Oklahoma will charge homeowners who generate their own power

posted at 3:01 pm on April 20, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

A disturbing story out of the Sooner State this week, noted by Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Under the terms of a recently passed bill, expected to be signed by Governor Mary Fallin, homeowners who install their own private solar or wind turbine energy resources and sell some of the juice back to energy companies will be paying a fee for the privilege.

Utility customers who want to install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines could face extra charges on their bills after legislation passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday.

Senate Bill 1456 passed 83-5 after no debate in the House. It passed the Senate last month and now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.

The bill was supported by the state’s major electric utilities, but drew opposition from solar advocates, environmentalists and others. It sets up a process at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to establish a separate customer class and monthly surcharge for distributed generation such as rooftop solar or small wind turbines.

As Doug notes, the claimed reasons for the energy companies and their surrogates (who are behind the move) wanting these fees imposed are weak tea at best.

While I suppose there might be an argument for allowing utilities to recoup costs that are legitimately incurred from the practice of selling energy back to the grid, the idea of charging people extra for doing something that reduces their dependence on the grid while at the same time increasing the amount of energy available seems rather nonsensical. As the linked article goes on to note, these types of systems benefit energy companies by helping to reduce demand on the grid during peak hours and by increasing the amount of energy available during those periods. Given that, one would think that energy companies would want to encourage this sort of thing rather than backing measures like this which could potentiallly hamper it. It’s hard not to see this as an effort by the utility companies to hamper the competition that solar and wind generated energy provide them and, of course, to make sure that they still manage to make some money out of the deal.

There seem to be some activists who are far too quick to embrace this sort of legislation (currently on the table in a number of states) by conflating the issue with the many problems associated with the government getting involved in green energy initiatives. This is a false assertion which, in fact, runs contrary to conservative principles. It is a given that having Washington put their thumb on the scales and dump taxpayer dollars into energy technologies which are unproven or not ready for prime time has been an expensive and unmitigated failure. What this does not mean is that there is no useful application for these technologies anywhere, and small installations of solar, wind and micro-hydro generation have proven effective in private use. If you can exercise your own independence and initiative to supply your own energy, good for you! And if you can create more than you need and sell the excess for a profit, what is more conservative and capitalist than that?

Further, a resourceful person should be preparing to manage and maintain their own energy supplies. As both Erika and I have warned repeatedly, rafts of new regulations from Barack Obama’s EPA and pressure from eco-warriors is moving us toward potentially crippling shortages of energy on the grid. If enough coal fired plants are shut down prematurely, you may not be able to simply take it for granted that the lights will come on when you throw the switch some morning. People willing to make the investment in producing their own energy – as well as spreading the extra around – should be encouraged, not subjected to discouraging fees.

Besides, the total amount of power created by private distributed generation is miniscule compared to the total supply and demand on the grid. This is a giant using a shotgun to go after mosquitoes. So how do rules like this make their way into law? I’ll leave Doug with the last word on that one.

Of course, measures like this have nothing to do with “free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty” and everything to do with crony capitalism.

Yep.


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Comment pages: 1 2

What about people who grow their own vegetables? The possibilities are endless.

Drained Brain on April 20, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I thought Oklahoma was a good state.

Just goes to show crony capitalism infects both parties.

rbj on April 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

a**holes
thats all they are

dmacleo on April 20, 2014 at 3:08 PM

What about people who grow their own vegetables? The possibilities are endless.

Drained Brain on April 20, 2014 at 3:06 PM

If wheat is a vegetable, this has already been decided — against the people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

fred5678 on April 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Greenies, you incredible azzholes, where do you stand on this?

Your power-grid bill is loaded with taxes.

Self-made people don’t pay taxes, thus must be punished, saving the environment be damned.

Why leftists are never liberal and always fascist thugs.

Schadenfreude on April 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Pitchfork time in OK.

petefrt on April 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Shouldn’t individuals and entities that generate solar power be responsible for some of the costs of load balancing? If not them who should bear these upfront and ongoing costs? The problem with solar and wind, whether it’s on your roof or or is a large corporate owned installation, is that there has to be equal generating capacity built and running at the same time. As soon as clouds obscure the sun or the wind dies down them some other generating source has to instantaneously pick up the load. Consequently for every kilowatt of alternative power there has to be a conventional power generator built, manned and online to balance the fluctuations of the alternative power.

Viator on April 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

There is a problem with this feedback energy that seems to be missing in the write up.
The grid was not built to have the ability for feedback energy. It actually destabilizes the grid and causes many problems. This energy is intermittent and cannot be counted on, particularly wind power which inversely produces power to the grid load, the power companies have to keep backup resources running in the background at about 80% of the cost of just creating the energy themselves.
People should not be subsidized to put solar or wind power on their own houses. They should do it based on the fundamentals and that cost should not be passed on to people who do not put solar or wind power on their own houses.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I find this horribly ironic. The greenies who want electricity prices to rise have been self-identifying (panels and windmills) and are getting hit with higher prices.

They should want to pay more and be thrilled about this move, right?

Sapience on April 20, 2014 at 3:24 PM

I thought Oklahoma was a good state.

Just goes to show crony capitalism infects both parties.

rbj on April 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The subsidies and feed in rates that people get for these renewable resources are the crony capitalism.
It is such a good deal that if you are brave enough you can siphon energy directly off the grid, pay for it, sell it back claiming it to be renewable and make a small fortune. Some companies got busted doing just that with “solar power” being fed back at night time.
You see, these power companies are forced to pay a premium for that renewable energy feed in that gets passed onto other customers in order to meet renewable quota’s.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

My husband, with a lifetime of experience in electric distribution systems, points out that the intermittent generation of power can wreak havoc on the system and the equipment both in local neighborhoods and on the grid in general. It’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds.

tarheelkate on April 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

And this is a GOP state?

Tasha on April 20, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Wow, just wow!

OmahaConservative on April 20, 2014 at 3:29 PM

I have no problem with this. This is the flip side of utilities being forced to buy the excess power generated by a solar electric installation. The excess power produced by a local solar generator often cannot be distributed out of neighborhood — if at all.

If the power companies are going to build infrastructure so that the grid can flow in an opposite direction from what it was engineered to do, they need to charge exactly those people who want it to flow that way.

The solution is to not sell power. Then you don’t get charged for the privilege by the company whose infrastructure you are using.

Now, if they start charging you for the privilege of being off grid, then we have a problem.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Now that is some scary stuff right there.

SparkPlug on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Simple solution – if you want to go personal solar/wind, you get kicked off the grid.

Steve Eggleston on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Simple solution – if you want to go personal solar/wind, you get kicked off the grid.

Steve Eggleston on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Why? It is not necessary to feedback excess energy and seems to be a bitter pill argument from you rather than one based on rational thought. I do not like the ‘environmentalists’ any more than you do. But not all people going solar are environmentalists. Sometimes it makes more sense.
I know places where daytime electricity is very expensive, and having a small solar panel to care for just the peak rate time can pay for itself (even without subsidies) without actually producing all your own energy and this actually protects the grid from failure from being overdrawn.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

To me this seems like an effort to counter the advantages the law already gives to people who generate their own power. I’m not going to pick up the pitchfork yet until I know more.

Mark1971 on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Interesting points raised. I wonder if a better solution would be to simply eliminate the feedback loop onto the grid. Yes, the owners lose the subsidiary income, but avoid the fee in exchange. They could still draw power when their own generation is down, but provide for themselves most of the time, plus have a backup if the grid fails for a period.

More fair?

Jazz Shaw on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Ha! We live in Hawaii “Big Island” where electricity is .45 cents per KwH. but we are totally off-grid and only use 1.8 KwH/ day and produce 3.0 – 6.0 KwH via solar.

If I were tied to the grid, I’d surreptitiously back feed just enough to break even and just pay the minimum. This would obviate the need to maintain batteries.

esnap on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

The subsidies for the renewable energy is just about as bad. Why should I be paying for someone else to install solar panels and then go and make money off of it again? I know people who put huge solar arrays up for almost no cost to them.

clement on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Oklahoma also wants to abolish the electoral college.

It just goes to show everyone that there are fascist, crony capitalists in both parties. Which apparently needs to be shown again and again and again for it to stick.

NWConservative on April 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

So this is what a GOP Super Majority looks like? Yikes!

I was under the impression that Oklahoma had a Conservative Governor and Conservative legislature…guess I was wrong. So much for free markets.

Afterseven on April 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

More fair?

Jazz Shaw on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Yes.

VegasRick on April 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Some companies got busted doing just that with “solar power” being fed back at night time.
You see, these power companies are forced to pay a premium for that renewable energy feed in that gets passed onto other customers in order to meet renewable quota’s.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

The solution is obvious. Install “smart meters” which allow for a daytime/nighttime differential, as well as the ability to run backwards.

Then, the customers can bank their daytime overage for nighttime use. Given that daytime power costs the utilities more — because daytime is the high demand period — this is attractive, especially if no money needs to change hands. The utility gets power during high demand periods and gets to pay it back during low demand periods. For consumers with electric vehicles, this may well be a win-win situation.

Now, such behavior (banking power) may well require new electricity selling arrangements, such as a grid connection fee — especially if the power use by a particular subscriber is too low to pay for maintenance of infrastructure.

But if the utility cannot use your extra power produced during the day, that’s a very good reason to not force them to buy it at a premium — as so many liberal states are doing.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Hey – Welcome to Reality……somthing that Jazz is a stranger to, anyway….

In California, Jerry Brown and other idiots worked out that Utility Companies had to BUY solar power generated by homeowners at about 50 mills/kwh, put it on THEIR Distribution network and PAY appropriate fees — THEN SELL it back to consumers at about 15 mills/kwh…..

..so – GUESS what happened to a lot of those Utilities? They closed Operating plants that were perfectly fine and LOST money…

….the hot dog stand doesn’t stay open long when The Government FORCES you to buy hot dogs at $1.00 hot dog and SELL them at 50 cents per hot dog…..you don’t need economics to figure that out..

GOOD for Oklahoma!! Utilities should be PAID to distribute and Buy random power….

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

FASCISM.

weedisgood on April 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

If I do the right thing and earn more money, I pay higher taxes.

If I do the right thing and improve my property, I pay higher taxes.

If I do the right thing and save water, the PUC approves a water rate hike to offset lost revenues.

Given that every time I do the right thing the govt comes along and gives me the shaft for doing it, I have zero issue with them giving the solar panel monkeys the shaft also.
Fair is fair.

Smegley on April 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Interesting points raised. I wonder if a better solution would be to simply eliminate the feedback loop onto the grid. Yes, the owners lose the subsidiary income, but avoid the fee in exchange. They could still draw power when their own generation is down, but provide for themselves most of the time, plus have a backup if the grid fails for a period.

More fair?

Jazz Shaw on April 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

…..the next time you think you have a thought….just let it pass

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Mary Fallin, if you don’t Veto this bill:

SHAME!

Another Drew on April 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Since when is Mataconis an expert on . . . anything?

The FACT is that allowing the automatic buy-back comes with a cost. There are four ways to pay that cost:

1. The consumer who will benefit directly can pay it
2. The utility can pay it and pass it along to its customers who gain no benefit
3. The government can issue tax credits to cover it, so all taxpayers share the cost
4. Loudmouthed advocates who want it so bad could donate from their own pockets to pay it (I just included that for a laugh, they never reach into their OWN pockets, do they)?

Solar/wind power cannot reduce the peak load capacity because they are undependable. The benefits are overstated – AS USUAL with environmental scams – and the costs passed on to others.

Buy your own darned lunch, ya bums!

Adjoran on April 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM

One of the trendy, new “sources of electrical power” that’s gained favor with The Environmentalists is – BURNING DUNG!!

Using the Critical Thinking Skills of Jazz and Former California Governor Gray (“Brown-Out”) Davis – I propose this:

The Utilities are Forced to collect all of the Dung I have Defecated over a Month and PAY ME $1000.00 for it…..

THEN - the Utility should be FORCED to Burn it to Make Electrical Power and SELL that Power to Consumers at a Premium……

THEN, the Utility would have to give ANY PROFITS from that sale to ME THROUGH the Government by Check…..

Sound “Fair“? Sound “Green“?

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 3:59 PM

As Barney Fife would say:

“Nip it in the bud. Nip it, nip it, nip it”.

What this is really doing is re-couping some of the revenue the utility lost when the homeowner went solar.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

….with any Left-Over Dung, The Government can make Cookies and FORCE The Environmentalists and Jazz to EAT THEM!!

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Don’t sell it back. Put the energy in batteries for use during the evening hours. Actually live off the grid

MoreLiberty on April 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

How much infrastructure does a power company have to install to meet the requirement that they buy excess power that individuals produce? Is it transmitted back to the grid on the same lines that deliver power to the home?

Mark1971 on April 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

If they are getting subsidies they should pay it back.

crankyoldlady on April 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

The solution is to not sell power. Then you don’t get charged for the privilege by the company whose infrastructure you are using.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

OK, fair enough, imo.

Now, if they start charging you for the privilege of being off grid, then we have a problem.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

5… 4… 3…

petefrt on April 20, 2014 at 4:05 PM

It sounds like the underlying reasons are valid. If it costs more to sell electricity back then don’t do it. Just enjoy having a lesser bill from the public utility although I’m not sure the overall startup and maintenance expense of the alternate resources are really cost effective.

TfromV on April 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Sounds like something that would happen in California.

supernova on April 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Why? It is not necessary to feedback excess energy and seems to be a bitter pill argument from you rather than one based on rational thought. I do not like the ‘environmentalists’ any more than you do. But not all people going solar are environmentalists. Sometimes it makes more sense.
I know places where daytime electricity is very expensive, and having a small solar panel to care for just the peak rate time can pay for itself (even without subsidies) without actually producing all your own energy and this actually protects the grid from failure from being overdrawn.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

because for most of the solar setups they actually require incoming power to work and only supplement the household usage. when power goes out, unless you have thousands of $$ of switches (to prevent a backfeed) and batteries, you cannot use your solar. it won’t work.

dmacleo on April 20, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Crazy. It only a matter of time before they charge charging extra fees for using electric cars. And before you know they tax people out of doing the right thing for the environment.

coolrepublica on April 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Oklahoma, arguably the reddest state in the union.

This isn’t the only bad law she’s signed lately either.

Source: Oklahoman.

Genuine on April 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Selling excess energy back to the power companies has been going on… well, probably since the first meters got put in at least.

And they can’t figure out how to deal with that after DECADES?

Nope, sorry, doesn’t wash.

After all the money they make if they haven’t done any work on this then they deserve the costs involved.

This bill needs to be vetoed and those who sponsored it and passed it have an investigation done on them. A RICO investigation.

ajacksonian on April 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Good concept, terrible implementation.

Just stop paying people for the extra electricity pickup, and end all solar subsidies.

Less govt administration, lots of money saved.

It’s high time solar supported itself.

Meremortal on April 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

“The bill was supported by the state’s major electric utilities.” Yeah, I’ll bet it was.

justbob223 on April 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Yeah — if I read this right, you’re not charged if you go ‘off grid’ here, only if you’re going to intertie. I suspect the issue the power companies are barking about is the cost of infrastructure — which in that state they *may* bear themselves — if they don’t, and it’s taxpayer subsidized, then I’m with calling crony on them.

Where I live (Indiana), there’s a net-metering law owing to the tax subsidized line-runs. In that system: the power cooperatives have to buy back energy from me at the cost of their production. This is the fair way to do it, as the power companies can produce much lower price per watt than I can, so there’s really low incentive for me to plough a bunch of money into low efficiency PV system. However, if the happy day arrives when the PV system approaches their cost per watt, we’ll be replacing the company with thousands of producing systems in the home (it is a day that, speaking as an electrical engineer, will be some time in coming).

BritCarGuy on April 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Buying hybrids, EV’s, solar panels, etc, all the stuff the Left keeps TELLING YOU to buy is always self-defeating.

IE: the most leftist states are trying to ditch the gasoline tax for a MILEAGE TAX which will involve GOVERNMENT TRACKING of your vehicle (because we can NEVER take the People’s word when it comes to taxes) because they are scared to death that people are switching to more fuel efficient cars and that it is affecting tax revenue.

You will NEVER live cheaper by taking government advice. They will make sure it’s NEVER cheaper, but your standard of living is worse!

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Crazy. It only a matter of time before they charge charging extra fees for using electric cars. And before you know they tax people out of doing the right thing for the environment.

coolrepublica on April 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Because gasoline taxes are earmarked for highway maintenance, I have no problems with charging people who use electric cars the equivalent taxes for their use of the highway.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Now, if they start charging you for the privilege of being off grid, then we have a problem.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

States have been VERY HOSTILE to the idea of people disconnecting from the grid. There was a case, recently, in Florida where the government ordered a homeowner to CONNECT to the grid.

The reason is very simple: MONEY. You see, governments get a CUT out of every dollar you spend to be on the grid, which is money they DONT GET if you generate your own power, supply your own water and sewage services, etc.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Because gasoline taxes are earmarked for highway maintenance, I have no problems with charging people who use electric cars the equivalent taxes for their use of the highway.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM

My biggest problem is with the fact that gasoline taxes are used to fund all sorts of stuff for people who aren’t paying gasoline taxes, such as bike paths, public transportation, etc.

That bullshiite should be cut off FIRST before any consideration to raising taxes is given.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Murder rate to go down in Chicago: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Well, I guess I’ll be odd man out on this one.

First, those who buy into the solar, wind, and electric car scams get the benefit of government subsidies across the entire production chain.

Second, the government subsidizes individuals to buy solar, wind, and electric cars.

In other words, taxpayers are paying for companies to keep their doors open when they are actually bankrupt; and taxpayers are paying consumers who want hallucinate about saving the planet.

Why then should all of the people not installing solar and wind systems and buying electric car be forced to pay a substantial part of the production and purchase price of those who do??

So I support a fee on those who have bought into the solar, wind, and electric car scams at the expense of taxpayers.

Those who have benefited from tax subsidies should have some skin in the game and start paying the taxpayers back.

Talk about the law of unintended consequences: some states are considering a tax on electric cars because–get this–they are not paying their fair share in gasoline taxes while still using the highways like those who are.

I support that as well.

In fact, people with electric cars are not paying their fair share supporting the Ethanol scam either, so I propose a fee on them so they too can have skin in the Ethanol game.

When companies produce a product without government subsidies and consumers pay a fair price for those products without government subsidies, then I will be against OK charging a fee on freeloaders.

Until then, subsidized companies and consumers should start paying the taxpayers back.

BMF on April 20, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The objective is much like with taxes. You don’t want anything back. Ever. You put up just enough generating capacity so that you have to buy 4 KwH per month. Save a ton on stupid, unnecessary electronics too.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Hello,

This is my first post to HotAir.

I’m a retired electrical engineer with more than 30 years experience in the electric utility industry.

Let me offer some perspective.

The price a residential customer pays for a kWh of electricity includes the cost of generation, the cost of transmission, the cost of distribution, and all administrative costs incurred by the serving utility. Generation costs consist of both fixed costs (the generating stations) and variable costs (the costs for fuel).

When a residential customer supplies 1 kWh energy to the grid, the only cost offset by that energy is the variable cost of generation.

However, in California(and probably in Oklahoma as well), a residential customer who delivers 1 kWh of energy to the grid is excused from paying the variable costs of generation AND all other costs.

All of those other costs are then distributed to all the other customers.

This gross cross subsidy serves to make solar and wind appear to be competitive with other types of generation, such as natural gas.

There is crony capitalism at work here, but it is between the politicians and the wind and solar industries.

Oklahoma is to be commended for protecting consumers from crony capitalism.

JackHughs

JackHughs on April 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM

The objective is much like with taxes. You don’t want anything back. Ever. You put up just enough generating capacity so that you have to buy 4 KwH per month. Save a ton on stupid, unnecessary electronics too.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

If I invested in wind and solar it would be with the idea of consuming all of my own power, similar to what you say here.

IE: run 100% OFF THE GRID when possible, using the utility power only as a backup in case of malfunction or when it doesn’t generate enough.

That sort of concept is what government and power utilities HATE THE MOST…

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM

People should not be subsidized to put solar or wind power on their own houses. They should do it based on the fundamentals and that cost should not be passed on to people who do not put solar or wind power on their own houses.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM

This is pretty much my take on this. These people got tax credits for installing this “renewable solar energy” which the rest of us paid for. Let them pay those subsidies back, and then deal with the power companies directly.

Of course, we all know that if it weren’t for those subsidies, not many would be installing solar power, particularly to the degree where it produces enough energy to be sold back to power companies. It’s just ridiculously expensive without the subsidies.

JannyMae on April 20, 2014 at 5:04 PM

As Doug notes, the claimed reasons for the energy companies and their surrogates (who are behind the move) wanting these fees imposed are weak tea at best.

Much like tollways now that gasoline consumption is dropping, now that people are buying solar DOESN’T mean they don’t have to help maintain the grid.

The arguments FOR this are actually quite fair, and were entirely predictable.

(ps. there’s a tax on your energy bill too. Wait for it……….)

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM

It’s stupidly easy too. Tough to fry yourself once the sun goes down!!!

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

It’s stupidly easy too. Tough to fry yourself once the sun goes down!!!

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

There is a lot of off the shelf solar power equipment available now, including automatic switches.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Simple solution – if you want to go personal solar/wind, you get kicked off the grid.

Steve Eggleston on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Honestly? Not really. How much money did it cost to run electric cable down your street? To your house? (Can they pull it out?) To the school or hospital?

If I don’t own a car, do I not still benefit from the roads?

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

After all the money they make if they haven’t done any work on this then they deserve the costs involved.

This bill needs to be vetoed and those who sponsored it and passed it have an investigation done on them. A RICO investigation.

ajacksonian on April 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM

…and here is where the Abject Ignorance of the “Low Information” voter kicks in to feed the Left’s Narrative that is meant to divide and conquer…..just like when they support a “3rd Party” candidate like Perot – they’re REALLY supporting The Democrat…

The quote above “all the money they make” reveals the information gap:

Utilities are LEGALLY limited to have NO MORE than an 8% profit margin by Laws in the FERC, the PUC’s and other locations.

…that means that they pretty much make LESS than 8% in every case…

…Example: In Southern Cal, a Utility went to replace some 60-year old equipment and charge the capital cost on the Rate Base. They were performing above predictions since the equipment was only expected to work and maintain quals for 40 yearas. They EXCEEDED that by 20 years. The PUC said: “No – you didn’t maintain this equipment well enough. YOU have to pay for it, not the rate-payers.”

Then they went around publically high-fiving each other and crowing “LOOK HOW WE STUCK IT TO THE UTILITIES!!!” through the megaphone of The Media. That plant, which is still capable of being operated, is now shut down and rate payers and paying a DOUBLE premium on its replacement power to wheel megawatts from across the country.

Ignorance is its own reward.

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

No good deed goes unpunished. Since I have no real knowledge of what this would be like, if my bills were substantially lower with infrequent use of the regular infrastructure, I would be happy with that and not worry about selling anything back.

Cindy Munford on April 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Batteries. But batteries aren’t very efficient, and they tend to wear out. Probably the best kind to use, though for long term storage in a solar/wind power system would be Edison Batteries. These are old tech nickel-iron batteries that aren’t very efficient, but they are VERY durable.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:15 PM

There is a lot of off the shelf solar power equipment available now, including automatic switches.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Yup saw those. Good deal. I need a AC unit that can run on DC. Be nice if someone made one to run on variable DC voltage so I could skip the battery bank.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Yup saw those. Good deal. I need a AC unit that can run on DC. Be nice if someone made one to run on variable DC voltage so I could skip the battery bank.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Setting up an A/C system to run off solar is about the most efficient means of using solar power I can think of. Think about it: when will you most need to run it? Daylight.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

……study Ohm’s Law and Gauss’s Law and get back to us….

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

So this is what a GOP Super Majority looks like? Yikes!

I was under the impression that Oklahoma had a Conservative Governor and Conservative legislature…guess I was wrong. So much for free markets.

Afterseven on April 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Maybe you can explain to me how the electrical companies are a free market. Then maybe you can explain to me how the government forcing them to buy energy they cannot really use for an exorbitant amount of money without allowing them to recuperate some of the cost of distributing it is anti free market.
You know what I really like about this free market electricity market? My having to subsidize every person who wants to buy a ‘renewable’ energy source, every person who has these subsidized ‘renewable’ energy sources selling atrociously priced energy that I have to buy. I just totally love the free market in which I buy electricity.

astonerii on April 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

“The bill was supported by the state’s major electric utilities.” Yeah, I’ll bet it was.

justbob223 on April 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

….as it should have Been – they were speaking Reason!!

….go ask The Environmentalists who helped keep Shoreham from starting up on Long Island what the just what happened to the electric rates for New Yorkers after that……they went UP by about 6 Billion…..with a “B”…..

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Setting up an A/C system to run off solar is about the most efficient means of using solar power I can think of. Think about it: when will you most need to run it? Daylight.

ConstantineXI on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I was at the farm the other day adjusting the array angle. I get 6 hours of close to peak voltage per day. It would be more than enough. My window Alt Current AC units draw 750 watts with the compressor running. You would think it easy to do ( make a variable DC unit), but I haven’t seen any on the market. Perhaps some form of evaporative AC unit? I’m looking into it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

……study Ohm’s Law and Gauss’s Law and get back to us….

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

What’s up with all that?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Honestly? Not really. How much money did it cost to run electric cable down your street? To your house?….

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

…..you have No Idea, do you?

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

……study Ohm’s Law and Gauss’s Law and get back to us….

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

There’s this.

We changed our battery pier-side. Every cell, one at a time.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

……study Ohm’s Law and Gauss’s Law and get back to us….

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

What’s up with all that?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! God – this is Funny!

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Parasites got to parasite.

jukin3 on April 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM

And why should something like this surprise anyone? The government can already tax us just for breathing – just ask obamacare.

Guess this would just encourage me to disconnect from the grid entirely and not ‘sell back’ any excess energy created by my devices, thereby avoiding their ridiculous little tax. At least until they create some new law to counter that.

BMG on April 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Get a subsidy and install a solar panel or windmill, then sell the excess to the power companies. Sweet deal. Why anyone would think they could get away with not paying a govt something is amazing.

Kissmygrits on April 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Which is more cost effective: a propane refrigerator or a DC refrigerator?

(Or do I need Gauss’ law for that one, too?)

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Two “Laws Of The Universe” points:

1. “Wind Power” is good for one thing: Sailing. Except when the wind is becalmed.

2. “Solar Power” is good for heat…..except when it’s cloudy out.

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! God – this is Funny!

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

You drinking already?

VegasRick on April 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

…..you have No Idea, do you?

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I know how much they charged me to run e- to my house 200 yards from the street. It wasn’t enough to cover the cost of the cable. They expected me to buy more. I even heated with e- for several years, so I paid some back, but I don’t make the rules, so now I will live by them and save money.

Liberals made the game. Nothing says I can’t beat them at it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Which is more cost effective: a propane refrigerator or a DC refrigerator?

(Or do I need Gauss’ law for that one, too?)

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Hint: You pretty much need or use Gauss’s law when ever you use an electric or magnetic field…..or AC power…..whether you know it or not……

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Perhaps some form of evaporative AC unit? I’m looking into it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Swamp coolers.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! God – this is Funny!

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

You drinking already?

VegasRick on April 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

…..that’s abviously your solution, but I have already learned:

You can’t fix stupid…….and drinking doesn’t make them any smarter…

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

There’s this.

We changed our battery pier-side. Every cell, one at a time.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

That’s pretty cool, but there’s one thing to remember:

You’re not in The Navy anymore – and you won’t be “getting underway” anytime soon…

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Okay – you all have fun – I’ve got work to do.

Reading some of this junk is exhausting.

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:40 PM

…..that’s abviously your solution, but I have already learned:

You can’t fix stupid…….and drinking doesn’t make them any smarter…

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Alrighty then!

VegasRick on April 20, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Now they’ll know what it’s like to get ripped off by AT&T.

Monopolies bribe politicians and judges for a reason. The same reason Al Capone did.

viking01 on April 20, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Now, if they start charging you for the privilege of being off grid, then we have a problem.

unclesmrgol on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Patience, Grasshopper!

Del Dolemonte on April 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Swamp coolers.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Thanks, will check into it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM

…..you have No Idea, do you?

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I know how much they charged me to run e- to my house 200 yards from the street. It wasn’t enough to cover the cost of the cable. They expected me to buy more. I even heated with e- for several years, so I paid some back, but I don’t make the rules, so now I will live by them and save money.

Liberals made the game. Nothing says I can’t beat them at it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Here in NH, our main power company charges $21.54 per foot for overhead cables; thus it would cost about $13,000 to run a line 200 yards.

I know a dude who is truly off the grid; we have estimated it would cost him almost $100K to bring in power, so he went solar with wood fired hot water as a heating system.

The same power company charges $15.37 per foot to lay underground cable-but the customer is responsible for digging the ditching, and for providing the conduit.

Del Dolemonte on April 20, 2014 at 5:51 PM

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

He could simply have answered you question.

Capacitors are useful for buffering / filtering the flow of current and for storing / accumulating larger amounts for immediate use but for storing huge amounts of power the closest thing is massive banks of batteries. those are limited by needing down time to recharge (or catch up) and the large amount of space, weight and maintenance required.

For the kind of megawattage needed for heating / cooling, appliances, machinery and industry especially that in constant use that requires generators either powered by nuclear or fossil fuels.

viking01 on April 20, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Swamp coolers.

BobMbx on April 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Thanks, will check into it.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’ve never used those but Rush Limbaugh spent one morning a year or so ago bemoaning the “lean” years when where he lived used those.

From what I’ve read evaporative cooling needs a dry (low humidity) environment to work properly so if you’re literally in the heart of the swamp you’d be sweating with the ‘gators waiting for it to work.

viking01 on April 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 20, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Well, OK then. I didn’t pay back as much as I thought. Even with e- heat at 43 degrees latitude. Either way, it would be stupid of me not to adjust to the game.

Gotta keep one step ahead of them.

PS.

I know a dude who is truly off the grid; we have estimated it would cost him almost $100K to bring in power, so he went solar with wood fired hot water as a heating system.

If that’s an outdoor boiler, the EPA is about to ban them. New installs, that is.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

The emphasis should be on the silliness of getting governments in this mix in the first place. Buying power back does stabilize the grid, and is equally silly as taxing someone for the initiative of putting up solar cells.

Laissez-faire, folks.

itsspideyman on April 20, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Is there a cost effective way to store electrical energy?

Huge capacitors?

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

…in fairness: Capacitors disharge – fairly quickly in most cases, and any “stored power” is lost:

“A capacitor (or “cap” for short) is an electrical component that stores an electrical charge between two metal surfaces, and may or may not have some sort of fluid or solid material between them. Capacitors come in many types, shapes, and sizes; the most common by far in consumer electronics are electrolytic capacitors, and solid polymer capacitors. However, there are other types as well, mostly found in the power supply, such as foil capacitors, X capacitors, Y capacitors, and of course numerous types of small signalling capacitor all throughout the PC.

Now, the capacitor’s ability to store a charge raises a safety concern that other electrical components don’t share. That is, a capacitor can store a charge for a period of time after the circuit itself is no longer charged. While diodes, transistors, and resistors become inert instantaneously or within nanoseconds of voltage difference being lost, the capacitors in consumer electronics can hold onto charge for up to whole seconds.

Whole seconds. Consider a moment, The primary capacitors of even the most powerful ATX power supply, 1200W and up, would drain to safe levels (voltage too low to overcome your body’s natural resistance) in less than two or three seconds when fully charged, even if left entirely alone, due to residual draw in the circuit. With lower wattage PSUs the discharge is much quicker; under 500W, a tenth of a second is not unlikely. The charge held by electrolytic and polymer capacitors in PSUs is not that extreme, and the natural resistance in these circuits is low. The capacitors discharge quickly and present little danger of shocking unless you’re mucking around with the PSU while it’s on (in which case you have more problems than just lax capacitor safety).

However, there is one type of capacitor that can retain a charge for longer and should be treated with some care: X capacitors.

An X capacitor is usually used in a power supply’s transient filter stage, “across the line” of the AC input, to help filter surges and peaks (aided by Y capacitors, inductors, MOVs, and other devices). Part of the X capacitor’s specification is that it not represent any danger of shocking if damaged, whether that be mechanically or electrically. While that’s a very useful feature to have in this application, to limit the damage caused by catastrophic failures, it doesn’t forbid these capacitors from holding onto a charge on their own for relatively long periods of time. Left alone an X capacitor can hold a charge capable of shocking a human for several minutes.

Fortunately, two things limit the danger posed by these caps. First is their design; it’s almost impossible to shock yourself with one. The entire top of the capacitor is non-conductive, only the leads can pass voltage. To get to the leads you’d have to either stick a conductive object like a paperclip underneath the capacitor, or else remove the entire PSU circuit board from its enclosure and mess around with the leads on the back. The former of those actions is very stupid, and as for the latter, I can tell you from experience that it can take several minutes to properly remove a PSU PCB from its case, in which case I’m probably safe; although I usually do check those leads with a multimeter to make sure.

The second thing limiting the danger posed by these capacitors is something called a bleed resistor. This is a high wattage, 1-2kOhm resistor in the power supply’s primary circuit. The purpose of this resistor is to bleed all capacitors in the PSU’s primary circuit, including the X capacitors. Generally speaking the primary caps drain in milliseconds, and the X capacitors on a similar scale. In a power supply with a bleed resistor, it’s usually safe to say that all notable capacitors will be drained within a second of the PSU being unplugged.”

williamg on April 20, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Refurbish car batteries with: http://www.thediyworld.com/ssg-battery-restorer.php

davidk on April 20, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Capacitors are useful for buffering / filtering the flow of current and for storing / accumulating larger amounts for immediate use but for storing huge amounts of power the closest thing is massive banks of batteries. those are limited by needing down time to recharge (or catch up) and the large amount of space, weight and maintenance required.

Don’t forget that if batteries are used a converter must also be used to convert DC in the batteries to AC for home use. Thus losing more energy in the process.
There are always tradeoffs.

LeftCoastRight on April 20, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I know a dude who is truly off the grid; we have estimated it would cost him almost $100K to bring in power, so he went solar with wood fired hot water as a heating system.

If that’s an outdoor boiler, the EPA is about to ban them. New installs, that is.

WryTrvllr on April 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

No, he’s got an indoor boiler (very complex) safely tucked inside the new house he’s building. The solar arrays will be for electricity only.

Del Dolemonte on April 20, 2014 at 6:01 PM

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