PG & E rea-a-ally suck

A letter in today’s Napa Valley Times-Herald:

    An open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown:

As you are probably aware, we are getting robbed blind by a very dishonest (and dangerous) public utility called PG&E.

A critical evaluation would show that they generate only a very small percentage of the power that they “retail.” They buy most of the power off the “grid” at an exorbitant price, and then they mark it way up. Then they ration that power with the “ratchet” to prevent excessive usage.

Not much is done to maintain the systems. As you are aware, that pipeline that “blew up” in South San Francisco was junk.

A solution is to require PG&E to generate a minimum of 90 percent of its power in state, and rates to be set at the average of the three surrounding states. Ratcheting should be abolished. Deferment of maintenance should be punished severely, and a fund should be established.

I also believe that the SmartMeters are designed to offer a means of control power rate of use (demand) to eliminate penalty billing for the power withdrawn from the grid.

C.D. McCarthy

6 Responses

  1. If you use natural gas for heat, the heater is probably on it’s own circuit. leav it on the grid and run everything else with solar or wind power. If you use all natural gas for cooking and heating, the only 220 Volts you would use would be for central Air conditioning and as a back up sourse for rainy days. Put in an approved back up generator transfer switch and instead of as fossil fuel generator, hook up your solar panel system and only go on the grid as a last resort in the winter. Your back up will be the grid and PG&E can not dictate how much you have to use of their power.

  2. I’m planning to build a home in NOR*CAL (East of Sac) and just found out that I cannot get any building permits unless I hook up PG&E. I cannot believe the control that has been given to the electric companies. I believe that as a violation of my rights to force me into a contract with the electric company thugs.

  3. I have PG&E and I was always in the top tier of up to 48 cents per KWHr. I switched over to LED Lamps, solar Panels in an of-grid configuration and powered all the non-220 volts lamps and appliances off the solar/battery system. I have dropped down into the “Cheap” tiers and my savings/payback is 20% per year of what I paid for my Solar Panels and batteries. Inverters are cheap and RV 12 volt appliances can be purchased right off the shelf. PG&E made the incentive of high energy prices make my system a no-brainer. If you live in a 8 cents per KWHr utility, It makes very little sense to go off-grid or even use grid tied solar. If you have 48 cent rates, go solar now.

  4. Boy is that an understatement! And after jumping throught the (1) building departments requirements (2) The CEC (California Energy Commission (3) PG&E’s (3a) approval of design (3b) “energy audit”…..don’t get me started on this you won’t belive the questions that they ask which have nothing do do with electrical usage. (3c) PG&E paper work…..(3d) PG&E rebate forms (3e) PG&E Field Certification forms ….oh yeah another $400 for meters (yes you can borrow them from PG&E but after 35+ years in the industrial electrical field it is easier to buy the right meter than try to find what “they” (PG&E) want you to use.

    And ……..Solar Depot/DC Power …try buying materials and getting them! (“this aint’ home depot you know)……PG&E does not want you to connect to the grid!!!! Because with the feed in tarrif now any power that you generate above your usage PG&E has to pay you the same price that they charge you….and on and on…..

  5. Thank you McCarthy for sharing your letter with us. As you said, Mr. Brown is aware yet nothing changes. Why waste time on fixing the Utility Companies when their agenda is to serve only them? The example that they set is the inspiration to cut their Achilles heal. Make your own electricity!

    Richard Swain
    Las Vegas

  6. In Kansas City, KS, the BPU unveiled their new net metering plan (always beware when the public utilities sponsor a solar conference!). The main concerns are (1) you cannot install solar on your house and then light up your whole block. You can only do your house! (2) they agreed to buy back a whopping 1%. (3) To go solar, you must have 3 different agencies’ inspection and approval — have you ever tired to get 3 different agencies to agree on anything? BUT, when I stood up at the conference and asked, how many approvals do I have to get if I go completely off-grid? The BPU rep got a little angry and said “None.” They really didn’t want the 300 folks at the conference to hear that. To date, there is only ONE solar house in Kansas City, KS (Wyandotte County) and guess what — it’s the commissioner’s house.

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