Search This Blog

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Conservtion Conundrum

A few words about Conservation

Well the big conservation move is on. Drive your Toyota less, your Hummer not at all. Carpool with your friends, make your enemies take the bus. Save a tree, cut your T-P use in half. Turn down the thermostat on your Olympic Pool and buy those Carbon Credits when you are jetting to your next Stones concert. And… oh yeah, don’t forget to replace those nasty incandescent bulbs with those new, you can’t look at them, they make things a different color, they won’t light in cold weather, florescent ones.

A recent radio ad touts that if every Californian changed just 5 bulbs in their house, it would be like taking 400,000 cars off the road. Now that’s just silly. There aren’t 400,000 electric cars on the road. A false analogy?

Now there isn’t necessarily anything bad about conserving electricity, because it takes some of the strain off the grid during peak consumption hours. It also takes some of the pain out of paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas, when you are pulling down $45k a year on a job 30 miles away and putting out $1,200 a month for rent or house payments, while raising 3 kids that haven’t developed a sense of money, much less than a budget.

But for sake of this conversation, let’s just say we figured out some way to cut our consumption by 50%. Sounds good huh? Oh, it’s good alright, but not for you. PG&E would be doing the happy dance if you could do that. Here is why.

PG&E, not unlike other utilities are GURANTEED a certain return on their investment, come hell or high water. So if ALL you little greenies figure out how to cut your consumption by 50%, get ready for a 40 or 50 percent hike in your rates. Don’t believe me, check it out. Then to add injury to injury, when the consumption goes back up, when you figured out that those cute, curly little bulbs causes cataracts, cancer or lumbago, the rates most certainly will not go down, because now there will be another shortage which allows them to charge higher rates for “over baseline” usage.

If your sphincter is beginning to twitch, join the rest of us who have figured out that radical conservation is not always for the good

No comments: