California and PG&E – Letting Citizens Struggle in Inflation and a Broken Power Grid
California and PG&E have again let the citizens down that live in the State of California. It was announced on 5/6/2022 that the state would resume rotating power outages in the summer because they do not have enough energy to supply the residents. They are estimating a 1,750-megawatt shortfall. 1 megawatt is enough power to run 750 homes so 1,312,500 homes will be without power on a rotating basis in the state. It is estimated to effect over 5 million citizens of the state’s population or roughly 13% of the state’s population at a time.
This is happening because of the poor government management of the state along with the forced laws to handcuff the utility providers to rely on solar and wind power for power generation. Just two days ago the state was bragging that it almost provided 100% of the state’s power on renewables for 2 minutes. This is the early spring where temperatures are very mild and both heat and air conditioning is not needed. This was a political stunt which the liberal media subscribed to, nothing more.
The effect of rotating blackouts is going to hit the seniors the worst. Those with medical problems that rely on power to run their devices will be hard hit. Those that have backup generators will be hit in the pocketbook at a time where inflation is out of control. The average Generac backup whole house generator eats about 2 gallons of fuel per hour – which means that with the energy prices now in May it will cost roughly $6 per hour to keep the lights on and the medical devices running. For those that need constant power that is $144 per day. Gasoline generators are cheaper to run, I have both for my home because Generac products are unreliable and have constantly let us down during the outages.
To add insult to injury in 2024 California is outlawing small gasoline engines which means that you will no longer be able to purchase a portable generator along with many other things like chain saws, lawn mowers, weed eaters, field mowers, blowers, snow blowers, trimmers and the list goes on. If you don’t make a purchase of a generator soon you will be in serious trouble. There is no law against running a generator, you just won’t be able to purchase one. Parts will be available to repair your units – that I am sure of. This forces homeowners into purchasing whole house generators. (See a scheme here?)
So why is all of this happening? California has required energy producers to produce energy on the grid with renewables. This has completely eliminated almost all of the nuclear plants; coal fired plants and has reduced the amount of natural gas fired plants. This is by design. What has not been considered in the energy shortage and rotating blackouts is the 1,750-megawatt short fall does not consider a cloudy day or when the wind is not blowing. Due to the drought, there will be no hydroelectric plants producing energy either.
This of course is a scheme by the state to force already cash-strapped homeowners to install expensive solar grids with battery backups which can run upwards of $50,000. There is a federal rebate that is being phased out soon. In addition, the battery technology which is about $11,000 of the solar installation cost has an average lifespan of 10 years. Enphase will extend that to 15 years if you buy the warranty. This means you will be paying roughly $100 a month for a backup battery that you will need to have because the State of California and the Public Utilities Commission have been irresponsible.
I have had solar on my home since 2014 and generate most of the power I use except for the winter months where the sun does not shine, and we have cloudy days, rain and snow. I have to rely on the power grid in those months, and then I slightly over generate in the summer months to offset the deficit. The problem is that during the power outages and rotating outages I have to fire up my generators at a huge expense to the budget which really negates the money saved with solar. Also, I sell no overgeneration of solar back to the grid because if you have a grid-tied solar system with no battery backup your solar system stops producing. So, there isn’t really a cost savings at all. It is a significant hit to the pocketbook.
California is so blind they do not understand the implications of millions of homes running generators when there is an outage. Nobody has run a calculator to see how much greenhouse gasses are emitted by those using gasoline, natural gas, diesel or propane generators for power. This mathematical formula has never been inputted. I believe that the amount of greenhouse gas emitted from a natural gas or clean coal fired plant is much less than all of those generators running. What do you think? This is a very well-crafted game being played by the Government and the people just sit idly by and complain about the problem yet there is no accountability. Elected officials are doing nothing to solve the problem. The energy producers have their hands tied as well as having their profits being eaten into providing clean energy. The consumer loses again because that is why electrical grids are not being maintained – and there have been enough wildfires to prove that.
It is time to hold our government accountable here in California or do what many have done for the last couple of years which is pack their bags and move to a state that cares about its people. I am 65 and working so I figure that I will have to buy batteries to store energy while I can afford them. They should carry me for about 10 years and at that point I will probably not be here. Then it will be someone else’s problem.
In the meantime, anyone that lives in California is being screwed. Think about it.