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(TreeHugger)   Utility companies are freaking out over your desire to make a smaller carbon footprint   ( treehugger.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, personal footprint, smart thermostats, demand response devices, energy demand, aforementioned smart thermostats, brave new world, home energy, home energy report  
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1694 clicks; posted to Business » on 03 Mar 2018 at 10:16 AM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



25 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2018-03-03 07:33:43 AM  
Call Whitefish.
 
2018-03-03 10:20:06 AM  
Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?
 
2018-03-03 10:31:40 AM  

jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?


In WI any price increase has to be approved by the Public Service Comission.  Though I believe some of the smaller private co-ops aren't covered under their jurisdiction...

Antwho, if you're bored and want to read up on it..

https://psc.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx
 
2018-03-03 10:31:42 AM  
The utilities are increasing the fixed cost part of your bill. The poles, wires, trucks, buildings, salaries, etc need to be paid for regardless of how much power you actually use. They used to hide that cost in your kwh charge but, as the article mentions, efficiency and distributed generation are changing that math. So you'll end up paying $40 to have electrical service and you'll get charged the whole rate for whatever power you use.
 
2018-03-03 10:32:56 AM  

SoupGuru: The utilities are increasing the fixed cost part of your bill. The poles, wires, trucks, buildings, salaries, etc need to be paid for regardless of how much power you actually use. They used to hide that cost in your kwh charge but, as the article mentions, efficiency and distributed generation are changing that math. So you'll end up paying $40 to have electrical service and you'll get charged the whole rate for whatever power you use.


wholesale rate, dammit
 
2018-03-03 10:34:33 AM  
...almost as if privatized utility companies have the wrong motives when it comes to energy policy, huh?
 
2018-03-03 10:55:27 AM  

SoupGuru: The utilities are increasing the fixed cost part of your bill. The poles, wires, trucks, buildings, salaries, etc need to be paid for regardless of how much power you actually use. They used to hide that cost in your kwh charge but, as the article mentions, efficiency and distributed generation are changing that math. So you'll end up paying $40 to have electrical service and you'll get charged the whole rate for whatever power you use.


I have a couple of friends in Canada. Their water bill works like this. One friend got married and was selling his house(he moved in with his wife). He never shut off the water and used literally .01 cu ft(or what ever the metric equivalent is) due to fluctuations in the hot water taken. His bill was 1¢ for the water, and $75 delivery charge. The delivery charge pays for all the things you mentioned.

On a side note, I wouldn't mind switching to a system like this IF every other year we didn't hear from the utilities "we need a special charge for cleaning up this storm or that storm" AND getting to see them post profits right in line with their initial years forecast. It's almost like they took the money marked for storm cleanup and used it to pad their profit margins.......
 
2018-03-03 10:57:16 AM  

jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?


That will be great for all the lower income people who can't afford solar panels, energy efficient windows, and a new furnace.
 
2018-03-03 11:24:31 AM  
It's a temporary problem. Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are becoming more common, and each one offsets a shiatload of efficient light bulbs.
 
2018-03-03 11:30:24 AM  

hobbes0022: jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?

That will be great for all the lower income people who can't afford solar panels, energy efficient windows, and a new furnace.


So what, then, is the answer?  Poles, wire, trucks, transformers, personnel all cost money. Whether it's a private, public, co-op utilitity, these costs do not go down with decreased consumption.

My bill comes in three parts: the generation cost of the kWh i've consumed, the delivery charge for the kWh i've consumed, and the fixed charge for being connected to the grid.  The generation charge is variable, based on actual cost of electricity on the market. The other two are set by the state utilities commission. If revenue falls because of decreased usage, the infrastructure suffers.

So what's fairer to a poor person, increase the per kWh delivery charge or increase the base connection charge?  Increasing the usage charge will at least keep much of the costs on heavy users - the electroplating factory or office building will take a bigger portion of the increased cost than some guy in an apartment. Increase the base connection charge (which is different for residential and commercial) and the poor person in a studio apartment pays the exact same increase as a guy with a 4000 square foot house that consumes 3 times the energy, despite having good insulation and rooftop solar.

It sucks that a poor person might have to pay increasing costs while being unable to realize the offsets that are driving those increases. What's the answer?
 
2018-03-03 12:07:08 PM  

FormlessOne: ...almost as if privatized utility companies have the wrong motives when it comes to energy policy, huh?


You think?

img.fark.netView Full Size


Source
 
2018-03-03 12:11:11 PM  
Oh yeah. Here in Kentucky, private utilities are trying to kill net-metering by pitching it to average folks with the line, "Why should you have to pay for wealthy people in Louisville or Lexington who install renewables?" They ignore that the law on the books has a cap on renewables allowed in the grid at 1% of peak hourly demand, which installs are nowhere near. Profit-driven utilities want to retain a top-down demand system, with them in control, when the future will be closer to peer-to-peer.
 
2018-03-03 12:35:08 PM  

lizyrd: hobbes0022: jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?

That will be great for all the lower income people who can't afford solar panels, energy efficient windows, and a new furnace.

So what, then, is the answer?  Poles, wire, trucks, transformers, personnel all cost money. Whether it's a private, public, co-op utilitity, these costs do not go down with decreased consumption.

My bill comes in three parts: the generation cost of the kWh i've consumed, the delivery charge for the kWh i've consumed, and the fixed charge for being connected to the grid.  The generation charge is variable, based on actual cost of electricity on the market. The other two are set by the state utilities commission. If revenue falls because of decreased usage, the infrastructure suffers.

So what's fairer to a poor person, increase the per kWh delivery charge or increase the base connection charge?  Increasing the usage charge will at least keep much of the costs on heavy users - the electroplating factory or office building will take a bigger portion of the increased cost than some guy in an apartment. Increase the base connection charge (which is different for residential and commercial) and the poor person in a studio apartment pays the exact same increase as a guy with a 4000 square foot house that consumes 3 times the energy, despite having good insulation and rooftop solar.

It sucks that a poor person might have to pay increasing costs while being unable to realize the offsets that are driving those increases. What's the answer?


PG&E here went that split route when I was between jobs a while ago.  I had got my monthly bill down to around $15.  Under the new scheme, it's now $35.  I was already on a severe budget at the time, such that the +100% increase ate into my ramen noodle budget.
 
2018-03-03 01:15:45 PM  
How you pay doesn't matter any more.  Just pay more.  During the drought here in CA, the water companies were begging us to conserve water.  Then, after the drought we conserved too much and they didn't make enough money so they had to raise rates.

The moral of the story is don't conserve.  It won't help in the end.  Just give money to your political and capital overmasters.
 
2018-03-03 01:31:09 PM  

AmbassadorBooze: How you pay doesn't matter any more.  Just pay more.  During the drought here in CA, the water companies were begging us to conserve water.  Then, after the drought we conserved too much and they didn't make enough money so they had to raise rates.

The moral of the story is don't conserve.  It won't help in the end.  Just give money to your political and capital overmasters.


Referencing my friends again, that occurred to them as well. Mind you,they live on a farking great lake(which is where their water gets pumped in from). This huge conservation effort all year long, huge campaign about it and how it was needed for the environment. Then the end of year came and they didn't have enough revenue so they had to jack rates 30%. Moral of the story: fark everyone; use it while you got it.
 
2018-03-03 02:19:13 PM  

SoupGuru: So you'll end up paying $40 to have electrical service and you'll get charged the whole rate for whatever power you use.


Quite true, Fixed/distribution costs are almost 50% of my monthly bill for power. Contrasting with 70-80% of my water bill or under 10% for natural gas.

Insulation, vinyl low-E windows, metal cool roof, ultra-high efficiency condensing furnace and my NG bill is under 1/2 of what it was my first year. Should only take 30-40 years to pay back the investment!
 
2018-03-03 02:48:11 PM  

jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?


That would mean they'd have to pay me more.
 
2018-03-03 05:01:08 PM  
Are energy company wants to increase the cost for people with solar on their house, to offset 'operating cost' I thought it was the hook up fee they've been charging
 
2018-03-03 07:51:24 PM  
They did this to us in Saskatoon years ago. They had a campaign to conserve electricity, the citizens did so, the utility made less money, and so they raised the rates. They'll do the same with water.
 
2018-03-03 08:14:21 PM  
Here the electric company is trying to bill people that have solar because when they generate power they use the utilities lines.

They got their asses handed to them a few years ago by Congress because there was this big summer storm, with mini tornados, that knocked out power for a while. This was after their board got big fat bonuses and turns out a lot of that money came from the budget they were supposed to use to cut back tree branches near the lines.
They said they were going to have to raise rates to pay for the damage and that's when it hit the fan with them.

/Fark you Pepco
 
2018-03-03 09:26:35 PM  
Solar works better with distributed generation. For a residential home, the only reason to have the grid in many places will soon be "Tesla's battery is expensive" or "they pay me". Heck, with energy efficient homes and solar panels, houses could be the source for commerical and industrial power.

The utilities need to realize they are moving from a business of making power to distribution of power made by many others. But they will kick and scream and get the government involved to protect their monopoly as long as they can. Better to focus on updating and using the grid to make the future happen, but that's just wishful thinking.
 
2018-03-03 09:35:10 PM  
Not in San Diego they aren't.  Sempra energy stockholders are salivating at having us ratepayers pay for the fires they caused 10 years ago, in addition to us paying for closing San Onofre when the ratepayers had no say in how the retrofit was done, the QC of said retrofit, nor the decision of the company to close it instead of making electricity for another 20 years.

Me?  Your budget savings (e.g. shareholder value) caused big ass wildfires.  Your budget savings (and sneakily skirting the laws some say) caused the nuke plant upgrade to crash and burn.  Your shareholders, and the CXX suite, need to shoulder the costs of these bad decisions.

Doesn't help that for a good 40 years (I got my own SDG&E account back in 77) Southern California has had the highest rates in the nation.

Did I forget the neighborhood they blew up in Northern CA a few years back?  Yeah, they don't want to pay for that either.
 
2018-03-04 02:15:39 AM  

lizyrd: hobbes0022: jaylectricity: Can't they just raise the price per kilowatt hour?

That will be great for all the lower income people who can't afford solar panels, energy efficient windows, and a new furnace.

So what, then, is the answer?  Poles, wire, trucks, transformers, personnel all cost money. Whether it's a private, public, co-op utilitity, these costs do not go down with decreased consumption.

My bill comes in three parts: the generation cost of the kWh i've consumed, the delivery charge for the kWh i've consumed, and the fixed charge for being connected to the grid.  The generation charge is variable, based on actual cost of electricity on the market. The other two are set by the state utilities commission. If revenue falls because of decreased usage, the infrastructure suffers.

So what's fairer to a poor person, increase the per kWh delivery charge or increase the base connection charge?  Increasing the usage charge will at least keep much of the costs on heavy users - the electroplating factory or office building will take a bigger portion of the increased cost than some guy in an apartment. Increase the base connection charge (which is different for residential and commercial) and the poor person in a studio apartment pays the exact same increase as a guy with a 4000 square foot house that consumes 3 times the energy, despite having good insulation and rooftop solar.

It sucks that a poor person might have to pay increasing costs while being unable to realize the offsets that are driving those increases. What's the answer?


You get tax breaks for oil heating. Seems logical to pass it to electricity.
 
2018-03-04 09:37:36 PM  

SoupGuru: The utilities are increasing the fixed cost part of your bill. The poles, wires, trucks, buildings, salaries, etc need to be paid for regardless of how much power you actually use. They used to hide that cost in your kwh charge but, as the article mentions, efficiency and distributed generation are changing that math. So you'll end up paying $40 to have electrical service and you'll get charged the whole rate for whatever power you use.


Solar panels and a Tesla Power Wall are looking better and better.
 
2018-03-04 09:39:01 PM  
Powerwall. In your FACE, spelling corrector.
 
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