Everything’s a dirt clod fight in California

I’ve been reading up on Jerry Brown’s renewable energy plan. Several years ago Brown mandated that 30 percent of our electricity come from “renewable sources” like wind and sun, even manure (MasterBlaster!). Critics predicted  energy costs for the residential and commercial consumer would go up rapidly under this plan, and they were right. Look at your bills over the last several years. We just got another rate increase earlier this month, and the “change” we protested in August will come up in 2016 – lower users will get higher rates, and higher users will get lower rates, remember that?)

Jerry Brown has taken 10’s of thousands from the utility companies in campaign contributions over the years, only returning the latest contributions from PG&E when it was revealed members of his personal staff were involved in the CPUC scandal relating to inappropriate e-mails between CPUC members and utility employees.  The governor’s office was involved in choosing utility-friendly judges for rate increase hearings. Utility-friendly – most of the CPUC employees are ex-utility company staffers, including the commissioners and judges.  They were appointed by the governor, who took all that money from the utility companies, are you getting all this?

Now Brown is upping the ante – he wants 50 percent of all California energy to be generated through “renewable” sources.  If 30 percent was going to cost us, we better get ready for 50 percent. See, the taxpayers will have to provide the infrastructure, there is not much of a grid to transfer all this renewable energy around the state. Brown will have to twist the utility companies’ arms to get the infrastructure set up, and he’ll have to pay for it with our money. Like one lady said at that hearing last year – we’re still paying for the sagging poles and lines they put up 30 years ago, our rates have never “adjusted” down, only up, up, up. Infrastructure is supposed to be a huge factor in cost – no, it’s pensions and benefits, wake up.

A man who owns a solar installation company came  to the PG&E hearing to explain why people aren’t jumping on solar – the initial set-up is expensive, and then the system never pays for itself because PG&E buys private electricity at 4 cents a kwh and re-sells it at 35 cents plus (see your bill). So, you put up a couple of little panels, you get enough kwh to what, run your fridge? Then you’re back to paying 35 cents plus. One of the big lies about solar is that it makes you “energy independent.” No.  It takes ALOT of panels to run the average size house.

My friend spent about $40,000 on a roof set-up for his Butte Creek Canyon home. How long will it take him to pay for that? He’s had to call for maintenance, that’s also expensive, that is added to the cost, not subtracted. So, I’m guessing, my friend’s set-up will NEVER pay for itself, he will just have to be satisfied at being the woo-woo green neighbor on the street. 

Brown is not going to change this. He has said nothing about controlling costs in his plan. He won’t even  talk about what this is going to mean to the consumer. 

Of course I’ve been enjoying lower bills due to this incredible weather. But I’m worried, and that means I clutch my purse, and the local businesses will suffer. 

It’s weird to live in California – it’s a great place, every body wants to live here, so it’s a dirt clod fight over everything. 

 

 

 

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