Comments on: Households face power-pricing revolution Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Phat_Phrank Sat, 05 Dec 2009 19:48:03 +0000 I think it is fairer to use smart metering–energy customers will pay for what they use and will be able to adjust consumption accordingly. If the cost of the smart thermostat is prohibitively expensive for some households, perhaps it should be subsidized. As for the suggestion above that customers pay the same rate, are you suggesting a fixed cost regardless of consumption? If so, that makes no sense whatsoever: Should all driver’s pay a flat fee for gasoline, regardless of how much they drive?

Yes, I think this will require some supervision of the power companies–as somebody commented earlier, utilities may be an “honesty-challenged sector.” But, the premise for smart metering makes perfect sense: charge customers the marginal cost their energy usage. If you use lots of power, yes, you will pay more; if you make an effort to conserve, you’ll pay less.

By: Ray2000 Sat, 05 Dec 2009 04:29:12 +0000 When everyone has electrical storage, connected to the grid, on site, only then can power distribution be balanced. Off loading, off peak, and using stored power at peaks. As we build demand we need to look at development in a long term context.

We need to develope fussion. The money we have spent on this war would go far to develope this technology. It’s science should be held in an international trust that can be accessed by authorized memebers of the World community.

Meanwhile – We need to balance our use of, renewable energy sources, oil (maintianing a strategic price), and Nuclear Fission and the storage of it’s toxic waste (We must develope technology rendering it safe).

Let’s stop talking and agree on a rational strategy.

By: jyy Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:59:38 +0000 There are a few problems with the information presented here:
1) The graph from CAISO is labeled wrong. The X-axis is labeled “Hours per Year”. There are 8760 hours in a non-Leap year. You cannot have more total hours along the X-axis than exist in a year when you reference hours PER year.
2) The logic of reducing our peak demand will minimize standby power generation is flawed. We will still need the capability to produce all of the power to cover surges, even with solar and wind generation, which can fluctuate wildly.
3) TOU pricing is nothing more than another technique for charging more for electricity by complicating billing and thereby confusing the customer. Fixed pricing simply averages total cost over a period of time.
4) There is a reason that demand picks up when it does. Commercial operations consume significant amounts of power. These companies operate during the day. Shift their hours of operation to night-time and you would see the load shift as well. However, most people would rather not work at night. Residential power (not including AC) picks up when people get home from work and until they go to bed. The load from AC units is tied to the environment.
5) Commercial electric rates are not the same as residential rates, they are less (higher consumption = lower unit cost). I am concerned that the TOU policy will still give businesses a discount while spiking the prices for residential rates.

Other possible solutions:
1) Charge all customers the same rate no matter how much they consume. Won’t happen.
2) Limit AC cooling to 20 degrees F, applied to both residential and business. That means when it’s 100F outside could only cool to 80F. Again, won’t happen.

By: TheOracle Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:38:26 +0000 where’s my lengthy comment on this from yesterday? when they disappear, it tends to reduce my desire to comment at all.

By: Lee Thu, 03 Dec 2009 16:04:45 +0000 Blue sky thinking from yet another journalist. Power companies will use this as a ruse to increase prices so bills will go up not down. Any redistribution of monies will go to the shareholders, when do customers ever get a break over shareholders?This person also fails to mention that the smart meters cost over 300 pounds sterling in the UK, so I guess the price here will be similar and studies show will only save the customer about 23 pounds per year. Wow that really helps the man in the street.

By: Mark Eaton Thu, 03 Dec 2009 15:27:21 +0000 Lower energy bills. Uh-huh. Banks of MBAs have already figured out how to bury double-digit rate increases into the new rate structure.

By: Matt K Thu, 03 Dec 2009 14:45:06 +0000 This is fine, indeed commendable, in theory. In practice, even as a proponent for conservation I can’t help being wary of so-called “smart meters,” given the disastrous price increases being reported by PG&E customers in California.At best, they would seem to indicate a very poor job of communication and transition assistance on the part of the utility; at worse they indicate that this is just another way for an honesty-challenged sector to rip off customers.