Friday, May 10, 2024

An Interesting Idea

 California is enacting an interesting idea. It is getting negative press from fossil fuel companies AND solar companies, so it is either very good or very bad. I think it might be the best of an odd situation. Let me explain.

I understand this a bit now because we have solar panels. Our last energy bill was $0 (and SCE put $72 into our account) because we have solar, and it didn't rain at all.

So here is the issue. Richer people can afford solar on their private home(s) and see their electricity bills drop. Poor people usually don't live in their own houses, so they can't install solar at all. That is how the richest people don't pay or pay much in energy, and the poorer people pay more. In some states (*cough* Florida *cough*), the state has actively discouraged solar by charging solar panel owners a base price to put excess energy into the grid and no offset for their solar energy creation.

In California right now, some solar-producing houses don't pay into SoCalEdison but require grid updates and batteries on the energy company side to supply this energy. That means that poor people are actually subsidizing rich homeowners with solar. One option was not to pay people who supply extra electricity. But that just means that no new solar would be installed on houses. The current system was hurting poor people.

I think California has implemented a pretty fair solution.

Every homeowner pays at least $24.00 as a base charge, with extra energy charged at slightly lower rates. Poorer people pay a base of $8.00 or $12.00*, and then extra energy is charged at a lower rate.

Energy-producing homes (like ours) will still get credit for their solar energy shipped back into the grid but are required to pay at least the base of $24.00. I think it is a great idea.

This helps poorer people, provides an even base for everyone to pay for grid updates, and still provides an incentive to put solar on the roof.

Fossil Fuel companies hate it because it still provides incentives to go solar.

Solar panel companies hate it because the payback is now pushed out on the panels.

Some rich asshats hate it because they have to pay and extra #24 a month. To which one must say, tough.

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