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Learn how to save money on your utility bills

Original post made on Sep 4, 2012

The California Public Utilities Commission offers many programs that can save you money or provide a needed service. These include such things as a 20 percent discount on your gas and electric bill, home energy savings assistance programs, telephone communications help and more. Learn more about the California PUC at the Wisdom Wednesday Workshop, 10:30 a.m.-noon on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Alcosta Senior and Community Center (9300 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon). Call 973-3250 or visit

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 3, 2012, 7:02 PM

Comments (4)

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 8:33 am

People who live in family sized houses, typical for Danville, are forced to pay nearly triple the price for electricity than what everyone else in the U.S. pays.

The typical U.S. household uses 908kWh of electricity per month, paying 12¢/kWh. Many pay a lot less than that.

Web Link

In Danville, we pay around 12¢/kWh for the first 300 kWh, but then the price quickly rises to 33.5¢/kWh for amounts used above that baseline.

So, even though a Danville family might use much less electricity than families in the rest of the country, we are forced to pay almost triple the price that everyone else pays.

It’s no coincidence the state of California has set the price at 33¢/kWh. That’s because the price of residential solar is around 22¢/kWh (after factoring in . California has deliberately set the price of residential electricity at 33¢/kWh to encourage people to install solar panels.

Solar is five times as expensive as electricity from natural gas. PG&E can make electricity for about 5¢/kWh using natural gas. Yet they charge families 33¢/kWh, a 650% mark up.

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Posted by Debra
a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

We're getting bombarded by people pushing solar panel leases door-to-door. So much so, that I am about to get a no solicitors sign!

I do wonder though, if anyone has tried this, and what their experience has been.

Spwtc, you seem to know a bit about this stuff. Do you have any thoughts? Anyone else?

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

spcwt -

Part of what keeps the cost of energy sources like natural gas and oil cheaper, relative to clean energy sources, are the massive tax subsidies that the federal government provides. Plus the cost externalities of burning oil, gas and coal (pollutants, greenhouse gases, etc.) are still not fully reflected in the price of those energy sources. So, your price comparisons are not as accurate as you may think.

BTW, Debra, for the relatively small investment that I made in (owned) rooftop solar panels to heat my pool, I'm getting clean energy, full heating to 80 degrees of the pool throughout the swimming season, and cost savings off my PG&E bill.

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm


I was wondering if you can cite a single example of the “massive tax subsidies” that the federal government supposedly provides to the oil and gas industries.

My guess is, you cannot.

DOE’s 2011 report identifies that most federal subsidies for electricity generation go to wind. But on a dollars per megawatt hour basis, solar receives the highest subsidy of all, over $775 per megawatt hour of electricity generated.

The natural gas and oil industry received $2.8 billion in total federal subsidies in the latest fiscal year, most of it going to small companies. This is a relatively small amount compared to the overall $1.2 trillion U.S. energy market (less than 0.3%).

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