War on the Middle Class (continued)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by CalBoy, May 26, 2011.

  1. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #1
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/26/BU1F1JLL1G.DTL


    What's incredibly perverse about this is that for decades California has led the way in energy efficiency and now those customers who the PUC and PGE sought to create during energy crunches are now going to be punished because they didn't buy a house big enough to require $120 of air conditioning every month.

    This turns environmental protection and progressive distribution on its head.
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #2
    Is the problem more that people are being over charged in general? If the highest users are still being charged 3 times as much what is the issue?
     
  3. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #3
    California electric rates are higher than the national average, but the reason the highest users pay 3 times as much is because they use a ridiculous amount of electricity. To get into that highest bracket, you have to use 4 times the "baseline" rate. To give you an idea of how much that is, my 1-bedroom apartment uses only 1/4 of the baseline rate, so a family of four should not get anywhere near the top two tiers.

    The real issue is that for years PGE tried to get people to use less and less so that the strain on its system would be reduced and so that California could continue to be more green. Now all of those people who bought new appliances, energy efficient windows, and who made other lifestyle changes to meet those goals are being punished for doing too well. No good deed goes unpunished right?

    Plus this fee increase is going to be hurting lower income households who probably don't spend $120/month on electricity by charging them 10% more.
     
  4. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #4
    Your bill is not just paying for electricity delivered. It's also paying for operational costs to keep the circuit that feeds your block in service. So assuming that your bill should only reflect the amount of electricity delivered to each household is wrong.

    PG&E, like every other utility in CA, is going green because the state is forcing them to. This requires money to revamp infrastructure, which requires rate hikes. Technically, PG&E could've raised rates in all tiers. I'm guessing they dropped the highest tier to soften the blow to households that run their AC like crazy because they're in the desert. Also, reducing customer load (what you call strain) and going green have nothing to do with each other. Your rates are going up because PG&E needs to meet the State RPS for green energy. Not because they're trying to hustle you for more money after you've already retrofitted your home with Energystar appliances.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    Why should PG&E be supporting poor lifestyle choices? Living in the desert certainly falls into that category.

    I live in the northern central valley and it gets really hot here, but in all honesty, August is the only month of the year that I run the A/C. I don't understand how one month a year is going to bankrupt an upper class household.
     
  6. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #6
    If you live in a desert, put up solar panels. If you don't have trees or you do have mountains that funnel the air, put up a windmill. If you have groundwater, put in a geothermal system.

    If you have a massive house, you can still dramatically cut back on the electricity you use, and if you don't, then you deserve to pay everything they charge you, if not more.
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    And the results show ...


    CLEAN EDGE RELEASES CLEAN-ENERGY INDEX FOR TOP 10 US STATES
    May 20, 2011 John Courtney

    This week, Clean Edge, the San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR-based clean energy research and advisory firm released their second annual U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index. The clean-energy index by Clean Edge provides the industry’s most comprehensive and objective clean-energy analysis and ranking and compares how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations operating within compare across the clean-energy spectrum.

    According to this year’s findings, the top 10 states are as follows:
    1. California
    2. Oregon
    3. Massachusetts
    4. New York
    5. Colorado
    6. Washington
    7. New Mexico
    8.Minnesota
    9.Connecticut
    10. Vermont
    Curious about the bottom 10? Probably not as much, but it’s interesting and potentially useful as well. Here they are:
    41. Oklahoma
    42. Wyoming
    43. Alaska
    44. North Dakota
    45. Louisiana
    46. Nebraska
    47. Arkansas
    48. Alabama
    49. Mississippi
    50. West Virginia​
     
  8. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #8
    This should (and most often is) amortized over all kilowatt hours delivered.

    Besides, PGE is not saying that the cost of operations has gone up; it's specifically saying that it wants to change rates to be less harsh on the top tiers. This is a non sequitur.


    Which is exactly the point of this thread. Rather than doing the sensible thing and raising rates across the board by a smaller amount, PGE is raising rates on the lowest tiers by 10% at one time. It's as backwards as blaming teachers for your state's budget woes.

    Why are we bothering to soften the blow to those who consume a ridiculous amount of energy? They made the lifestyle choices that landed them a large house that is difficult to cool and heat. It was their conspicuous consumption that got them their $120+ electric bill, so why am I being asked to pay for it?

    Not with each other, but with the drive to reduce energy usage by homes and businesses. In the early days of the 21st Century we had massive shortages of electricity (sponsored by market manipulators from Texas) which prompted the first major push on the state level to things like energy efficient light bulbs, windows, insulation, appliances, etc. A second push came after the state pushed to become green a few years ago. PGE even campaigned a few years ago to get everyone to cut their usage by 20% (and in return they would receive an additional 20% off their bill for doing so).

    Both are different problems with the same basic solution: use less power.

    No, our rates are going up because PGE is going to be paying out billions over the next decade to homeowners and the state for its clusterf*ck in San Bruno. Not only are the calculated damages already high, but PGE has estimated that the cost of inspecting other pipes in the system is going to be enormous.

    I think we all expected rates to go up to cover those costs, but I don't think we expected such a regressive, backwards scheme.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    And make no mistake, the people who are getting a cut on their PG&E bill are those living in 3,000 + sq ft houses. Conspicuous consumption should be penalized, not rewarded.
     
  10. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #10
    No, they are not saying. "PGE" is "Portland General Electric", the electric utility in the Portland Oregon region. "PG&E" is the California utility "Pacific Gas and Electric".
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    A way I seen stuff done in the past that works pretty well ishave teir pricing for each bracket. So for example the first 1kW is at one rate then the next 1kW is going to be at a different rate and ok to be a little lower than the first 1kW but for that first 1kW still pay that paying that rate.
    This works well because there a end a lot of fixed cost in power delivery.
     
  12. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #12
    Hehe, maybe Portland General Electric needed to pull the trigger on its website a little faster then. ;):D
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    Those at the top should expect to pay proportionally more imo.
     
  14. dime21 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The issue is that some who call themselves "progressive" believe they're better than everyone else because the drive a crappy japanese compact with too many batteries, and they illuminate their home with funny light bulbs. Their elitist attitude causes strong feelings of resentment towards anyone who doesn't agree with their bizarre ways.
     
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #15
    ^ (Backs away from the above post verrr-y slooooow-ly.)
     
  16. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The problem with this post is that it can easily be turned around to describe why conservatives think they're better than everyone else.

    The truth is that everyone thinks they're better than everyone else. It's an endearing human trait called self-importance and very, very few people (or groups) are immune to it.
     
  17. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #17
    Actually Edison Electric covers the Sonora and Mojave Deserts, but PG&E covers the Central Valley which is really flood plain.

    I'd like to point out that California is one of the lowest energy per capita states and that it is very green energy orientated.

    Also they probably need cash to deal with the San Bruno clusterf*ck and to inspect the other pipelines
    Bingo
    This, but you don't need groundwater for a geothermal system
    WTFH?!?!?
     
  18. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    Uhhhh...I don't get it. What are you even talking about???

    [​IMG]
     
  19. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    #19
    Wow. Prolonged reading of that post may cause blurred vision or other vision changes; chest pain; decreased sexual desire or ability; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, agitation, depression, nervousness, restlessness); severe or persistent headache or dizziness; and shortness of breathing. :rolleyes:

    So, basically what's happening would be the equivalent of raising the price of gas to $5.00/gallon, but charging anyone driving a Hummer or Suburban only $4.50. Yeah, that definitely makes sense.
     
  20. Liquorpuki, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011

    Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #20
    Not everyone can afford a house near the beach where it's 20 degrees cooler and they don't need an AC. So locale needs to be taken into consideration.

    Also wondering what constitutes supporting poor lifestyle choices? If the top tier already gets penalized for consuming more electricity by having their rate tripled, I don't see how consumption is being encouraged here.

    Yeah AB32 is working in that regard.

    Because a utility's goal is to provide affordable electricity to all regions within their service area, even the ones in the desert, even the ones that live in houses as opposed to one bedroom apartments.

    To put it in perspective, what is the $/KWH at each of the 4 tiers, after the changes? To me it sounds like they raised the top tier by way too much a long time ago and are trying to make a correction.

    The green push is an infrastructure change, not something that requires you to use less power. Almost every utility in California has been raising its rates to cover the cost of infrastructure work to meet AB32.

    I was gonna make a comment about that gasline earlier lol. I'll give this to you. From the gasline to broken smart meters to lobbying for shady legislation, your utility has been screwing up a lot lately.

    They already do. The OP is claiming that even though the top tier pays 3 times as much, it's still not enough
     
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    I think someone's gunning to be the next 5P/ItN.

    Because, you know, that worked out so well for them. ;)
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #22
    Its perfectly possible to live in the desert or in warm places, people have been doing so for thousands of years. You can't expect to live in a British style house in such places however.
     
  23. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #23
    Ignoring the issue at hand I find the sensationalist title amusing. "War" apparently is to make a group of people pay a bit more.

    I tend to see war as a word reserved for slightly more significant injustices myself.
     
  24. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #24
    ^^ What constitutes the U.S. "middle class" is a little hazy to say the least.
     
  25. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #25
    Indeed. I've always found it strange how class definitions change over time. These days it seems like anyone who has a job not centred around physical labour is considered middle class.

    I was raised myself to see being middle class as not needing to work if you don't want to, without claiming benefits. Though that definition conveniently put my parents under the definition.

    I mostly just find the self-defined victimhood to be a mind**** given what a position of privilege being middle class is.
     

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