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S.F. floats risky bet on green power
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | September 13, 2012 | Staff

Posted on 09/14/2012 10:48:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

San Francisco's persistent fascination with public power is up for another test. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider an attractive but flawed plan to offer clean energy and shake up the utility landscape.

At issue is a long-studied proposal that tests the public appetite for going 100 percent renewable on electric power, an option not offered by the city's only provider, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The proposal is public-power-lite, afforded by a state law that allows a city to line up renewable energy as a consumer option.

The plan, called CleanPowerSF, calls for an outside source to send the clean-and-green electricity through PG&E's grid to willing buyers. If the strategy works, there are down-the-road plans for the city to generate the clean power itself, a further move into the utility business.

But the details are tricky, and even misleading. Most consumers are well aware that green power comes at a premium - in this case $18 more per month on average - because the infant industry can't match the scale of conventional operators. For customers interested in paying more for a lighter carbon footprint, the program has appeal.

But it's not that simple. Under the plan, customers will be enrolled unless they ask to be removed. This opt-out condition spells trouble in a city with a diverse population and numerous languages.......

The financial terms are also troubling. The plan calls for a reserve budget of $13.5 million, and it will need 90,000 customers to make it break even.........

Another objection: There is only one provider, Shell Energy. The city is proposing a five-year contract to control the unknowns, but the whole project leaves open significant questions. Why weren't there more bidders for the city's environmentally-minded customer base?.....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; ca; debt; economy; energy; green; sf; waste

1 posted on 09/14/2012 10:48:42 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. should have stayed in the music business. Are You Ready was a hit!

2 posted on 09/14/2012 10:52:51 AM PDT by jessduntno ("Socialism only Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they have it." - RR)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Frisco-ite libtards talk a good game and will even let the Nanny state tell them what to do.

But reach into their wallet and the real liberal agenda rears its head — Good Works with Someone Else’s Money.

This will be yet another financial disaster. If it wasn’t so pretty and got tourist dollars, ‘Frisco would be just like their neighbor hellhole across the bay, Oakland.

3 posted on 09/14/2012 10:53:05 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (“We can’t just leave it (food choice) up to the parents.” moochele obozo 2/12/2012 (cnsnews))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“risky bet” eh?!!

How about “batsh^& crazy” versus “sophisticated taxpayer fraud under the veneer of Ivy League intellectualism and political correctness”

4 posted on 09/14/2012 10:54:29 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They are little going for broke.

5 posted on 09/14/2012 10:56:00 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: freedumb2003

$18 more per month on average -

Well our electric bill was $500 this mnth, and we have 2 swamp coolers we use as much as we can. 2 other people we know had a $1000 and a $950 electric bill. Thank God we don’t live in San Fran as we can’t stand any more of their ‘help’.

6 posted on 09/14/2012 11:00:29 AM PDT by sheana
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To: sheana

Where do you guys live and what is the cost per kwh? Those numbers seem way out of line.

7 posted on 09/14/2012 11:24:40 AM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48

We live in Bakersfield, Ca. And no they are not out of line, they are normal for here. We are on a tiered system. We have a lifeline amount (that absolutely noone can meet). Each time you go up a tier the price per kwh goes up too. I have already shredded my elecric bill but I believe the top rate is around 30 cents.

8 posted on 09/14/2012 11:35:52 AM PDT by sheana
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To: aquila48

Found an old one that was only $473.07

baseline usage $0.12845
101-130% of baseline 0.14602
131-200% of baseline 0.29561
201-300% of baseline 0.33561
over 300% of baseline 0.33561

The actual usage was only $77.97
The rest of the charges were for:
Public Purpose Programs
Nuclear decomissioning
DWR bond charge
Ongoing CTC
Energy cost recovery amount
Conservation incentive adjustment
Energy commission tax
Bakersfield franchise surcharge

Can you believe that?

9 posted on 09/14/2012 12:01:53 PM PDT by sheana
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To: aquila48

No, those numbers are not out of line in some areas of California.

I know someone who put solar panels on his roof with an inverter to sell power back to PGE. I know this person pretty well and I know for a fact he’s

a) no greenie
b) knows how to do the math (and that he would do the math)
c) would consider other, less expensive options, like finding all the power leaks and problems first.

Well, he did find all the parasitic loads running up the bill. Brought it down to under $400/month. Then things started getting hard to reduce - he has several banks of computers and equipment he uses as part of work. They don’t run the A/C much, nor the heat. The fishtanks and their heaters went out the door. They adopted LED lights long before they were as common as now.

He thought solar stuff was “hippy BS” and even called me to map out options on a LPG or diesel genset to handle his daytime business loads. We found out that the fines the California DEQ would lay on him if he were caught would easily outstrip the cost of solar panels.

And then he cranked the numbers on non-stored solar power, and thanks to PGE’s tiered rate structure, he reckoned it would pay off in about 15 years.

Well, that was five years ago. Since then, they’ve played with his rate plan some more. He figures he has only two more years to go and he’s in the green on the whole deal.

And mind you - the up-front cost of these panels was in the range of $30K+, installed, with the inverter and safety cut-outs.

BTW he *hates* having to wash the stupid panels off. Huge waste of water that he has to pay a bunch more money for.

He’s counting the months until he’s gone from Silly Valley.

10 posted on 09/14/2012 12:03:36 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: sheana

Yep, I believe you.

11 posted on 09/14/2012 12:07:01 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
As a whole the entire state of Kalifornia is terminally insane. I got out of there many years ago and refuse to go there for any reason.
12 posted on 09/14/2012 12:15:35 PM PDT by mongo141 (Revolution ver. 2.0, just a matter of when, not a matter of if!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

You have to be hooked up to the grid, since you can’t store
solar or wind generated power. All you can do is feed it into the grid when the sun is out or the wind is blowing.

13 posted on 09/14/2012 10:27:13 PM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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