California Will Make Everyone Pay For EVs Whether They Own One or Not

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

California Democrats are frustrated by many of their consumers. No matter how much they plead, whine, and cajole, people simply aren't buying electric vehicles in the numbers the state is demanding. And progress in getting charging stations up and running is far behind schedule. Also, all of the electrical power being flushed into these systems is expensive. But don't worry about any of that. Gavin Newsom and the Democrats have a plan to address all of these woes. In order to subsidize the cost of electric vehicles and encourage more people to buy them, they're going to tack on a monthly subsidy charge to everyone's utility bills. That's right... people who either don't want or can't afford an electric vehicle will be paying for the costs imposed by the minority of people who do. They will also be subsidizing conversions to electrical household appliances like stoves. (Free Beacon)

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Millions of middle-class California households are poised to pay an extra $24 per month for electricity, regardless of how much electricity they use. Regulators are hoping this utility billing policy will rescue their agenda to move everyone to electric cars and appliances by redistributing the massive costs of the state’s electric grid so utilities can lower their usage rates.

But critics say the income-based premium will likely further hike utility costs for millions of Californians—nearly one-fifth of whom are already behind in paying their bills after household electricity rates almost doubled in the last decade—and likely won’t do much to cut the state’s sky-high electricity rates. The premiums are supposed to subsidize lower-income household electricity costs, which will be reduced by 5 cents to 7 cents per kilowatt hour, in a bid to make charging EVs and using electric heaters and appliances cheaper.

Keep in mind that Californians already pay some of the highest monthly energy bills at an average rate of over $123. (Hawaii has the highest, while Utah is the lowest at $80.) California also has the highest average monthly water bills in the nation. So this $24 per month bump represents a 20 percent increase, putting them closer to stealing the title from Hawaii. Thanks to Joe Biden's massive inflation rates, the cost of everything has already skyrocketed, particularly energy. How much more of this will people put up with?

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Proponents are claiming that the extra costs will go toward reducing the cost of electricity for low-income households by a few cents per kilowatt-hour. But analysts aren't buying it, particularly when it comes to the state's mandate to do away with gas appliances and replace them with electric ones. The hourly cost will still be far higher than for natural gas stoves, just for one example.

Not everyone will be paying this premium, but the cutoff rate is quite low. In order to avoid paying the monthly fee, your household will need to earn less than $62,150 per year. That's precious little for a state with a cost of living as high as California's. The current average household income in California is more than $130,000. So the only people avoiding the price hike will be earning less than half as much. 

All of this electrification is being pushed at a time when California's power grid is still existing on the edge during periods of high demand. This is particularly true during the summer when everyone's air conditioners are constantly running. They have continued to force coal and natural gas plants offline, attempting to replace them with wind and solar energy that costs more and is less reliable. The state's leadership has turned into a pack of lemmings in the name of climate change. The president of the state's utility commission said that the changes are "essential to transitioning us away from fossil fuels." The real question is what you're transitioning the state toward. From where I'm sitting, it looks like a catastrophe. 

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David Strom 5:00 PM | May 23, 2024
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