Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why We Cannot Have Nice Things # 6,892,564

A Denver power company plans to charge Solar Energy customers fees for not using electricity. Although the company will absorb the fee presently, they want to impose the fee so that in the future solar energy customers will not get a "free ride." Story

Now, maybe, after the public hearing on August 5th, this won't happen. I don't really care. The problem I'm having here is people thinking this way. Installing solar panels is not cheap. It takes incentives for consumers to make the move. Of course, "the move" threatens power companies. Of course. So, eroding the incentives is the "answer."

Every summer for the past three years, I endure a little drama with my power company. This happens because I am lucky enough to be able to minimize my gas usage to zero starting in the late spring. Like clockwork at this point, I receive a notice from the power company that I will be shut off entirely for non-usage, although I am charged a (small) fee for remaining hooked-up. I call and explain the situation, receive another letter the next month, call again, and so on, until the fall. My attempt to fastidiously conserve energy is too anomalous and gets caught by the computer system, even though it's been happening for three years now. I resent having to pay even the fee, but the charges for disconnecting and then reconnecting make it "better" to pay the fee. I have no real problem making the phone calls to the power company, but each time I do so, I'm reminded once again just how the system is rigged against serious conservation. Each bill I receive comes padded with flyers with "Energy Saving Tips" of various kinds for every season of the year, although, as my experience has shown me, actually implementing such "tips" is the very last thing the power company expects. Really implementing them trips their computer system into finding that one has ceased being a customer at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment