Getting Something for Nothing … or very little

February 27, 2020 | Energy

Have you ever gone out in a big group for a meal and, rather than asking for separate checks, all agreed to split the check. Or maybe you simply threw $10 in a pile in the center of the table for everyone’s on-average $8 lunch. Some at the table only had a bowl of soup or a salad. Some had a crab salad that was priced like a dinner entrée. Some even had an alcoholic beverage, while you had water.

You all see where this is going when applied to our utility business. We should all pay our fair share, but expedience and time seem to make sharing an equally reasonable option. You probably seethed a bit watching someone at the table take advantage, but … after all, you only paid $10, so you probably got over it.

We are seeing this happen today on electric rates and solar. For some reason, after years of using a similar pricing method called net metering, the true cost for solar freeloaders is getting pretty high. Then, as those in charge try to correct this, charging everyone at the table their fair share, they are running into brick walls. Because after all, the people getting a free ride are “doing the right thing” for the planet.

Really? Didn’t I do the right thing by buying an electric vehicle? The cost for my license plate went from $20 to $220 a year because I wasn’t paying my fair share of the costs to maintain the roads. And nobody protested that 10x price increase.

Why was it so easy for the State of Georgia to correct this pricing error, but when the utility tries to correct pricing, it is viewed as evil and unfair?

About The Author

Joel Gilbert, P.E. Chief Software Architect and Co-Founder of Apogee Interactive, Inc.

Joel Gilbert, P.E. is President, Chief Software Architect and Co-Founder of Apogee Interactive, Inc. where he personally directs the design and development of energy analysis applications utilizing the highest standards in building science, engineering, operational patterns, weather data and pricing to ensure analytical integrity.

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