Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PUC readies to vote for energy rate increases to subsidize the wealthy

Does anyone other than me find it odd that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) plans on voting Thursday to raise rates by $0.55 per month on all Californians so a wealthy few can have their photovoltaic panel installations subsidized?

At about $30,000 per installation, rooftop photovoltaic systems generate energy at nine times the cost of competing energy sources (excluding wear out and maintenance labor which would make the systems look even more costly).

This means that only those with cash to spare will install the systems – systems that can’t even generate enough savings to pay for the yearly interest carrying costs on $30,000.

Meanwhile, no one wants to talk about the real solution to our energy needs – a solution that produces no carbon dioxide – building modern nuclear power plants.

Ironically, had we not stopped building nuclear plants in the 1970s, we would be meeting our Kyoto Treaty protocol CO2 levels today.

In addition, cheap and abundant nuclear power would allow us to create all that hydrogen for vehicles that the Governor keeps talking about. Without that power, we have to use natural gas to produce the hydrogen which begs the question – where do you put all that unused carbon left over from the process?

In any event, the contact information for the PUC is listed below:

President Michael Peevey
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102

FAX: 415-703-1758