes me think they're at least lower-upper class.

I live in a 1300 sq. ft. apartment, 3bed/2bath, and it's quite nearly huge.  Our AC is on the fritz, can't cool the house below 85F, and our utility bill is nearly $300 in the summer, and last winter the lowest was just under $200.  Sub-metering at it's worst.

I'm upper-lower class, raised blue collar.
 
2013-07-12 09:36:43 AM  

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: I can see maybe tacking on an extra maintenance fee, but $50-100 a month seems insane. While I realize we don't have to run the AC as much here as in Arizona, I've never had my electric bill over $200.


Yeah, the idea is sound (solar customers need just as much grid as everyone else and it's normally simply part of the power bill.  Solar changes this equation) but the fee is unreasonable.

I rather suspect this is just an opening position that they expect to be lowered by the utility commission.

Asa Phelps: as i understand it, there are maintenance & management costs incurred by having so many different sources of current, but most of them are related to synchronizing generator waveforms.


The solar *CUSTOMER* takes care of that--you can't feed back onto the grid without syncing with it.

Grammatik Polizei: What a load of B.S. Our panels produce our entire demand. We pay $18/month in fees and such for the privilege of being connected to the grid. This is the same as if we had a meter with nothing connected to it.The utility doesn't even see what we feed back during the day in any real sense. Our meter is connected to a 15 k.v.a. transformer that also feeds three other meters. At mid day when we feed back these three other neighbors are using a whole lot more. So our array reverses current for a whole 200 feet of the grid. BTW I paid the entire cost of running that 200 feet when the house was built - so the utility "maintains" that line but didn't incur any cost to install it.


Reality check:  During the day you are feeding power onto the grid, at night the grid is feeding you power.  Cut that grid tie and your lights go out at night.  Thus you are using the grid.

Also, consider that transformer.  If you weren't there wouldn't they have used a smaller one?  That's a piece of infrastructure you didn't pay for but are using.

Lady J: christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??


I used to live there, his numbers aren't unreasonable.  I live in a slightly cooler climate although with a bigger house and this month will no doubt hit $300.  When the outside temperature is 30 degrees above the inside temperature (we recently tied a record high, 117--47 in your oversize degrees) the AC works *HARD*.

Lady J: I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend


Probably.   "Ranch" is a style of house, it's one story and the connections between rooms are based around one hallway that runs side to side.

Note, also, that basements are almost unheard of in this part of the country.  That means you don't get nearly as much moderation from the ground as you do in colder places that have basements.  (It's a matter of engineering, the foundations *MUST* go below the frost line or bad things will happen.  In colder climates you basically have to dig the basement anyway to meet this requirement, the additional cost of making it a room are low.  Out here we have no frost line to worry about.)

Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?


A douchenozzle goes in the best place on Earth--how is it an insult to be called one? <G>

Beer in a bar--no idea, I don't drink.

A pint of milk?  The supermarket *MIGHT* sell those for kids' lunches, I don't know.  We usually buy a gallon at a time.  Around here that's in the $2.75-$3.00 range depending on the season.

Loaf of bread?  Store brand is going to be around $1, fancy stuff can go as high as $4.

Short bus ride?  We don't have a zone system here, a bus ride to anywhere they go was $1.50 the last time I used one.  (And that lets you get on other buses as needed to reach your destination, but you'll have to pay again to come home.)
 
2013-07-12 09:43:01 AM  
Nothing new. Utilities don't like to lose money. They tell people to conserve energy, then complain because people conserved energy so much that their electric/water/gas bills were lower, so the utility companies need to jack their rates to make up the lost income. You can't win.

Here in the DC area after we had the derecho last year and people were without power for 2 weeks PEPCO charged people for NOT having power. Turns out there was some specially written law that in order to make up for lost revenue of people not having power PEPCO could charge them for not having power. True story bro.
 
2013-07-12 09:46:32 AM  
More panels, more batteries, cable cutters.  Problem solved.
 
2013-07-12 09:47:40 AM  

Lady J: cmunic8r99: Lady J: CtrlAltDestroy: Lady J: well this is pleasant

no one calling each other douchenozzles or asserting that britland/yankland sucks

how much is a beer in a bar? pint of milk? loaf of bread? short local bus ride?

I don't drink beer but a mixed drink is usually around 3.5-5.5£. A US Gal of milk is about 1.3-2£. A loaf of bread is about 1-2£ depending on the bread. In Chicago full price bus fare (without discounts, monthly passes, etc) is about 1.5£. Remember, "short" and "local" tend to have different meanings to us.

if you meant to put sterling symbols, then it's on a par with the UK. hooray we're not disgracefully expensive!

I think those are supposed to be sterling. Mixed drinks are usually $7+. Pints (of good beer, not Bud-esque swill) are about the same. Gallon of milk: $3.75. Bread: $1.50 - $3.00. Daily bus pass: $2.00.

/Raleigh, NC

again about the same as here if not a bit more expensive. you can pay crazy money for drinks somewhere upmarket in London but I imagine that's true in any big city.

travel is expensive in London. My travelcard is £120 a month, but that's unlimited travel zones 2 to 5 which is a loooong way. there's no such thing as a daily bus pass but if you're using pay-as-you-go on oyster, bus travel is capped at about 5 squid a day

how illuminating. I wonder what's cheaper in the US. there must be something, as it's very widely believed it's a cheaper place to live than here.


http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Unite d+States&country2=United+Kingdom&city1=Raleigh%2C+NC&city2=Nottingham

Here's a comparison of similarly sized cities (Raleigh, NC and Nottingham).
 
2013-07-12 09:54:06 AM  
People really need to just read the article before commenting.
 
2013-07-12 09:54:23 AM  
Holy crap are some of those bills expensive!  It's been a mild summer in Ohio but I just got my bill for mid June - mid July - $160 for a 2500 sq. ft. (232 sq. meter) house.  We keep the house at 68 at night and 74-75 during the day.  We did pay extra for 2x6 walls and all the insulation they can hold so I think it's paying off - when the thermostat climbs to 75 early in the AM its quite possible the AC doesnt kick on again until 3pm if it's not above 85 outside.

/Considering a small wind turbine for generation.... might have to start my own company to get it done.
 
2013-07-12 09:56:58 AM  

Lady J: how illuminating. I wonder what's cheaper in the US. there must be something, as it's very widely believed it's a cheaper place to live than here.


life. dignity.
 
2013-07-12 09:58:00 AM  

cmunic8r99: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Unit e d+States&country2=United+Kingdom&city1=Raleigh%2C+NC&city2=Nottingham


big difference in clothes. my fiance's sister lives in Boston and it's sometimes cheaper for me to buy stuff from US websites and get her to mail it to me
 
2013-07-12 10:06:22 AM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: How much would you like to bet that maintenance charge is already on the bill?


Five bucks.  Generally, most will be worked into the rates with assumptions of minimal use.  I know some areas will do things like "minimal 10 dollar bill" type crap.
 
2013-07-12 10:19:27 AM  

alienated: Meanwhile, in that sunny paradise that is Germany ...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany

Plus, they have kind of a "i generate twice as much power as your haus, mein freunde. hahaha "


Yeah, I noticed this a LOT when I was in Germany a few weeks ago on vacation- especially in the smaller towns that we passed through on the trains. You'd see lots of barns and garages with the roofs completely covered with PV panels, and we saw plenty of large arrays set up in fields too. Was an interesting contrast to Venice, where we thought it would make a lot more sense but I don't think I saw a single panel while there...
 
2013-07-12 10:20:23 AM  
lack of warmth:

That reminds of a story I got from a Consumers lineman.  He was out one night trying to restore power after a storm when he found a branch resting on a line that caused the big fuse to blow.  He pulled the blown fuse and went to remove the branch before he could replace the fuse restoring power.  The line should be dead, but he still had his safety gloves on as he reached for the branch.  Sparks jumped from the branch to his fingers, the line was still charged.  A farmer up the line had his generator wired wrong and was back feeding and catching a transformer before the spot my friend was at and therefore the line was fully charged.  They had to make the farmer shut off his generator in order to finish the work, and I sure some repercussions were dealt.  My friend wouldn't be here if he didn't stop and put the big gloves and boots on, stopping him from being the ground.

That's pretty common actually. Somebody thinks they are a genius and instead of using a transfer switch they just plug the generator right into an outlet and backfeed the house. One of the problems (there are many) is that if you don't flip the  main breaker the power also goes out the house to the transformer, etc.
 
2013-07-12 10:30:40 AM  
And while I'm on my effing high horse, there shouldn't be a big box mall in the US that isn't PLATED in PV.  No light obstructions, flat as a board, great utility line access.   A municipality that can see more than 10 years into the future would just pay for them outright.

Plus, my zombie fortress would have electricity.  Score!
 
2013-07-12 10:45:58 AM  

logieal: Fark APS. Seriously fark them in the ear.

Got my bill yesterday. $405 for a 1,400sqft house that we, at most, keep at 79 overnight. During the day the temp is set to 85 when no one is here.

Total usage: 2200kwh. We aren't on one of their time based peak usage plans and are getting seriously screwed. They have the basic plan tiered during the summer months based on usage.

From their website:
in summer you're billed at different costs per kWh depending on energy usage
the first 400 are billed at approximately $0.096
the next 400 are billed at approximately $0.13
the next 2,000 are billed at approximately $0.163
all remaining kWh are billed at approximately $0.174
in winter the cost is approximately $0.094 per kWh

I didn't realize that it changed in the summer so much. I was never told that when I signed up. So I went to see what one of their time based plans run:

Typically they are peak hours from Noon til 7pm.
time advantage plan details
winter (november-april billing cycles) $/kWh
on-peak kWh $0.19847
off-peak kWh $0.06116
summer (may-october billing cycles)
on-peak kWh $0.24477
off-peak kWh $0.06118

combined advantage 7 pm-noon
plan details
winter (november-april billing cycles) $/kWh
on-peak kWh $0.05747
on-off kWh $0.04107
demand charge per kW $9.30
summer (may-october billing cycles)
on-peak kWh $0.08867
off-peak kWh $0.04417
demand charge per kW $13.50


That's right, there is a plan that will charge $13.50 per kWh if you use more than a set amount. It doesn't say what that 'demand' amount is, but holy fark. The only clue you have is that it says you must stagger the use of appliances. So I take that to mean if you're using your oven and your refrigerator or A/C kicks on, you're getting charged $13.50 a kWh. Fark that.

Now, I went and used their fancy calculator and it said if I switched to their basic time based plan, based on current usage, I'd save something like $500 a year. Ok, fine, I'll try it. One catch: good luc ...


This is what your state needs:
http://www.oag.state.md.us/energy/

It's called "retail choice" or "electricity supplier choice".  You get to say FARK YOU to your local utility monopoly and choose who you want to supply your electricity.

Here are the states that currently do it:
http://www.eia.gov/electricity/policies/restructuring/restructure_el ec t.html

I'm pretty sure it'll be mandated by the Feds at some point.
 
2013-07-12 10:52:27 AM  

Lady J: how illuminating. I wonder what's cheaper in the US. there must be something, as it's very widely believed it's a cheaper place to live than here.


Gasoline.   The conspiracy to destroy mass transit has to keep gas prices low to remain in control.

Food's pretty cheap too, especially if you aren't worrying much about eating healthy.  Heavy subsidies for farmers, even though it often hurts other countries.  The global food economy is all kinds of messed up and crazy complicated though.

fireclown: And while I'm on my effing high horse, there shouldn't be a big box mall in the US that isn't PLATED in PV.  No light obstructions, flat as a board, great utility line access.   A municipality that can see more than 10 years into the future would just pay for them outright.

Plus, my zombie fortress would have electricity.  Score!


Average municipality either HATES the big box store too much to give 'em one red cent or is so Red-State that they would rather have their tax dollars buy PV cells and smash them with hammers to "stick it to the hippies" than plan ahead.
 
2013-07-12 10:53:22 AM  

rmoody: Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: I can see maybe tacking on an extra maintenance fee, but $50-100 a month seems insane. While I realize we don't have to run the AC as much here as in Arizona, I've never had my electric bill over $200.

Cheap, quickly built homes with zero, and I mean, zero insulation = $300 a month and up for under 2000sf. I'm not kidding, I could put my hand on an exterior wall and feel the heat through it.

dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.

Because solar is for hippies, and Aribama is 100% red-blooded Amurricans.


No.

Arizona's infrastructure is old. Because most of the state does not suffer from severe weather, the upgrade timelines are further apart.

So when newer technology, such as solar arrays come along, the capabilities to adapt are not in place. They can build new with no problem (solar array in Mesa/Tempe), but replacing and upgrading is different.
 
2013-07-12 10:58:56 AM  
LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?
 
2013-07-12 11:06:25 AM  
No way it will pass. Even if it did, it would get overturned in court as being against public policy.
 
2013-07-12 11:29:59 AM  

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: I can see maybe tacking on an extra maintenance fee, but $50-100 a month seems insane. While I realize we don't have to run the AC as much here as in Arizona, I've never had my electric bill over $200.


The flat-rate thing is what is the killer.

Since they charge you on a flex rate (a % of your KW is added to cover line costs), why not use the same formula when selling back to them? (so a % of KW is subtracted from your credit to cover line costs).

So if buying $1.00 of power with 20% costs for line fees is $1.20 total, and then when you sell your power back to the grid its an $0.80 credit.
 
2013-07-12 11:39:03 AM  
Electricity costs $X per watt to produce, and a flat $Y for infrastructure. It's then sold for $Z per watt, which covers both of those. So ZW= XW+Y. Solar panel users have a W of almost 0, so what they pay doesn't cover the infrastructure. It costs the electric company more to deliver their electricity than it makes. It's not complicated. Basic Algebra you should have learned in middle school.
 
2013-07-12 11:39:36 AM  
It isn't about money-grubbing capitalists (this time) as much as it's about outdated regulatory structure - and I say this as a proud socialist, electric car owner, unaffiliated with the utility industry.

The utility industry is our most Soviet sector - planning, rates, etc. are all controlled by government agencies (State PUCs). Keep this in mind when talking about "market rates" for electricity. The utilities' rates are government-set, to allow them some "fair" return on infrastructure investment and profit on generation.

Solar grid-tie customers get scrod on net metering because while you're covering the generation, you're not covering the infrastructure, which is why the utility pays less than the rate they charge customers. There's no particularly "fair" way around that.

If we blanketed buildings everywhere in grid-tied solar panels this would be wonderful for the economy, the planet, and long-term utility costs. And devastating to utilities' regulated business model.

The low-hanging solution would be to decouple generation and transmission into different companies, but that didn't work out so well in California. Complete deregulation wouldn't work because transmission is a natural monopoly. Nationalizing transmission seems like a good solution (but to us that always seems like a good solution).
 
2013-07-12 11:40:19 AM  

trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?


Do you know how few truly cloudy days there are here?
 
2013-07-12 11:46:12 AM  

Stile4aly: trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?

Do you know how few truly cloudy days there are here?


I remember some of the Phoenix tourism commercials from some years ago: fake news reports of "CloudWatch", showing a tiny cloud in the sky, with people panicing, grocery stores running out of food, etc.
 
2013-07-12 11:50:25 AM  

trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?


The clouds keep the temperature lower so all the ACs don't have to work so hard.
 
2013-07-12 11:52:38 AM  

Persnickety: trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?

The clouds keep the temperature lower so all the ACs don't have to work so hard.


Oh, we'd get some of that nice adjacent cold air mass blowing our way since Hell would have frozen over.
 
2013-07-12 11:55:35 AM  
i'd rather be dead in California.
 
2013-07-12 11:57:33 AM  

lack of warmth: Generation_D: I knew a guy in the 1980s who was a WWII veteran. He had a crank phone that generated its own power, and for fun one day he plugged that into the tone dial network GTE ran.

By "ringing" that phone, he caused a spot outage at the local switch box/"Central Office" (affecting the neigborhood) because he just zapped it with whatever current one of those things put out, and the circuitry hadn't had to handle one of those in 30 years.

They sent a nice repairman out who told him don't do that again.

That reminds of a story I got from a Consumers lineman.  He was out one night trying to restore power after a storm when he found a branch resting on a line that caused the big fuse to blow.  He pulled the blown fuse and went to remove the branch before he could replace the fuse restoring power.  The line should be dead, but he still had his safety gloves on as he reached for the branch.  Sparks jumped from the branch to his fingers, the line was still charged.  A farmer up the line had his generator wired wrong and was back feeding and catching a transformer before the spot my friend was at and therefore the line was fully charged.  They had to make the farmer shut off his generator in order to finish the work, and I sure some repercussions were dealt.  My friend wouldn't be here if he didn't stop and put the big gloves and boots on, stopping him from being the ground.


Didn't use his grounding hook?
 
2013-07-12 12:03:46 PM  

Loren: Grammatik Polizei: What a load of B.S. Our panels produce our entire demand. We pay $18/month in fees and such for the privilege of being connected to the grid. This is the same as if we had a meter with nothing connected to it.The utility doesn't even see what we feed back during the day in any real sense. Our meter is connected to a 15 k.v.a. transformer that also feeds three other meters. At mid day when we feed back these three other neighbors are using a whole lot more. So our array reverses current for a whole 200 feet of the grid. BTW I paid the entire cost of running that 200 feet when the house was built - so the utility "maintains" that line but didn't incur any cost to install it.

Reality check: During the day you are feeding power onto the grid, at night the grid is feeding you power. Cut that grid tie and your lights go out at night. Thus you are using the grid.


I realize I am using the grid. As I said, we are paying $18 per month to do so. I am fine with this because that is what all customers are paying for that service in our area. The Arizona utillity essentially wants people who use less to pay more.


Also, consider that transformer. If you weren't there wouldn't they have used a smaller one? That's a piece of infrastructure you didn't pay for but are using.

No, the transformer was there long before I built and is the basic size they place in residential neighborhoods here.  It is a piece of infrastructure that I am using and pay for on a monthly basis through the lump-sum base fees on the standard utility bill.

Again my objection with the dickish utility is that we all pay to be connected to the grid (base fees) and also pay for generation and transmission of what we use in kWh.  Every electric bill I have payed has been this way.  To add additional fees because you use less than average (because you have solar) stinks.
 
2013-07-12 12:15:04 PM  

logieal: That's right, there is a plan that will charge $13.50 per kWh if you use more than a set amount. It doesn't say what that 'demand' amount is, but holy fark. The only clue you have is that it says you must stagger the use of appliances. So I take that to mean if you're using your oven and your refrigerator or A/C kicks on, you're getting charged $13.50 a kWh. Fark that.


As an electric car owner, I've been researching these kinds of plans. (I'm in Raleigh so my utility is different than yours, but the basic details are the same everywhere).

The $13.50/kW is for your PEAK demand. They measure how much electricity you've used every 15 minutes. For all of the on-peak times (i.e. not nights/weekends) during the month, they look at the one 15-minute period where you used the most energy (kWh), multiply that by 4 to get average kW, multiply that by $13.50.

That models utilities' cost structure more accurately than other plans - peak demand is what's most expensive for them to provide.

To win with a plan like that, you need to have fairly smooth consumption during peak times, and/or be able to put off load to non-peak times (like charging the car and drying clothes at night). I ended up staying with my flat-rate plan (not even time of use) because my car's usage is small compared to my HVAC/water heat/dryer, so with time-of-use plans or time-of-use-demand plans (as above) I lose.
 
2013-07-12 12:16:03 PM  

Stile4aly: trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?

Do you know how few truly cloudy days there are here?


Zero?  Is there zero?
 
2013-07-12 12:23:07 PM  
So are they going to penalize all the schools here that are installing giant panel in their parking lots this summer? Every school I drive by this lately are installing giant banks of panels in the parking lots.

And the local electric companies just got done installing panel farms all over the place this last year. Which thanks by the way for charging me a new fee on my bill to pay for those and jacked my KWH rate up to make up the difference (yes I read my bills).
 
2013-07-12 12:25:57 PM  
When you stop and think about it, anything you do to reduce your power bill is going to impact some energy company and they're not going to be real happy about it.

Hoover Dam was fought in the planning stages by local power companies, who didn't like the idea of not being able to charge customers what they wanted for electricity.

Later came the companies whose major purpose was simply to buy and sell power at a profit -- meaning they really didn't do anything to earn their major bucks but affected a lot of people.

Science Fiction writers have periodically brought up the concept of individually powered homes and businesses, eliminating the power grid, but we don't have the technology for that. (You can, though, install a 'pocket nuclear reactor' something like they have on military ships and subs but your neighbors might get a tad hysterical and changing out the fuel rods tends to be on the costly side.)

Note: A kid did make a fully functional little nuclear reactor for a school science project -- and got in trouble for it.

Trying to ease your power costs has a ripple effect that means power producers will eventually fight you every step of the way if your idea becomes too wide spread. All of your major fossil fuel companies, from oil to coal and gas, will react badly to any drop in their profits. Power plants who rely on the cost of fuel will react badly if their profits start to drop.

When major companies start to feel the pinch, they bribe congress into creating laws to prevent the average citizen from getting out of paying their high costs. Look how cable TV got 'stealing cable' -- meaning poking the end of a cut cable wire into the cable socket and getting a few channels for free -- into a felony.

I did read, several years ago, about a guy who invented a new, film based, cheap, flexible solar cell system that was going to drop the cost of solar panels. Since then, I've read about his product and it works, but it's not so cheap anymore.

I've looked into solar since our power bills usually pass $200 a month but prior to the great gas screwing we all got, had been around $75. Back in the early 70's, my first apartment with a/c cost $19.00 a month in power. (High test gas was $0.50 a gallon.)

Homes are much more efficient these days, better insulated and their electric devices more power friendly, but the energy bills still keep going up.

When I checked into solar and everything which was needed to take my house off the grid completely, I realized it would take me nearly a decade to pay off the costs before I started showing a gain. The battery bank alone is hideously expensive.
 
2013-07-12 12:29:08 PM  

flondrix: BarkingUnicorn: If they're getting no service, why don't they just withdraw from the grid? Oh, because they need it sometimes. But when they need it and it works for them, that's not a service that APS provides. Just look at how foolish you look!

So people who use less electricity from the grid should have an extra surcharge, to punish them for the power they're not using?


Are you punished with insurance premiums for staying healthy?  If so, you do not understand insurance.
 
2013-07-12 12:35:00 PM  

Lady J: Bontesla:
I live in Georgia. My power bill is about 200 in the summer. I own a small 1390 sqft ranch home.

Every time my contract is up, I shop for the most competitive rates. I think I've switched companies every year... But I have the luxury of choice.

I don't know what a ranch home is, but you describe that as small. i can't remember the exact dimensions of my place but I'd say yours is double the size of mine.

i think in general property is a lot bigger in the US and that's part of the difference in power spend


This.  Americans buy lots of stuff and need lots of room for it.  It's what makes our economy great.

/lived comfortably in 284 sq. ft. & had room for 5 dinner guests
 
2013-07-12 12:51:02 PM  
The power company should sell electricity at retail rates and buy electricity at wholesale rates. Yes this impacts the end user that can no longer sell back excess electricity from their solar panels to the power company at full retail, but it allows the power company to maintain the lines that get that power from your house to your neighbors house.

Alternatively the user installing solar can load their garage full of batteries and disconnect from the grid.
 
2013-07-12 01:06:56 PM  
If you don't cheap out on the technical parts for solar, you can make it so you run solar mainly and then that gets supplemented with grid power.
No need to feed back into the grid.
 
2013-07-12 01:10:56 PM  

Ravage: Alternatively the user installing solar can load their garage full of batteries and disconnect from the grid.


Oh, I'm sure the electric companies are thinking up a fee for that, too. probably something about needing to keep the unused lines in good condition in case you sell your house and the new owner needs them.
 
2013-07-12 01:14:34 PM  

pacified: i'd rather be dead in California.


Good, we want you there too.
 
2013-07-12 02:03:07 PM  
This will pass, depending on how much they bribed contributed to politicians.
 
2013-07-12 02:14:43 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: flondrix: BarkingUnicorn: If they're getting no service, why don't they just withdraw from the grid? Oh, because they need it sometimes. But when they need it and it works for them, that's not a service that APS provides. Just look at how foolish you look!

So people who use less electricity from the grid should have an extra surcharge, to punish them for the power they're not using?

Are you punished with insurance premiums for staying healthy?  If so, you do not understand insurance.


Do insurance companies charge you extra for being too healthy?  If not, then they are not punishing you.  This utility company wants to charge you a hundred bucks a month extra if you have a solar panel.
 
2013-07-12 02:15:41 PM  

Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.

Oh, yes, cars have a net negative impact on society; that is why there are so few of them, and so few miles of roads for them to use.

Are you seriously arguing that there's a bunch of them, so they must be good for society?  Because I don't think I even have to bother refuting that.

But ignoring that, and going into more detail, yes you driving a car is a net negative.  It'd be far far better overall if you used public transportation of some kind, or at least car-pooled, thus having less cars on the road.  Keep in mind, here "better" means for society as a whole, counting in the cost to the environment and etc.  Having roads and such infrastructure is a net positive, you personally driving is not.  Seems a bit counter-intuitive at first I guess, but if you think about it it's pretty obvious.


You take the bus system in Austin for a few months, sit next to the idiot who uses his clothes as a toilet, catch several illnesses over that period of time, THEN come back and tell me private transportation is a negative.
 
2013-07-12 02:25:40 PM  

sycraft: Solar panels can really help, particularly since they tend to do a lot of output when it is hot,


Actually, like most semiconductor-based bits of tech, they're less efficient when hot.
 
2013-07-12 02:29:24 PM  

Liquid_Bacon: APS has to pay the solar customers RETAIL prices for their excess power, which is higher during peak times.    That might sound great and all, but the money is coming from somewhere.  The price difference is made up by the other customers.  So, when 2016 rolls around and the ACC let's APS raise rates again, the non solar customers will be subsidizing solar ever more.  That's In addition to the tax subsidies solar received.  Why do I have to pay for someone else's stuff?


APS does not pay solar customers retail prices for excess power. Solar customers receive a credit for the kwhs sent back to the grid. The solar customer sends extra kwhs to the grid during peak rates and APS resells it to other customers at 15.5 c/kwh. The solar customers just receive a credit for 1 kwh, which mostly would be used to offset a be a kwh used at off period rates 9 c/kwh. APS is mad because solar is replacing their most profitable sales
 
2013-07-12 02:44:22 PM  

Abner Doon: BarkingUnicorn: This is the same battle that's being fought between electric car makers and State depts. of transportation.  Even if your car uses zero gasoline, you still have to pay for the farking roads to drive it on.

Except driving a car has a net negative impact on society as a whole.  Installing and using solar panels has a net positive impact on society as a whole.  So government has a vested interest in subsidizing solar panels, whereas it has none in subsidizing cars.


Except having a job and being productive has a net positive impact on society and having a car to get there is nearly always required, put the bong down and think hippy.
 
2013-07-12 03:15:59 PM  

Rik01: When I checked into solar and everything which was needed to take my house off the grid completely, I realized it would take me nearly a decade to pay off the costs before I started showing a gain. The battery bank alone is hideously expensive.


Batteries are inefficient and degrade rather quickly with repeated charge-discharge cycles.  Look into supercapacitors, they hold a lot of energy, and can discharge as fast or as slow as needed, and unlike some rechargable battery types (NiCad and the like, the cheaper ones) supercaps have no memory effect, and unlike lithium, sealed lead acid or NiMH, they don't suffer reduced capacity if fully discharged.
 
2013-07-12 03:57:32 PM  

flondrix: BarkingUnicorn: flondrix: BarkingUnicorn: If they're getting no service, why don't they just withdraw from the grid? Oh, because they need it sometimes. But when they need it and it works for them, that's not a service that APS provides. Just look at how foolish you look!

So people who use less electricity from the grid should have an extra surcharge, to punish them for the power they're not using?

Are you punished with insurance premiums for staying healthy?  If so, you do not understand insurance.

Do insurance companies charge you extra for being too healthy?  If not, then they are not punishing you.  This utility company wants to charge you a hundred bucks a month extra if you have a solar panel.


Sigh.  No, one of their proposals is a separate charge for insuring that the grid will be available when you need it.   Your reasoning implies that people who are perfectly healthy and never use health care insurance should have zero premiums.

Get off the grid, avoid the charge.  Drop insurance, avoid premiums.  Don't pay your money and take your chances.
 
2013-07-12 04:50:33 PM  

Lady J: PunGent: Lady J: payattention: Lady J -christ on a bike! my electricity bill is about 25 quid a month. that's what... 35 dollars? do you have AC in the dog's kennel??

No offense M'Lady, but in some places the temperature can go above 80F...err 26.6C.... which is something you may not be familiar with living where you do...

so you/they are spending 397-35=362 dollars a month on AC and refrigeration? (obviously I have a fridge, but it doesnt have to work as hard as yours/theirs)

that seems... a lot

Yes, but us real 'Mericans don't have to pay a license fee to watch television...

a whopping tenner a month. what are you spending on cable / equivalent?

in fact, from that verizon article yesterday I gather you guys also pay a shiatload for landline and mobile phone.

im coming across as defensive i realise and I'm not [much]. i just wonder whether it's become easy and bandwagony to rip on the UK as being incredily expensive, when it's actually not.


Easy, lady, just teasing ya :)

Yes, cable bundles here are VERY expensive.  I keep hoping we'll get to choose our channels, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
2013-07-12 05:17:41 PM  

trappedspirit: Stile4aly: trappedspirit: LOL first cloudy day and suddenly we all need 100% of the grid.  How does shiat work?

Do you know how few truly cloudy days there are here?

Zero?  Is there zero?


From March to November, it probably is 0, aside from the evening thunderstorms in August when we'd be on-grid anyway since it would be night.  In the winter, you'll get a couple cloudy days here and there, but we're not blasting AC all the time either so it's not as if the grid is under terrible strain during this time either.
 
2013-07-12 05:24:24 PM  
PunGent:

Easy, lady, just teasing ya :)

Yes, cable bundles here are VERY expensive.  I keep hoping we'll get to choose our channels, but I'm not holding my breath.


gosh dang it's hard to consistently not bite in life! you're a scholar and a [pun]gentleman to come back here and be gracious
 
2013-07-12 05:51:50 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Sigh.  No, one of their proposals is a separate charge for insuring that the grid will be available when you need it.


People who do not have solar panels also rely on the grid being there when they need it, but are not subject to the extra charge.  Both households with and without solar panels buy electricity, the households with solar panels just buy less than they would otherwise.  They may even buy more than a smaller household that has very few appliances and no solar panels.  Very few people have enough installed solar to meet all of their electrical needs, and most of those are truly off the grid.  Had the utility proposed a "connection charge" for all customers who use less electricity but have the ability to use more on a moment's notice, they could justify that better than "Hey, we can see panels on your roof, that'll be another $100 a month."

Then there is the grid synchronization issue, but I don't see you making that argument.
 
2013-07-12 05:59:58 PM  

flondrix: BarkingUnicorn: Sigh.  No, one of their proposals is a separate charge for insuring that the grid will be available when you need it.

People who do not have solar panels also rely on the grid being there when they need it, but are not subject to the extra charge.  Both households with and without solar panels buy electricity, the households with solar panels just buy less than they would otherwise.  They may even buy more than a smaller household that has very few appliances and no solar panels.  Very few people have enough installed solar to meet all of their electrical needs, and most of those are truly off the grid.  Had the utility proposed a "connection charge" for all customers who use less electricity but have the ability to use more on a moment's notice, they could justify that better than "Hey, we can see panels on your roof, that'll be another $100 a month."

Then there is the grid synchronization issue, but I don't see you making that argument.


Whatever palatable moniker they give to this fee, it is not an "extra" charge.  It won't end up anywhere near $100/month, either.
 
2013-07-12 06:15:23 PM  
This should be so straight forward it's idiotic there's even an argument.  The power company needs to (forced to by law if needed) decouple their pricing for electrical service with the pricing for electrical generation/sale.

I'm 100% certain they have used every capital expense on their taxes to avoid paying more on their profit (nothing wrong with that) - so it's a matter of record how much money they spend every year maintaining/upgrading their grid.

Simply take the grid budget and divide by (# customers * service capacitiy)

This way EVERYONE pays for their reliance on the grid, adjusted for their maximum potential usage.  A factory is going to pay a lot more because they have considerably more capacity to use electricity (regardless of voltage or amperage) - but no one gets a free ride.
 
2013-07-12 06:23:03 PM  

Grammatik Polizei: I realize I am using the grid. As I said, we are paying $18 per month to do so. I am fine with this because that is what all customers are paying for that service in our area. The Arizona utillity essentially wants people who use less to pay more.


But $18/month isn't the whole cost of the grid.

Grammatik Polizei: No, the transformer was there long before I built and is the basic size they place in residential neighborhoods here. It is a piece of infrastructure that I am using and pay for on a monthly basis through the lump-sum base fees on the standard utility bill.


Built because they knew a house was going to come along.  Had they known the lot would remain unconnected it would be different.

Ravage: The power company should sell electricity at retail rates and buy electricity at wholesale rates. Yes this impacts the end user that can no longer sell back excess electricity from their solar panels to the power company at full retail, but it allows the power company to maintain the lines that get that power from your house to your neighbors house.


So long as not too great a percentage of users are doing this it would work fine.
 
2013-07-12 08:44:45 PM  

Saberus Terras: Look into supercapacitors, they hold a lot of energy


But have still nowhere near the energy density of batteries.
 
2013-07-12 09:06:21 PM  

Freschel: dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.

Politics, pure politics. That's why.


Actually it's because solar panels are expensive.  I looked online to get an idea of what they cost.  Here's a 60 watt panel for $300.  Here's a 130 watt panel for $560.  Then you need the other stuff that goes with it.  First there are the batteries.  Anyone who has a car knows what batteries cost.  Then there's something called a charge controller.  That disconnects the panels from the batteries when they're fully charged.  If you don't have one, you'll ruin the batteries.  Then you need one or more inverters to change that DC power into the AC your appliances require.  If you're going 100% solar, you will need enough panels to provide your power needs for the day and charge the batteries.  Also you will need enough extra panels to provide a cushion for times when the sky is partly cloudy so you still have the power you need and are able to charge the batteries.  Also you need to take into consideration that neither the batteries or inverters are 100% efficient.  You'll need more panels to compensate for this.

To go 100% solar you'll need a setup that can provide somewhere around 10 to 15 thousand watts.  The cost is why the solar companies in Arizona are leasing the panels instead of selling them.
 
2013-07-12 10:51:03 PM  

ambercat: And let's not get started and air conditioning


You know there IS such thing as solar cooling.
 
2013-07-12 10:58:15 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Wherever there's an American, there's a raging douchebag.


YOU are apparently an American, shiat4brainz.
 
2013-07-13 01:02:42 AM  
The best thing I did for my electric bill was install a split-system a.c. Five years ago. Here in central Florida it runs 24/7. I used to pay up to $250 a month in the summer. My highest bill to date was $130. $60 of that was the danged fuel surcharge. Yearly routine maintenance for both units is $180.
 
2013-07-13 12:57:35 PM  

Bonzo_1116: AverageAmericanGuy: It never really made sense that they would pay individual energy producers for power. I'm surprised that this kind of thing hasn't already been enacted.

Tepco here in Japan, reeling from the sudden reduced energy usage after the tsunami, decided that raising rates to keep revenue levels up was a better course of action than letting their management bonuses lapse.

It's comforting to know that assholes are everywhere. Reaffirms faith in the universal order.


Yeah but the bonuses for CEOs in Japan are probably like $10000. Have you ever  seen a comparison of Japanese executive pay?
 
2013-07-13 12:59:27 PM  

PaLarkin: Freschel: dangelder: How is Arizona not 100% solar already? I could probably make a killing there if I designed and produced some kind of simple solar-powered fan or AC unit.

Politics, pure politics. That's why.

Actually it's because solar panels are expensive.  I looked online to get an idea of what they cost.  Here's a 60 watt panel for $300.  Here's a 130 watt panel for $560.  Then you need the other stuff that goes with it.  First there are the batteries.  Anyone who has a car knows what batteries cost.  Then there's something called a charge controller.  That disconnects the panels from the batteries when they're fully charged.  If you don't have one, you'll ruin the batteries.  Then you need one or more inverters to change that DC power into the AC your appliances require.  If you're going 100% solar, you will need enough panels to provide your power needs for the day and charge the batteries.  Also you will need enough extra panels to provide a cushion for times when the sky is partly cloudy so you still have the power you need and are able to charge the batteries.  Also you need to take into consideration that neither the batteries or inverters are 100% efficient.  You'll need more panels to compensate for this.

To go 100% solar you'll need a setup that can provide somewhere around 10 to 15 thousand watts.  The cost is why the solar companies in Arizona are leasing the panels instead of selling them.


You seriously need to look into a  grid tie system. Trying to run your own battery backup easily doubles the cost up front, and adds tons of maintenance costs down the road.
 
2013-07-13 01:07:59 PM  

Fizpez: This should be so straight forward it's idiotic there's even an argument.  The power company needs to (forced to by law if needed) decouple their pricing for electrical service with the pricing for electrical generation/sale.


That's actually, technically, what they're requesting (and that everyone is up in arms about): They want to charge grid-tie customers the transmission costs of the energy they use (which is already something broken out on most bills - take a look at the details). Right now, under net use metering, you can pay an electrical bill of $0 if your production exactly matches your use.

I don't know if it is reasonable to pay the full transmission cost - the power you generate, they're selling it to other customers nearby and charging them the full transmission cost, with nearly no transmission losses. And a home with balanced production and consumption tends to draw power during low-usage periods when there is plenty of excess capacity on the transmission infrastructure.
 
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