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47 minutes ago, timschochet said:

When you say more choices, are you suggesting that the day will come when, as a consumer, I can choose between more than one energy company? 

Your question got me curious so did some digging...in fact the days of electricity consumer choice in CA have already come and gone like the dinosaur. The heyday was between 1998-2001.

Green Mountain Energy Co., which sells renewable energy to customers, said it is in the process of returning all but about 8,000 of its customers to California utilities. California Gov. Gray Davis ushered in the end of retail choice for electricity consumers when he signed a bill Feb. 1 that authorized the state to buy power on long-term contracts.

https://www.ogj.com/home/article/17263980/green-mountain-pulls-out-of-most-california-markets

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YAY capitalism! IMO, there are certain segments of society that should not be run on a profit basis.  We are ok with socialized national defense, law enforcement, fire protection, k-12 education,

You know, I've been thinking about this.  I agree with the concept in principle but something just doesn't sit right. 1. Who makes the cost/benefit decision?  What gives you the right to decide i

WTF?  I wrote all the WHILE people are freezing to death. While, not white. 

58 minutes ago, timschochet said:

When you say more choices, are you suggesting that the day will come when, as a consumer, I can choose between more than one energy company? 

You do that in Texas now.  That choice for about 29,000 people is what backfired.  They chose Griddy which instead of buying electricity from the wholesale market with fixed cost future contracts they bought the electricity on the 'spot market' as they needed it.   

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1 hour ago, Stoneworker said:

Your question got me curious so did some digging...in fact the days of electricity consumer choice in CA have already come and gone like the dinosaur. The heyday was between 1998-2001.

Green Mountain Energy Co., which sells renewable energy to customers, said it is in the process of returning all but about 8,000 of its customers to California utilities. California Gov. Gray Davis ushered in the end of retail choice for electricity consumers when he signed a bill Feb. 1 that authorized the state to buy power on long-term contracts.

https://www.ogj.com/home/article/17263980/green-mountain-pulls-out-of-most-california-markets

All I can tell you, as an Orange County resident my entire life, is that we’ve had Southern Cal Edison forever and there’s never been a choice for me. Same for water and trash removal. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 10:36 AM, dawgtrails said:

@Stealthycat you honestly think that urban folks only have a day's worth of food in their house? 

maybe a two weeks tops and that's including canned

a few probably have double frig's ... a few freezers but no, that's why there is such a rush at grocery stores with imminent weather - people don't have stocks of food on hand anymore, society is a week to week grocery shopping existence for the most part

do you not agree?

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11 hours ago, timschochet said:

All I can tell you, as an Orange County resident my entire life, is that we’ve had Southern Cal Edison forever and there’s never been a choice for me. Same for water and trash removal. 

So California residents do have a pretty viable choice in solar power.  

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4 hours ago, Stealthycat said:

maybe a two weeks tops and that's including canned

a few probably have double frig's ... a few freezers but no, that's why there is such a rush at grocery stores with imminent weather - people don't have stocks of food on hand anymore, society is a week to week grocery shopping existence for the most part

do you not agree?

I agree that in general we are a week to week grocery shopping society. I disagree that people would run out of food after one or two days. It won't be glamorous meals, but in general, folks have plenty of food stashed away in their fridge/freezer/pantry to last at least a week

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10 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Electricity bill went down from 250 a month (average) to about $10. But it will take about 4 years before I save anything. 

Do you get tax writeoffs for it?  My neighbor has them on the edge of his property, but we don't get enough sun in the winter to it be a real viable option.  Also have to deal with the snow and ice also.

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1 hour ago, FairWarning said:

Do you get tax writeoffs for it?  My neighbor has them on the edge of his property, but we don't get enough sun in the winter to it be a real viable option.  Also have to deal with the snow and ice also.

i got 30% of the install price as a deduction 4 years ago, that's federal.  i think it's down to 22% now.

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Quality work by the WSJ showing they estimate Texans paid a combined $28 billion more for electricity since 2004 than consumers in other states without choice.  It also seems like the retail market has devolved into an unregulated duopoly.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-electric-bills-were-28-billion-higher-under-deregulation-11614162780

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natural disasters occur

things happen far beyond what's expected and anticipated

when those "acts of God" happen .... don't blame anyone, it happens

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1 hour ago, Sammy3469 said:

Quality work by the WSJ showing they estimate Texans paid a combined $28 billion more for electricity since 2004 than consumers in other states without choice.  It also seems like the retail market has devolved into an unregulated duopoly.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-electric-bills-were-28-billion-higher-under-deregulation-11614162780

Oops, capitalism

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39 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Oops, capitalism

Lol. Can't believe people fall for this some of this stuff. The WSJ analysis is deeply flawed and over-simplified. At the very least it doesn't adjust for geography/climate.

*  El Paso is a regulated utility area, with low humidity and avg annual temp of 65 degrees.

*  Houston is a competitive retail area, with extremely high humidity and avg temp of 70 degrees.

So when you compare the two, which one do you think is going to naturally have a higher electric bill having absolutely nothing to do with whether the consumer chose the provider?

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19 minutes ago, Stoneworker said:

Lol. Can't believe people fall for this some of this stuff. The WSJ analysis is deeply flawed and over-simplified. At the very least it doesn't adjust for geography/climate.

*  El Paso is a regulated utility area, with low humidity and avg annual temp of 65 degrees.

*  Houston is a competitive retail area, with extremely high humidity and avg temp of 70 degrees.

So when you compare the two, which one do you think is going to naturally have a higher electric bill having absolutely nothing to do with whether the consumer chose the provider?

Full article is behind paywall so I couldn't read it, just the first few paragraphs.  Can you post the whole thing?

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1 hour ago, The Z Machine said:

Full article is behind paywall so I couldn't read it, just the first few paragraphs.  Can you post the whole thing?

Can't post the whole thing but the operative paragraphs on methodology are below.

All WSJ does is a simple aggregation of total revenue from regulated vs. competitive areas. Major TX population centers are heavily skewed toward competitive....so if rates are naturally higher in those markets due to micro-climate (ie. El Paso vs. Houston), then corresponding total revenue (rate x population) is going to naturally be disproportionally higher (higher rate x higher population = skewed higher total revenue).

At the bottom is a link to a TX map showing what TX markets are regulated vs. deregulated...this is not included or even referenced by the WSJ article but where it becomes obvious what I'm talking about.

* The EIA data shows how much electricity each utility or retail provider sold to residents in a given year and how much customers paid for it. The Journal calculated separate annual statewide rates for utilities and retailers by adding up all of the revenue each type of provider received and dividing it by the kilowatt-hours of electricity it sold.

* From 2004 through 2019, the annual rate for electricity from Texas’s traditional utilities was 8% lower, on average, than the nationwide average rate, while the rates of retail providers averaged 13% higher than the nationwide rate, according to the Journal’s analysis.

https://www.powerwizard.com/texas-deregulation-map

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1 hour ago, Stoneworker said:

The Journal calculated...by adding up all of the revenue each type of provider received and dividing it by the kilowatt-hours of electricity it sold.

I understand how regulated versus unregulated would change the above equation.  I understand how regional differences in feasibly generating various forms of energy might factor in.  But how does regional climate factor in the above?  Are you saying that higher demand climates both increases the units sold and the rate (supply and demand) and thus higher demand areas just naturally also have higher rates?  Regulated or not?

 

2 hours ago, Stoneworker said:

At the very least it doesn't adjust for geography/climate.

 

I keep understanding you halfway at best so again forgive me if I am putting words in your mouth or asking you to defend positions you never staked out.  That is not my intent but I fear it is the result of asking such questions.

 

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28 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I understand how regulated versus unregulated would change the above equation.  I understand how regional differences in feasibly generating various forms of energy might factor in.  But how does regional climate factor in the above?  Are you saying that higher demand climates both increases the units sold and the rate (supply and demand) and thus higher demand areas just naturally also have higher rates?  Regulated or not?

I keep understanding you halfway at best so again forgive me if I am putting words in your mouth or asking you to defend positions you never staked out.  That is not my intent but I fear it is the result of asking such questions.

No worries. It's just there's lots of factors involved...so WSJ was simplistic at best, and at worst drew a misleading conclusion by attributing the difference solely to one factor (regulated vs. unregulated).

Generally speaking a city like Houston (hot/humid) will have huge demand spikes in summer due to air conditioning...when people come home from work and everyone cranks their A/C all at the same time...meanwhile El Paso (less hot/dry) will be much more even demand load...therefore Houston needs to have very expensive "peaker plants" always available to serve these demand spikes. These peaker plants are incredibly inefficient to operate since their annual utilization rate is very small (since mainly needed only in summer).

So it's not just hotter climate that can cause higher rates...it's also the high variability of that demand in that climate when comparing markets. Same on supply side...the more variable, the more expensive (generally speaking and all other things equal).

Just one factor causing higher rates that has nothing to do with retail competition.

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 11:06 AM, Phil Elliott said:

I don't like seeing the politicizing of this problem   From either side. I received a text from a relative Sunday afternoon indicating ERCOT had informed the local energy utilities to start the rolling blackouts around 4:00 pm. Nothing happened until midnight. But the very first reports from the news media only mentioned the freezing wind turbines in west Texas. That may be where the initial focus on the turbine failures came from. But within the next 24 hours more information was being communicated that production from all energy sources, including natural gas, coal and nuclear were adversely affected.

 I think we were closer to total grid failure than ERCOT was reporting ("China Syndrome"?) and circuits were being turned off that mistakenly included some essential services like hospitals.  

4 min and 37 seconds from total grid collapse

Edited by Phil Elliott
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On 2/23/2021 at 7:31 AM, Sammy3469 said:

So California residents do have a pretty viable choice in solar power.  

I live in cloudy Seattle and solar is proving to be a decent option up here on homes. In Summer when days are long my neighbors are selling energy back I believe. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 7:46 AM, The General said:

I live in cloudy Seattle and solar is proving to be a decent option up here on homes. In Summer when days are long my neighbors are selling energy back I believe. 

I'm considering going solar on my home in Gig Harbor.   Have a bid coming.

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4 minutes ago, -fish- said:

I'm considering going solar on my home in Gig Harbor.   Have a bid coming.

Nice. We are in King county so not sure if it’s the same for you guys, but my good friend has them and pays zero for electric in summer and racks up credits that they can use in the darker months. Just asked him and over the past year they have saved 4 grand.

They were even getting additional money from the state for awhile but I believe that was an incentive under Obama.

 

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