By Roger Sowell

In moves to change electricity rates in California to better reflect the impacts of solar power on the grid, CPUC has allowed San Diego Gas and Electric utility time-of-use rates. This starts no earlier than December, 2017. As shown below, electricity will cost more during the peak period of 4-9 pm, but will cost much less during the spring off-peak demand period. The revised rates do not result in more money to the utility in a given year. The rates simply change how much money is collected from the various rate groups. The intent is to reduce usage during daily peak periods, to avoid running expensive peaker power plants that increase everyone’s utility bills.

California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, Docket #: A.15-04-012

Link at:


SAN FRANCISCO, August 24, 2017 – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today established new time-of-use periods for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to reflect the changing energy market, including a later on-peak period and a spring super-off-peak period. In adopting an uncontested settlement agreement that allocates SDG&E’s revenue among its different customer classes (residential, small business, commercial, industrial), the CPUC also adopted an onpeak time-of-use period of 4-9 p.m. Time-of-use pricing utilizes a rate structure that varies depending on the time of day during which energy is consumed, with higher rates charged when electricity demand or costs are higher. “Solar energy has become an important part of our clean energy grid. We saw how it changes the way we use energy last week during the eclipse. And we also saw the benefit to the grid and avoided use of gas generators when customers took action to avoid using electricity during the sun’s short break and while solar output dropped,” said CPUC President Michael Picker, the Commissioner assigned to the proceeding. “During hot summer months, our peak period during late afternoons has also changed significantly. The best evidence shows that the optimum time to avoid using electricity is now from 4 to 9 p.m. That’s why we move to shift SDG&E’s time of use rate structure to meet that same span of time.”

The proposal voted on is available at

“Summary (of the linked Proposal)

This decision addresses the application of San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) to establish marginal costs, allocate revenues, and design rates for service provided to its customers. The uncontested Revenue Allocation Settlement Agreement is approved; the contested Schools Settlement Agreement is not adopted. This decision establishes new time-of-use periods to reflect the changing energy market, including a later on-peak period and a spring super-off-peak period, while affirming the grandfathering provisions for eligible solar customers previously established by the California Public Utilities Commission and extending the Eligibility Grace Period for schools.

The decision establishes cost recovery of distribution costs between coincident and noncoincident demand charges based on the original testimony position of the Solar Energy Industries Association and retains the current split for generation capacity costs between coincident demand and volumetric charges. The decision establishes a three-year temporary waiver of the small commercial rate load limit for current small commercial accounts where electric vehicle charging load makes up at least 50 percent of their electric load. Unless otherwise provided in this decision, the revised rates will become effective no earlier than December 1, 2017 and will allow SDG&E to collect the revenue requirement determined in Phase 1 of its 2015 General Rate Case. This proceeding is closed.”


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Tom Halla

Another way to make up for the non-dispatchable nature of “renewables”?

george e. smith

So electricity will be more expensive during the totality of a solar eclipse, due to lower renewable content.
Whopee !

Don K

“…electricity will be more expensive…”
Should be San Diego’s motto. For those not familiar with the area, electricity there has always been inexplicably expensive. See Here’s what pops up when you type “San Diego Electric Rates” into Google Search
“The average residential electricity rate in San Diego is 16.35�/kWh. This average (residential) electricity rate in San Diego is 6.58% greater than the California average rate of 15.34�/kWh. The average (residential) electricity rate in San Diego is 37.63% greater than the national average rate of 11.88�/kWh.”
This probably won’t help


Don, I don’t have to look in the Reader. I have lived there for 35 years. In reality the price is much, much higher than $0.16/kWh. My 1st 350 kwh are at $0.19, next 150 are $0.32, after that it is $0.41/kWh.
That is the reason I got solar.


Peak electric demand in California shifted from afternoon to evening because oppressive taxation and regulation drove industry from the state. Now the peak occurs when people go home, turn the lights on, watch TV, cook dinner, etc. Most people will just opt to pay more because they don’t want to eat a cold dinner in the dark.
The article says,
“The intent is to reduce usage during daily peak periods, to avoid running expensive peaker power plants that increase everyone’s utility bills.”
So they increased everyone’s utility bills in order to avoid increasing everyone’s utility bills?
Who thinks this stuff up?

Thomas August 26, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Who thinks this stuff up?

People like Roger Sowell and his ilk, who think they are saving the planet by screwing the consumer.


mess with them….get everyone to set their clocks back 5 hours


This is a totally deplorable effort by the charcoal briquette cabal and propane tank industry to make middle class folks use more of their products.

Irritable Bill

Hi Thomas, re “Who thinks this stuff up?”…I think we did in Australia. We have had “Off peak” electricity prices for a long time. But you wait and see what a colossal disaster awaits us here as our “conservative” mainstream party has been hijacked by the loony left and whilst they are headed for utter electoral disaster next time in two years, the opposition socialists are even worse. they are blathering on about 50% renewables and given half a chance will go through with it. We already have desalination plants costing hundreds of millions a year to sit in mothballs because we don’t need the extra supply because…the dams are full. By the way, this price discrimination leaves little old ladies etc. who are on a low income or on the pension with no ability to pay for air-con or heating…the result is they just have to sit in the dark sweltering in the middle of summer and watch TV until they can sleep. And the politicians don’t give a crap!!!!!
A lot of us are hoping like hell the Trumpster gets on with the simple job of demolishing the loony left lies re global warming. I could do it with ease, so why the protracted wait?
Has anyone heard whats going on with the “Pausbuster fraud” enquiry?

Eric Simpson

So they increased everyone’s utility bills in order to avoid increasing everyone’s utility bills?

Yup. Very well put. It’s laughable insanity. A joke.

Walter Sobchak

Wait until they force everybody to instal smart meters. Then they will just turn off your kitchen appliances in the middle of cooking dinner. Rich folks will fight back by installing diesel generators for a net minus in air pollution and CO2. Good times.


[peak period of 4-9 pm]……Now the peak occurs when people go home, turn the lights on, watch TV, cook dinner, etc.

Very good observation, peek should be 10-4pm ish. Interesting too, 4 to 9, this is when solar and wind potentially at their lowest, less sun, less solar wind movement.


Dude and right now SDGE charges 16c per kWh for the first 450 is and 26c per kWh above that. The typical home requires 900 kWh per month in this area. This has got to be the most expensive power in the nation. My other home in Texas is 13c per kWh flat rate.


The intent is to reduce usage during daily peak periods, to avoid running expensive peaker power plants that increase everyone’s utility bills.

Sounds, good. So if it works as intended, reducing the use of “expensive peaker power plants ” should lead to savings overall and lower power bills, right?

The revised rates do not result in more money to the utility in a given year. .

Fine. that’s a relief but there seems to be in implicit statement that rates won’t be going down either, otherwise this would be heralded as big gain for customers.
This leaves the question of where the difference is going to who ends up pocketing the cost savings this change hopes to achieve.

“Walter Sobchak August 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Wait until they force everybody to instal smart meters. Then they will just turn off your kitchen appliances in the middle of cooking dinner. Rich folks will fight back by installing diesel generators for a net minus in air pollution and CO2. Good times.”
Here in Illinois, I have had a “smart” meter for about 8 years and I am on a program that enables the power company to remotely cycle my air conditioner.
Now, I chose the “smart” meter way back when because it gave me the control and ability to save money on my electric bill. (which it did until the past few years when Illinois began shutting down reliable and cheap coal burning plants)
As far as the air conditioner, I get paid $40 a year to let them do that. Since I am a light user of AC, as far as I know, they have never had to cycle it.
All of Illinois electrical users will have “smart” meters. I LOVE hearing the radio commercials promoting the meters:” Now you will know when you are using too much electricity.” REALLY???????? care to define what “too much” is and why it’s anyone’s damn business???.
Sad times here in Illinoiastan:comment image?ssl=1&w=450

Look on the bright side. It may still be garbage, but at least he’s stopped threatening to sue us.

Steve Keppel-Jones

Matthew W, I’m pretty sure that for the progressive socialist eco-marxists, ANY usage is “too much”, and EVERYTHING is their damn business. We already know they want most of us to die off, and the rest (except for them) to be living stone age lives. Here in the Soviet State of Ontario, we have smart time-of-use meters too, and they also want everyone to have “smart” remote controlled thermostats, so they can shut off our air conditioners when they feel like it. They haven’t enforced that yet. But it’s the same story as California: they introduced time-of-use meters in order to discourage people from using power during peak times, so that they wouldn’t have to build any more expensive peaking power plants. That almost sounds reasonable… well, okay, no it doesn’t. Making economic activity more expensive during peak economic times of day is a terrible idea. But all that aside, I have no idea whether the scheme “worked” or not, because then they tripled our power prices by building expensive unreliable power plants instead. Like Thomas says, who thinks this stuff up??

So we all have to change our habits to satisfy your sick green ambitions, and this is good how???
Used to be the power system served us. Now, with Roger’s assistance, we serve the power system.
Sick, bro’ … sick.

Not resident in Kaliforniastan, but completely concur with your assessment, WE. Used to be, we designed systems to serve our needs, for which we gladly paid. Now, they design systems to seve their needs. For which we still are forced to pay. Used to be called theft. now???

It’s still called fascism, it is just more wide spread and more pervasive that it has been historically.


I thought California was going to be renamed Guam. 🙂

Walter Sobchak

Guam? They will be lucky. Bangladesh is more like it. That is what the green meanies want to see.

Bryan A

With all the installed rooftop solar power inverters, the far left state should be called INVERTISTAN


Walter – Whoa there!
Kalifornia is the most populous state in the USA [all 50].
But at about 38-39 million [haven’t checked the latest Google [I can amend that] figure.
Bangladesh is – per , downloaded at about 2122Z – about 165 million,
That will but the water problem at a whole new lev3el.

D.J. Hawkins

Look at the so-called peak times. Not when folks might be using their AC full blast, ohhh no. They are gearing up for when people come home and plug in their EV’s. Talk about preemptive strike! They get you coming and going.
When I was just out of school and in an all-electric apartment my bills were killing me. JCP&L had a time of day service rate, and the shift was pretty big, 8-9 cents per kW-hr (in 1981) depending on the season. What was off-peak? 8pm to 8am Monday through Friday, and all week end long. All I had to do was shift my heating and cooling just a little and presto! saved about a third of my bill.

george e. smith

It’s nice that we have our own inside man keeping us up on all of these scams.
Keep it going Roger; poor saps will never figure out how we find out what they’re up to.


It’s worse than people can imagine. I adjusted my working time periods to take advantage of time of use power rates. Of course, the lowest rate is when most people are sleeping. I was reported for excess nighttime noise and cited under noise ordnance when all I was really doing was saving the planet.
It’s apparent that incentives that cannot be used are worthless.


Your example of the noise bylaw is just another example of how American is no longer the land of the free. link Then there are Home Owners Associations … OMG talk about Big Brother. link


Geneva Environment Network, Geneva, Switzerland
“A Network Coordinated By The United Nations Environment Program”, UNEP.
World Business Council Sustainable Development / WBCSD, Geneva. Est.1995
Has a description of this organization which includes the energy sector.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development / WBCSD, Geneva, Est.1995
‘How we drive sustainable development’
Renewable energy companies are members. Also listed are the New York Times and Bloomberg.
Members are included at:
Our Knowledge Partners include:
Yale University joined in 2015
Arizona State University joined in 2016
All about sustainability.


WBCSD, Geneva
Global Network / Regions / North-America
Includes: Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Click on the organization names.

Differential rates have been used for a very long time to entice customers to use power when the demand is low, so that there won’t be so much unused capacity at night,and lesser peak power at other times. However, that’s not what this stupid policy is about. It takes no account of normal human activities. As per usual.


The rich can afford it. The homeless don’t need it… they’re a blight on the scenery anyway, right?


…and just to keep it fun…..they are going to tax the drinking water too
First-ever water tax proposed to tackle unsafe drinking water in California

Patrick MJD

Already happens in Australia. And even if you collect you own rain water there is a tax applied in some states

Gunga Din

I read the link. I’d be leary of what California EPA considers to be “unsafe” drinking water.
And how much of the revenue would actually be used to improve rural water systems rather than being diverted to “save the smelt!” type causes.
The article mentioned that many in California are more aware of what happened in Flint than of what is happening in California.
I have to wonder if they are aware that at the root of the lead leaching into the water was not adding a zinc orthophosphate feed system to the water plant they put back into use?


Let me get this straight, the utilities are now telling people they are going to be charged extra for the privilege of using electricity at times of the day when only a tiny fraction of their production capacity isn’t producing…to teach them a lesson about how wasteful and inefficient their use is, or how wasteful and inefficient their renewable energy sources are? What a delightful argument to excuse an extortion racket “It’s good for you!”.

Geoff Sherrington

The regulation industry is allowed yet another hit. Geoff


So let’s all cook dinner, take showers and do laundry after 10 pm.
This is a heartless money grab. Thank you, California again for your disdain for your citizens.

Rainer Bensch

…and load our EV batteries. Guess where it will shift the peak period to and what will happen then.


I’m sure everyone in CA will keep track of the differential charges and carefully use power during non-peak periods.


Yet another reason solar sucks. Huge up front costs, makes electricity when no one needs it, requires back up half the day.


You must now have your morning shower at midday.
The evening meal will now be prepared at 11:30am.
Your office or factory work times are now 2:00 am to 7:00 am and then from 7:30 to 10:30pm.
Have a nice day.


More likely the market will develop large battery packs for the home that allow us to draw our power from the utility when it is cheap and use it when we need it. The packs will likely waste more power than they store — especially if you include the energy cost of making them — but they’ll save money. Talk about incentives to be stupid!
Well, at least Governor Brown will get termed out next year.

John Loop

We lived thru this in New Jersey in 1984-8. It FORCES you to do your energy intensive stuff after hours. We had electric heat, so it was very important. They reverted to normal just before we left. There was NO difference in what we paid –just in how we had to behave. Annoying for sure. I do not remember their motivation! Especially since they reverted to normal.


“This proceeding is closed.” ??? I doubt it. The rates will be revisited when California enters a stretch of time that is abnormally cloudy.


There’s nothing inherently wrong with this kind of marginal cost pricing. The idea is that the costs to consumers reflects the actual costs to provide the electricity each user consumes. During peak periods, when added capacity needs to be brought on line, the unit cost to provide that electricity goes up because the capital expenditures for the peak generation is spread over fewer kWh. This is why the Bonneville Power Administration used to give huge discounts to the aluminum smelters who agreed to shift production to overnight hours so as to help balance the load over the day.
Having said that, this pricing scheme only makes sense if the off-peak generation costs aren’t being subsidized. If you assume that all the solar and wind farms out there had to recover their full costs through the rates paid by consumers, then it may well make sense to try to discourage use of the renewable energy instead of the fossil fuel plants that are inefficiently being used to supply peak demand,

Bob boder

It doesn’t make sense when it’s a regulated monopoly! I thought socialist were supposed to redistribute the wealth not rig the system against the average worker. Just another lie.

Don K

My impression is that SDG&E is more of a self-regulated monopoly. An example of regulatory capture of the regulating body by those who are being regulated.

Kurt August 26, 2017 at 3:55 pm

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this kind of marginal cost pricing. The idea is that the costs to consumers reflects the actual costs to provide the electricity each user consumes.

Yes, there is something wrong. You are forcing the users to bend their own preferences and desires in order to fit into a crappy mix of generation sources. That is inherently wrong on any planet.
What would be inherently right would be to use a mix of generation sources such that anyone could use energy at any time … you know, the crazy system we had just two decades ago …


Willis, we never had what you claim. In the old days, utilities just didn’t have the smart meters that let them charge based on their cost. So your complaint isn’t with renewable energy, it’s with smart meters.
I live in Georgia. The utility is Southern Company. They have mostly a mix of nuclear, coal, natural gas, and hydro. We don’t do wind/solar around here (come on over when you’re ready for traditional values).
You can have the flat rate pricing you desire, but it’s artificial. Or you can have a peak rate plan. The peak rate plan charges more at peak because natural gas plants have to be built for no reason other than to satisfy summer afternoon A/C needs. Power plants are expensive and plants that are built exclusively to provide a few months of power for a few hours a day have a huge per hour amortization rate.
So, if I sign up for the peak plan, it’s only $0.05/KWh during off-peak. Pretty impressively low cost for Nuclear / coal plants. Even good for natural gas plants that run 50%+ of the time.
But the peak time is 2pm-7pm on weekdays from June through Sept. That is when we run out of capacity and new “peaker” plants have to be built for just hose 5 hours, 5 days a week, and only 4 months a year. That’s only 100 hours a year to spread the capital cost over! So the power company charges $0.20/KWh for those peak hours.
The few people I knew that thought they could save money for signing up for the $0.05/KWh normal rate except for 100 hours a year, found out their annual expense went up, and they reverted to the flat rate.

Phil Rae

Greg Freemyer
Point taken….but your peaker plants actually run ~400 hours per year (based on 4 months at 25 hrs/week) not just 100 hours as stated in your post. So the amortization equation is somewhat better than suggested. Just saying…..thanks!

Well, we shouldn’t hide the real cost of these renewables.
Pricing should be set hourly and completely reflect the cost, as in no indirect subsidies. Customers pay the full all-in costs.
When people realize what the real cost is, they stop supporting renewables and blame the government for supporting them.
In other words, “votes” then count and politicians know supporting something that cost them votes is a loser.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

All the peak-offpeak stuff goes out the window if there is enough on-demand generating capacity. Hydro is effect for this. That is why they build dams: energy accumulators.
Any grid can be destabilized by adding enough random input sources then mandating that power from them MUST be absorbed in preference to other sources.
The chart showed the eclipse clearly. What about a cloud front? No difference. Knowing a cloud front is approaching doesn’t change people’s daily behaviour. The grid has to respond to people.
Once the energy storage problem is solved, the demand charge will be solved at the same time. It is a technically solvable challenge, and a much better use of funds than watching the carbon sequestration in mud over 3000 years.

Bob boder

Can you say rationing

michael hart

I guess we’ll be waiting a long time, anywhere, for a pricing scheme that actually allows customers to choose between nominal electricity suppliers based on type of generation technology. It seems quite technologically feasible what with all these smart-meter thingies, but the harsh economic reality would be too much to bear for most of those in the ‘green’ enclosure.

I live in PA, not we have the PMJ energy market coordinated by three states. Together they set the rules for electric interconnectors, overall energy prices and rates. You can change your energy provider any time, with no costs and select for solar, renewable, wind, I think even nuclear. They have to accept the SWR electricity at any time up to 20% of their supply. The companies post bids,handles the changeover seamlessly. Right now we’re paying 6cents per Kwh, a similar distribution/maintainence fee per KWH, and a flat $4.95 for handling the bills to you local provider.
Right now cheap natural gas is keeping the electricity down in the 7-9 range so the local nuclear plant is set to shut down in 2020.. Not a good idea, but they won’t pay for reliable backup plants.
Solar and renewables range from 8-9 cents for wind to 23 cents for solar.
It’s worked pretty well for us. We,ve had 5.5Kwh solar panels for about 9 years. They keep the power bill in check in the summe and renewable credits that have averaged $1200 a year. That essentially has zeroed out the electric costs, on other peoples backs, but most of them voted for it .

michael hart

I’m pleased to hear that, phillohippous. I’m UK raised, but born in Philadelphia.

Curious George

How much are California Public Utilities Commission members paid?

That, sir, is false and defamatory. Defamation by libel.


Don’t be such a snowflake Mr. Sowell.

RS, I do not know who you are or what you may make (or may have) made. I am certain you are climate clueless based on your past attacks to my previous posts and comments. Do not bring your rubber knife to my gunfight. You object again, I will counterpost a number of recent examples with hot links wxposing you for what you apparently are, a troll.


ristvan, he’s an attorney. From Mr. Sowell’s blog (email address and phone number deleted):
— is a California attorney and holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He advises and represents companies and individuals in civil matters related to Science and Technology, climate change, process safety, environmental regulations, engineering malpractice, contracts, Free Speech, Defamation, and related matters. As an attorney who understands engineers, he also works with other attorneys in dealing with expert witnesses and lay witnesses. Before opening his law office, he worked for 20 years in more than 75 refineries and petrochemical plants in a dozen countries on four continents.

Bob boder

Yep, lawyer, just look how quick the legal speak comes out. Of course lawyers would typically make a lot more than $71 per hour.

Tom Judd

Willis Eschenbach says: ” … (California Public Utilities Commission members) make $71 per hour, so just like Roger Sowell, they don’t care what the electricity rates are … leaves them free to preach and moralize from a position of great comfort.”
Roger Sowell says: “That, sir, is false and defamatory. Defamation by libel.”
May I ask Rogue Sowell precisely what is false about Willis Eschenbach’s statement? The Commission members do, in fact, make $71/hr. Are you, as a lofty attorney, embarrassed that you may be equated with such a paltry income as $71/hr? To put you at ease I can assure you that most people recognize that such a paradigm of your noble profession as yourself shovels in something well north of $250-$500/hr. I think we can all agree that Mr. Eschenbach knows that as well because if you parse his statement carefully, which as a lawyer one would think you would have done, you’ll recognize he merely equated you with the commissioners as being able to preach from a position of great comfort. Do you not live comfortably? Is your money management so poor that $250+ an hour does not enable you to live in great comfort? I think not.
It’s oftentimes said, in relation to police officers, that there’s only a few bad apples that give the rest a bad reputation. In my experience, with attorneys, the exact opposite is true. Just about the whole basket of apples is rotten but the (very) few good ones give the rest a good reputation. Now, I certainly would not wish to opine as to what form of apple you are: a firm, tasty Red Delicious; or a worm bored, soft, rotting Johnny Appleseed.
But, I think I know your game. Rack up an issue, such as renewable energy, which is ripe for injections of legalese. Play that issue as a man devoted to making the world a better place. Of course, and ‘only’ coincidentally, the rates will (inadvertently, of course), skyrocket to the point of being unaffordable. Then, your unique legal acumen can be put to work helping those less fortunate receive assistance in paying those rates. Those glistening fangs on the end of the snout can be dipped in both troughs simultaneously. Pretty juicy.

Willis didn’t say that RS makes $71/hour. He implied that RS doesn’t care what the electricity rates are.


The state has a program that will pay intervenors (pay ranges by expertise/experience)
“A. Overview of the Intervenor Compensation Program
The CPUC initiated the Intervenor Compensation Program in 1981, and the California Legislature codified the Program, effective January 1, 1985.1 Subsequent modifications were made by the Legislature in 1992, 1993, 2004, and 2016. The Program is administered by the CPUC in accordance with the statutes and the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rules).2
The Code allows eligible individuals/entities that participate in Commission proceedings involving electric, gas, water, and telephone utilities to request compensation for the costs associated with their participation.3 Intervenor compensation is NOT available in transportation and oil pipeline proceedings.
The requirements for eligibility to request compensation through this program are set forth in California Public Utilities Code Sections 1801–1812…..
1 Public Utilities Code Sections 1801-1812 available at:
2 The Rules are available at:
3 Section 1801.3(a).

Michael Jankowski

Bob boder $71/hr is almost $150k. To say lawyers “typically make a lot more” is questionable. US News in 2015 said the average lawyer made $136k.
You may be confusing what they make vs what they bill. Their hourly billing rate covers much more than what they “make.”


I guess my comment about who Mr. Sowell should look into when it comes to defamation and libel got lost in the moderation bin…Oh well. It did mention an unmentionable persona and had a link to an unmentionable blog… Bummer.

Gary Pearse

Lawsuit threats are a signature knee-jerk of the NWO global governance set. They are thin skinned about criticism of the progam and oblivious to the enormous harm that this stuff loads on the poor who don’t have the wherewithal to sue their mean asses off for ruining their lives.
Actually, most of these frontmen aren’t as smart as they think they are and don’t realize that they are merely useful idiots to a cause that they think is something else. What was the donkey’s name in animal farm, or was it the horse?
The lady who flattened her hat on the glass ceiling has written a book on why she lost. “Why” could have been adequately scribbled on the back of an envelope. Fortunately this is all coming down. Let’s hope some real court cases for real harm are put to the bench. There is no room for mercy with this

Bob boder

Michael j
Perhaps you should look at what the average lawyer in Kalifornia makes.
Might find a slight difference in your numbers when all the rural and mid-west lawyers are taken out of your average.

george e. smith

Well I think you got that wrong Willis. No way is Roger going to work for a measly $71 per hour.
The least time I actually paid a lawyer to do something for me ( a tax deductible expense back then) the hourly rate was quite a bit north of $71. The IRS audited my tax return to query that claimed legal expense. Worked out great; while digging through my papers for the receipt for those claimed fees, I discovered other invoices that tripled the amount of tax deductible legal expenses, so the IRS had to pay me, instead of verse vicea. They have not considered me a good audit risk ever since; too expensive for them.
But my CPA is a veritable Prince, and never even dreams of doing anything remotely of questionable tax legal standing. But I’m learning a lot about what some of those multisillabbic legal words mean, from Rogers veiled darts.

Curious George

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will pass over the Pacific Northwest affecting the California solar resources supplying power to the grid. The eclipse is expected to occur from 9:02 a.m. to 11:54 a.m., with the moon obscuring 58 to 76 percent of solar rays, depending on the resource location, and causing a loss of 4,194 megawatts(MW) of California large scale solar electricity. While our utilities and grid operator have all the tools necessary to manage the grid during the eclipse, what if millions of Californians stepped in to allow our hard working sun to take a break, rather than relying on expensive and inefficient natural gas peaking power plants?”
These clowns don’t even know that it gets much worse every night.

Don K

OMG. Whatever will the poor folks in California do if a cloudy day ever occurs?

Buy really,really,really expensive real electricity from neighboring states that have real electrical production.


That’s why we should resist ‘smart meters’

The chart below shows the 4-9 pm peak period for California electricity usage: actual demand, and wind plus solar. Peak period that day (eclipse day, 21 August 2017) occurred between 1600 hours and 2100 hours, 4-9 pm. The 4-9 pm peak is typical of most days in California.
The chart also shows the actual demand decrease, then increase again during and after the eclipse.comment image


I think I see what the problem is…..demand is lowest when people are asleep
…you have too many people awake

Roger, first, only you could be surprised when demand drops during a solar eclipse … you know, that time when people stop their energy-using activities and go outside and watch the sun?
Next, link to the data or it didn’t happen.
Sheesh … amateur hour …

Curious George

Spot power in California fell to negative levels as the eclipse wiped out and restarted thousands of megawatts of solar power, and they also dipped from Texas to New York.
Then at 11:50 a.m. local time — as the sun started to reappear from behind the moon — the ramp-up in solar power sent prices to a low of minus $15.97.
I love the renewable economy.

Curious George

Actually, I don’t understand the renewable economy. Who exactly gets paid those minus $15.97?


Could it simply be that some (most) of the voluntary actions drop was caused by a reduction in temperature and the air conditioning loads dropping? Add to that people leaving their homes and being outside to watch the eclipse.comment image?w=500

george e. smith

Well I think you have discovered something marvelous Roger.
In California, the eclipse peaked at 10:15 and was essentially all done by 11. So why did it take the sun two full hours after the eclipse was over to fire up its furnaces, and get the solar energy turned back on again ?? Only takes 1.5 second to get here from the moon.


The average residential price for electricity is up 7.07% in CA (June 2017 vs June 2016):
June 2017
19.39 cents/kWh
June 2016
18.11 cents/kWh

Don’t worry, kakatoa. Roger Sowell will be along soon to explain how that’s not a bug, it’s a feature, because it reduces demand …

Bob boder

Funny how he desapeared from his own thread.

“because it reduces demand”
I think the truly sad part is that it won’t reduce usage much. Consumers will just be paying more.


That’s “State Average”. The biggest utilities are at $0.39/kWh marginal summer rates at peak, .. $0.31 off peak. I average $0.27 as a PGE customer. SDGE is not much better. I feel like i’m living in the unreal world of Germany’s Energy ‘non-revolution’.


The costs for decarbonizing were just loaded up into the fixed part of the general rate case. How much more is being paid by the ratepayers for having meet the RE goal(s) are now harder to trace. Dan Mitchell and Ron Clutz discussed the topic earlier this year.
Woz questioned the transparency of things as well: “Although we use a lot more electricity than before, qualifying for the PG&E EV rate plan lowered our monthly rate from $1500 to $500. Yea, it’s a phony world”.

Curious George

As CA replaces expensive nuclear, oil, and gas power stations with cheap solar and wind, prices naturally go up. I am already on record as not understanding a renewable economy.

It may already be true but if it is not is will be true soon that it will be cheaper to use a natural gas burning standby generator during the high rate times of day.

Here’s the message to solar producers:
Consumers will pay the highest price starting at 4 PM. Fixed residential solar may now center on the Sun at 3 PM.
This should eventually cause solar to be more correctly paid for its production.
Gas peakers should eventually get paid more for their production as that’s when the rate charged is highest.
Assume a spot market in California for electricity. Why would the consumers be insulated from it?
I don’t consider residential solar economical. Keep working towards a free market for its production and consumption. The people will eventually understand.
The California Public Utility Commission will always be less then a free market organization. But to move it more in that direction.


Here’s a 2014 article that pushes the idea of incentives for west, not south, facing home solar panels.

Walter Sobchak

Useless in the winter.

Good link of yours. Utitlities can lead fixed solar panels to point to the Sun during peak demand.


Please, don’t tell me how good it will feel while you’re raping me. We are leaving an energy reliant and affordable era and entering an era where the end user is not considered. Public utility commissions are nothing more than tools of Progressive ideology that supposedly favors the “group” think over the individual rate payer. It’s sad that we allow it to take advantage of us masked under the false promise that it’s better for us. History will tell the truth.

Retired Kit P

I have a theory about the word smart. Often it is used when some dumb idea is being pushed.
I am not a big fan of programmable thermostats. What happens is that it makes a house uncomfortable. Then the system is turned on creating a larger peak demand then in the good old days.
The whole idea of air conditioning is comfort. The last time I had a more expensive ‘programmable’ in a new system, I had the technician disable that feature.


Spot on.
Whenever I see the word “smart” I actually read it as “scam”
“Smart” cars, “smart” meters, “smart” @rses.

Lee L

SMART is a code word. It means ‘Sustainable Development here’ or in other words AGENDA 21.

Bob boder

Agreed, see how well one works when your running a heat pump, can drive your cost through the roof on those cold winter nights.

george e. smith

You just don’t know the truth of your statement, RKP.
I’m in the middle of trying to understand the intended function of a miracle electronic circuit invented by a newly shingled rocket scientist. He saved the cost of two tiny surface mounted resistors by making the subject patient an integral part of his circuit design ( a diagnostic gizmo).
But nobody could understand how it was supposed to do that.
Instead of those two resistors, he added two complete operational amplifiers, and associated other electronic components. About half of the circuitry actually functions quite respectably.
Once I finally figured out how this miracle of wiring did function, I was able to show that about 50% of the circuitry he had, did absolutely nothing useful at all, and after installing those two missing resistors, the two extra op amps and every single thing associated with them could be completely removed as they did nothing useful at all, and in fact created a hazard for the patient (burns on the skin).
So sometimes the dumb obvious way of doing something is also the most effective way to do it.
Someone a whole lot smarter than me, once remarked: “Sophistication in circuit design has its own reward; Failure !! ”

Retired Kit P

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) was one of my design philosophies.
The NRC also regulates nuclear medicine and there are some interesting failure reports. A number of years ago computer controls were being introduced to administer high dose of radiation. A college professor noted that he was being asked for the keys to the room to reset breakers at the beginning of the semester. He observed his students. When the computer would over load, the student would hit reset.
This would cause a the x-ray machine to momentarily produce full power and trip the breaker. Further investigation revealed this was also happening with real patients.
This is one reason the US NRC is concerned with digital controls activated by a touch screen.
A good question to ask, what is the benefit compared to the risk.

Robert Sandor

Next thing to go will be net metering. No way the IOU’s can continue to pay residential solar generation at wholesale price, especially when negative rates are being observed.
Once this happens residential sales will be limited to the true believers only. As far as I can tell, no new large scale solar is being built in California:

I don’t know if y’all recall the trouble that Uber got into in Australia. What happened was there was a terrorist incident in Sydney, and a lot of people wanted to get out of town.
Seeing an opportunity, Uber raised all their prices … and of course, people howled. They knew that for a monopolistic-type business to take advantage of people based on how badly they needed the service was wrong.

Uber’s Prices Surged in Sydney During the Hostage Crisis, and Everyone Is Furious
December 14, 2014
Uber has created many public relations disasters for itself during the last year, from suggesting to dig up opposition research on journalists to intentionally calling for and then cancelling rides on competing ride services. But one problem that they have consistently faced—and failed to find a solution to—is the public’s reaction to surge pricing during emergencies.

Then Uber did the same during the London Bridge attacks, and there was the same response

Fury as Uber prices soar after London Bridge terror attack carnage – but firm says it removed ‘automatic increase’
The taxi-app was accused of ‘profiting from a terror attack’ as it increased fares in wake of atrocity which left six dead and 48 hospitalised

However, according to Roger Sowell, it’s just fine when PG&E does the same … and he claims I’m libeling him by saying he doesn’t care about the poor??? He’s on record as being OK with jacking the electricity prices in order to force the poor to pay for his oh-so-green wet dreams, so he’s condemned by his own position and his own words.

Patrick MJD

Willis are you refering to the Lindt cafe shooting? There’s a WHOLE lot more to do with that story than meets the eye. The Uner thing was just a distraction IMO.

Retired Kit P

This is why providing power is a regulated public service.
When I moved back to California in 1986, I discovered PG&E did not understand the principles of customer service. They not very good at keeping the light on or running a nukes. Bad management runs through all levels of an organization.
When I left California, I again found good power companies.

Paying more for the electricity you use will be offset by the cheaper electricity you don’t use.
This is worse than the SCE surcharge compensating for the profits they don’t make on the nuclear plant they didn’t build.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

Spot on. My bill in Waterloo has doubled over a few years (a bit more actually) and that is after I have super-insulated the whole house. My energy-saving home doesn’t really save any electricity.
Now we have three tariffs based on TOE. Obviously there is nothing we can affect except when to watch TV or wash clothes. The claim that the change in California will be revenue neutral has to be untrue as renewable power costs the economy more, net. They are going to charge more when you need it and less when you don’t.
We are paying them to balance the load. They are charging us to do their job.
Nice work, if you can get it.

“The intent is to reduce usage during daily peak periods, to avoid running expensive peaker power plants that increase everyone’s utility bills.”
In other words, California does not want us to use air conditioning.

kakatoa August 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm

The state has a program that will pay intervenors (pay ranges by expertise/experience)
“A. Overview of the Intervenor Compensation Program
The CPUC initiated the Intervenor Compensation Program in 1981, and the California Legislature codified the Program, effective January 1, 1985.1 Subsequent modifications were made by the Legislature in 1992, 1993, 2004, and 2016. The Program is administered by the CPUC in accordance with the statutes and the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rules).2
The Code allows eligible individuals/entities that participate in Commission proceedings involving electric, gas, water, and telephone utilities to request compensation for the costs associated with their participation.3 Intervenor compensation is NOT available in transportation and oil pipeline proceedings.
The requirements for eligibility to request compensation through this program are set forth in California Public Utilities Code Sections 1801–1812…..
1 Public Utilities Code Sections 1801-1812 available at:
2 The Rules are available at:
3 Section 1801.3(a).

Thanks, kakatoa. They are willing to pay me to go there so they can ignore me? That’s just another waste of ratepayers money.
Because of the colossal stupidity of Governor Moonbeam Brown, aided by the endless efforts of useful stooges and rent-seekers, folks like Roger Sowell, the CPUC are required to purchase ever-increasing amounts of unreliable, expensive energy. Required. Thanks, Roger, for your support.
Nothing I can tell the CPUC will change that ugly reality …

The only recourse is to do exactly and I mean exactly what they claim is the goal. We consumers will coordinate. Turn everything off in the peak period and the moment lower rates kick in, turn everything on. Everyone. Everything. At the same time.

Patrick MJD

Not with smart meters installed you won’t.


I would rather use a candle light.

Patrick MJD

All this is not to do with saving the planet and creating alternative generation suppliers that are “clean” in terms of CO2 emissions. This is all to do creating energy markets to extract as much profit as possible regardless what damage it does to people, the environment or the planet.


Californians don’t seem to have a problem with it, so where’s the problem?

Say what? I’m a Californian and I have a huge problem with this. Roger’s insane pursuit of intermittent, expensive energy, supported by all kinds of useful idiots and watermelon environ-mental cases has driven my electricity bill through the roof, which is a big problem on my planet.


You are right or you may be right, but do you really expect California to change it’s course?

Thanks, Vald. You rightly ask, “do you really expect California to change it’s course?”
One of the things I’ve paid a lot to learn in my life is that in general, the universe pays little heed to what I might expect …
Best regards,

Bob boder

Going to ask you the same question you didn’t answer in another thread. How much of you’re personal investments are tied up in renewables? I am guess like most advocates you are much more willing to use my taxes dollars on your pet beliefs than money out of your wallet.

Bob, great question, and thanks for asking it again. Of course Roger won’t answer, but it does highlight the insanity.


Part and parcel to this will be a de facto ban on the private ownership of cars, starting in the major cities. Like the UK, they will ban combustible engine cars. You can own a vehicle, but it must be an EV. Then to avoid building thousands of recharging stations, more power plants, and beefing up the distribution network, they will raise electrical prices to the point of making EVs just too expensive for the middle class.
The top echelon will not care, and have the roads to themselves. The state will see savings from having fewer road repair projects, no new road building, no enforcement needs, less costs from accidents, etc. The loss of revenue from gasoline taxes will simply be recovered by new taxes on electricity.
Enjoy your buses, trains, and subways. They are your transportation future.

another 100% example of how “renewables” cost consumers more money.

Bob boder

Yeh; a few threads back Roger was making the case that renewables are price competitive.

I have an outstanding record of achievement in the energy industry, as outlined in my website
Here are some of my conclusions, based on many decades of success on six continents:
Cheap, reliable abundant energy is the lifeblood of society it IS that simple (see point 10 below).
Any system like wind power or solar that requires almost 100% conventional backup is grossly uneconomic.
When politicians fools with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.
We have known these facts for decades.
Allan M.R. MacRae, P.Eng.
Observations and Conclusions:
1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record. [published on in January 2008]
2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.
3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.
4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.
5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.
6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.
7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.
8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA and about 10,000 in Canada.
9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.
10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.
Allan MacRae, P.Eng. Calgary, June 12, 2015

J Mac

The Green Socialist state uses the electrical utility to force ‘green’ behavior modifications on their population, which impact the poorest citizens the most. And the California socialist elites applaud their crony socialism…… because “It’s for your own good! WE must save the Planet!”

This will be the most inconvenient for working couples. Retired people or unemployed people won’t be bothered too much.


Those on CARE rates will also be affected as the default rates are going to be TOU based. If you dry your laundry in the early evening with an electric dryer it will cost more to do so. I’d look into a natural gas dryer vs an electric one if you need to do a lot of laundry down south.
Our next dryer will be a propane based one as it’s kind of scary to think what it might cost us to use an electric dryer in a few years; as modeled in the attached report-


It is sunny in California, right?
Dry your laundry outside for free. Anyone in UK with even a patch of garden does that


Dry your laundry outside for free. Anyone in UK with even a patch of garden does that

Other than the rainy season (last of September through … early May in California), or the rainy and wet season (same dates), or the rainy, foggy, snowing and wet season (Oct-Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb-March in northern and central and eastern California), or the windy and dusty season in southern and eastern high country in California, or the “I need dry clothes for the school day tomorrow and don’t have 3 hours to stay up late taking the clothes in in the fog tonight” season, or “the I can’t hang my clothes up outside or they will be wet, dirty, muddy, and stolen after hanging outside for 4 hours” season.
Your comments betray your lack of reason, and your desire for control of other people’s lives and other people’s energy use in YOUR pursuit of YOUR false religion of enviro-extremism.


Yet another moronic comment.
Do you enjoy being despised as an ignoramus, a liar, a misogynist, a hater of wildlife, an ageist and a general waste of bandwidth, [snip -policy violation – mod]?


Your recommendation on how to get clothes dry is the same one our service provider, PG&E, suggested when I spoke to their customer service group early last year after our TOU rate schedule was modified to include a part peak time in the early evening. They also suggested that we line dry our clothes- especially if we were finding it painful to pay our utility bill(s). I reminded the customer service rep that I would of placed a few solar panels facing west vs south if I had known they were going to renege on the contract we signed with them back in 2006.
My wife is, and was, aware that it is going to cost us a lot more to use electrical energy during peak, part peak and off peak times in the future. I had suggested she might consider alternatives to how she accomplished the cleaning (and drying) of our laundry a few years back. As you might imagine my wife had a few choice words for me when I suggested that she might be wasting energy and money on how she accomplished getting our laundry cleaned and dried.
She suggested that maybe I should consider pumping the water out of our well by hand as it would help improve my tone and I could save a kWh of electrical energy for her to use to do the laundry. I assume your wife, if you are married, has had a few choice words for you as well when you infer that she doesn’t consider multiple factors when, and how, she decides to accomplish task(s) like the doing laundry.