Because of solar and wind production in California, the California Public Utilities Commission is in a tizzy over what to do with the traditional electric rate design. We should all take a deep breath and consider the broader implications as we continue to press forward with solar incentives.
“Southern California Edison, for example, already offers time-of-use pricing for the those who sign up for it,” said Edison spokesman Robert Laffoon-Villegas. Under rules imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission, Edison will begin next year to phase in time-of-use pricing for all customers.” Source: Energy Central & Woodland Daily Democrat
TOU has always had its challenges … not the least of which was that it seldom reflected actual costs. That didn’t matter much though since the primary intent was to prove to all that customers can and would respond to price signals. Sure, the ones that knew TOU was a lower rate jumped on it off the standard tariff!
Now, we have real trouble in River City … we have uncertain, counter-intuitive, and flat out complex pricing signals just at the times when people have the fewest easy options to respond.
This will be really interesting to watch. Hate to be a party pooper … but it sure looks to me like we are racing towards flat rates to recover costs and solve the reliability problem the way we have always done. Maybe the idea of customers being an integral part of grid reliability is just too complex and uncertain?