Your basic bill from MG&E is going to go up big time, just so you can be their customer, while the energy charge (kilowatt hour) will go down. It’s an amazing counter offensive to save the big energy industry. If only horse and carriage companies had thought of this, they might still be around.
Another words, energy will be cheap whether you get it from MG&E or solar panels on your roof, but your bill will always be really high. That in turn will discourage the growth of green energy. Checkmate. Pretty clever huh?
A few years ago I blogged about how these same big energy companies were having a tantrum over customers saving way too much, which in turn hurt their profits. They were threatening to charge more and penalize those frugal homeowners.
Now they've got an even better plan, and customers have no way to escape getting fleeced by their local monopoly.
Cap Times: Smaller customers of Madison Gas & Electric could see the fixed portion of their monthly bill jump dramatically under a sweeping rate change proposal from the investor-owned utility.
Right now, homeowners and renters pay MGE a set charge of about $10 a month (called a "customer charge" on typical MGE bills) regardless of how much electricity they use. That would increase to $49 by 2016 under a two-year rate plan … For natural gas customers, the monthly fixed charge is proposed to go from $12 to $21 in 2015.
If you save energy, you’re a freeloader to MG&E:
“Under MGE's current rates, lower usage customers are not paying an appropriate share of the fixed costs of service,” (an) MGE’s rate analyst said in testimony to the PSC earlier this month, adding that the fixed charges could rise to $69 in 2017. MGE proposal also includes a lowering of the kilowatt hour (kWh) charge for the amount of electricity used.Always remember who's in the back pocket of big energy, and it's not the Democrats.
Consumer advocates say the changes will have a chilling effect on customers who have taken steps to cut their electricity use. “Increasing the minimum monthly payment from $10 to nearly $70 is a giant step backwards and runs completely counter to the concept of a ‘community energy company,’ ” says Kira Loehr, acting director of the Citizens Utility Board which is fighting the proposal.
But environmental groups say … will act as a disincentive for customers to purchase energy-efficient appliances or make other improvements. A lowering of electric rates could especially hurt those who have invested in solar power installations based on calculations of how much money they will save over the long term. The bottom line is that bills are going down for big users and going to go up for smaller users,” says Michael Vickerman of Renew Wisconsin, which has done its own analysis of the proposal.
Some states like Arizona are now charging a tariff to those who have installed solar panels on their homes or businesses in an attempt to make up for lost electric sales.