These same Wall Street players are telling the right-leaning groups----DON'T WORRY, THIS WILL ONLY TAKE THAT WORKING CLASS AND POOR TO REFUGEE STATUS ---THEY ARE GOING TO LIVE ON GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES IN WORKER DORMS ANYWAY. The myth of 80% hovering around poverty being the ones taking this energy dive---while that 20% stays a middle/upper middle gets those RACE AND CLASS CITIZENS every time.
THERE WILL BE NO 80% LOSERS TO 20% WINNERS. THERE WILL BE NO 90% LOSERS TO 10% WINNERS. THERE WILL BE NO 95% LOSERS TO 5% WINNERS. ONLY A GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2% ARE GOING TO WIN.
We need 99% of American citizens to WAKE UP to these SMART METER energy/water policies coming to all citizens.
So, it looks like Maryland is early out of the gate in creating a deregulated rate created by the Texas/California global Wall Street BUSH/REAGAN. For those not remembering the start of deregulation and privatization of our public utilities----Texas was allowed to profiteer from California residents and small and regional businesses during the Reagan Administration right after CA followed Texas to deregulation. This created a mass exodus of California citizens and long-term business structures.....which was the goal. Texas and California pols used these high rates as an excuse for TIERING what has always been a flat rate for electricity.----this was back in the 1980s. Again, they used this progressive posing of subsidizing and there's global green corporation SIERRA CLUB----telling everyone all this tiering and SMART METER is about conserving energy.
Flash forward to today and below we see California held stronger by Reagan/CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS as ever---TAKING THAT NEXT STEP. Now it appears they are getting rid of the tiering -----and openly saying BIG ELECTRICITY USERS PAY LESS-----MODERATE AND LIGHT USERS PAY MORE. That is corporations pay less for electricity and the 99% pay more.
THIS WAS THE GOAL WITH THESE TIERING OF RATES AND IT WILL NOT KEEP THE PUBLIC SUBSIDY.
'Modest and moderate consumers of electricity will bear a greater share of costs, while many larger users of electricity will see their bills shrink or increase less rapidly'.
California regulators approve higher electricity rates for most residents
Commissioner Mike Florio of the California Public Utilities Commission, left, talks during an informational hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento on July 10, 2013. California residents will see their electricity bills increase under a new rate structure passed Friday by state regulators.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press) Morgan Lee
Electric bills are set to rise over the next few years for most household customers served by California's major investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison.
The increases are a result of sweeping changes approved Friday by the California Public Utilities Commission — the first statewide rate overhaul since the 2000-01 energy crisis.
Video: Political Backfires
Modest and moderate consumers of electricity will bear a greater share of costs, while many larger users of electricity will see their bills shrink or increase less rapidly.
"There are real people behind these numbers, millions of people behind these numbers," PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman said. "Some people will see their bills go down, but many more will see them go up."
Major changes will show up starting next year on utility bills and be phased in over several years. Detailed information is not yet available.
The commission voted unanimously on a compromise between two competing proposals. Consumer groups raised objections to new provisions unveiled Wednesday after years of deliberations. They complained that it was inappropriate to hold the final vote on a federal holiday, even if state employees were scheduled to work Friday.
The commission adopted a plan for two price tiers for residential customers, with a 25% price increase as households use more power. Currently, prices more than double in many locations as heavy users use more electricity.
A higher premium will remain in place for a much smaller percentage of customers under a new "super-user electricity surcharge," designed to penalize energy guzzling and encourage conservation.
Consumer protections imposed in the 2000-01 energy crisis effectively froze prices on a basic allotment of household power, thrusting utility revenue growth increasingly onto the bills of larger users.
The utilities found that modest and moderate electricity users pay much less than what it costs to serve them. That bill increase will be phased in slowly through 2020 to soften the effect.
Authorization also was given for a minimum bill charge of $10 a month, or $5 for subsidized customers, that gets paid even if electricity use drops to zero. It was unclear whether bill credits for rooftop solar energy can offset the minimum charge.
The Sierra Club opposed the revisions approved Friday, and warned that the changes would stifle conservation efforts.
"Customers using twice as much electricity as average can expect their bills to go down, while bills will be raised on everyone else," the group explained.
The solar industry also opposed the bill changes.
Michael Powers, co-owner of San Diego-based solar provider Stellar Solar, said his industry could be headed for hard times if state regulators also embrace a new solar tariff that reduces incentives. Solar providers are bracing at the same time for the expiration of solar investment tax credit provisions at the end of 2016.
"Speaking as a business owner, I have to say it's really hard to reconcile the state of California and the governor and the Legislature saying that we want clean energy to be an engine of economic development," Powers said. "On the other side you have the utilities and the Public Utilities Commission making solar less and less affordable."
The commission next plans to decide on a new system of tariffs and credits for rooftop solar to replace the current system. There, too, the solar industry and the utilities industry are at odds.
Utilities have long complained that the steeply tiered system means higher-use households have unfairly subsidized low-use households for years. They say that the gap has only increased, with low-use households not even paying for the cost of supplying electricity.
"It's a matter of fairness," said Russ Garwacki, director of pricing design and research at Southern California Edison.
Environmental and consumer advocates disagree, saying that the current tier structure promotes energy conservation. "This is really the utilities versus everybody else," Evan Gillespie, a campaign director for Sierra Club California, said earlier in the week
Here we see the complaint by industry making this tiered, subsidized structure for electricity rates seem UNFAIR TO INDUSTRY. Know what? The flat rate for all was the fair way and Bush/Reagan/Clinton create these policies simply to MOVE FORWARD with even more deregulation. WE THE PEOPLE KNOW----US corporations left to go overseas at the time these policies were implemented---those staying were not PAYING CORPORATE TAXES---this is when all the corporate tax sheltering hit.
NO SUBSIDIZING BY HIGH USERS OF LOW USERS HAPPENING.
'Utilities have long complained that the steeply tiered system means higher-use households have unfairly subsidized low-use households for years. They say that the gap has only increased, with low-use households not even paying for the cost of supplying electricity'.
The electricity subsidy that Maryland is proposing in its deregulation of energy rates ----from where will that subsidy come? We know it will not come from corporations or the rich---the high energy consumers. As always they will raise taxes on the 99% to pay for these subsidies. It will not take Maryland 3 decades to go the route of California and just openly say-----
HIGH ELECTRICITY USERS PAY LESS AND LOW USERS MORE----THEY WILL BE SAYING THIS WITHIN THE COMING DECADE.
If we read the comments from yesterday by California citizens having Smart Meters over-billing big time---as with our Baltimore City water bills---you can see from where that temporary subsidy will come.
We can see why California voters are the ones fighting hardest against this Democratic primary election fraud against Bernie Sanders. The Clintons are top guns in these third world repressive energy policies along with Bush/Johns Hopkins.
Inside California's rate restructuring plan and the battle for fixed charges looming over itCPUC decision on tiers, time-of-use rates sets up fight for fixed cost recovery
By Herman K. Trabish | July 13, 2015
California regulators united behind a new rate framework before the Independence Day holiday, but lurking behind the decision is a bigger one for utilities and renewables advocates alike.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously on July 3 to flatten the current four-tiered electricity rate system to two tiers, push for time-of-use (TOU) rates by 2019, and make other noteworthy changes to how utilities bill customers.
San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), California’s investor owned utilities (IOUs), hailed it as a step toward making rates fair. The state’s utility watchdog condemned the decision, the ratepayer advocate is concerned about it, and solar advocates are studying it warily. All recognize a decision on fixed monthly charges was deferred
It “fully comports” with the three rate design principles needed to transition to “smart rates” that will lead to “a smart future,” said Regulatory Assistance Project Sr. Advisor Jim Lazar.
The first principle is that customers must be able to connect to the grid “for no more than the cost of connecting to the grid,” Lazar said. “The maximum $10 per month customer charge, after 2018, easily covers the cost of a connection to the grid.”
Second, grid services and power should be paid for in proportion to how much and when they are used. TOU rates price electricity higher when it is in higher demand. “The inclining block TOU rate, applicable to both distribution costs and power supply, keeps these costs volumetric, as they should be, and will reflect time differentiation in the near future.”
Finally, customers should get fair and full compensation for the power they send to the grid. Because the decision leaves net energy metering (NEM) in place and moves to TOU rates, distributed generation owners will pay the appropriate price for electricity they use but “if they can supply power to the grid at high-cost hours, they will receive higher bill credits.”
The decision, reached after a three year proceeding, balances (1) the need to reform a problematic rate structure imposed by AB 1X, the post-2001 energy crisis legislation against (2) the need for a price signal customers can understand and respond to that targets the cost and environmental impacts of electricity use.
“The first step in rate reform must be a narrowing of the existing usage tiers so that electricity prices are more understandable and less distorted,” the decision explains. Current residential rates do not provide a “useful” price signal and are “so far from cost that immediate change is necessary.”
Because the four tier rates have long allowed low-usage customers to pay below cost and forced high-usage customers to pay more than cost, “change will require an incremental increase in rates for lower tier usage.”
But the new two-tier design, to be gradually implemented beginning in November and culminating in 2019, will continue to allow low-usage customers to pay a lower rate than high-usage customers. It also includes a super-user electric surcharge (SUE) for very high electricity consumers.
Most importantly, the CPUC rejected requests from IOUs for fixed monthly charges. The inconsistency in methodologies IOUs proposed for calculating fixed charges revealed a necessity for more careful study, regulators decided.
The decision does, however, allow IOUs to request monthly fixed charges in general rate cases going forward.
In place of a fixed charge, the commission ordered the immediate implementation of a minimum bill of $5 per month for low income customers and $10 per month for all other customers.
The decision also ordered IOUs to file a design by January 1, 2018, that shifts all customers to TOU rates by default by 2019, excluding only customers who voluntarily opt out. The utilities must also run both opt-in and default pilots on TOU rates.
Reaction from uilities:
SDG&E“We were hoping for more immediate relief but we are on the right path,” said SDG&E Spokesperson Amber Albrecht. “This new rate structure inserts more fairness and transparency into electric utility bills.”
SDG&E tier 3 and 4 customers now pay “136% more than those in the lowest tier” and those in the lowest tier “pay 15% less than the cost of the basic delivery of electricity,” she explained. “This brings rates more in line with the true cost of service.”
With the new two tier plan, the higher users’ bills will come down while the lower users’ monthly bills will likely edge up to around $2 to $5, Albrecht said.
The current first tier is a calculation of a baseline amount of electricity consumption, she explained. A customer that uses between 101% and 130% of that amount of electricity pays a tier 2 rate. That customer pays a tier 3 rate for usage of between 131% and 200% of that baseline amount of electricity. And usage above 200% of it costs the tier 4 rate.
Beginning in November 2015, a transitional three tier plan begins and, in March 2016, the two tier plan goes into effect, with rates slowly collapsing toward their final levels. By 2019 the tier 2 rate will be about 25% higher than the tier 1 rate.
In 2017, the SUE will go into effect, with customers who use 400% of the baseline amount of electricity paying at 119% of the tier 1 rate.
“This was the commission’s way of giving a signal to those who need to conserve because they are using exorbitant amounts of energy,” Albrecht said. It is expected to be levied on about 2% of SDG&E customers. “Each IOU’s rates will be slightly different but the basic pattern will be the same.”
“This is the first step in a broader discussion about the modern electricity bill,” Albrecht said. “Now we know what the framework will be. Moving forward, the CPUC will have a number of proceedings and make a number of decisions on things like net energy metering.”
Reaction from utilities:
SCE and PG&E
Our estimates find the high usage customers are paying $600 million in subsidies per year to low usage customers, said SCE Director of Pricing Design Russ Garwacki. “Even when fully implemented in 2019, there will still be significant subsidies left in the rate structure but this does provide relief.”
The new plan corrects an overpayment by higher usage customers without asking lower usage customers to subsidize them, he added, and nearly a third of SCE’s 4.3 million residential customers will continue to be covered by the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program which provides rates discounted by 30% to 40% for all the utilities’ lower income consumers.
A related CPUC proceeding set some of the rate changes into effect last year and SCE tier 1 customers are already paying about $3 per month more without serious consequences, he explained.
Neither the new flattened tiers nor the TOU rates will add to utility profits because the California utilities are “decoupled,” Garwacki said. “We don’t make money based on the amount of electricity customers use. If they use more, our costs go up but that revenue is all pass-through and we don’t make any margin on it.”
“It is important you decouple that relationship if you are trying to further energy efficiency and conservation,” he added.
Both Albrecht and Garwacki argued that the new rate design will not take away customers’ incentive to be more efficient about their electricity consumption.
“Flattened tiered rates for the entire customer population provide a better conservation signal,” Garwacki said. Lower rates for tier 2 customers will reduce their incentive to be more efficient, he acknowledged.
But higher rates for tier 1 customers provide them with an incentive to conserve. “There is a point-counterpoint. And that extends to the incentive to go solar. A recent CPUC energy division report found solar adoption is higher under flatter tiers.”
The decision “very much was a compromise and balancing of a large number of issues,” Garwacki said. The minimum bill is an example.
It is not, as characterized, a replacement for a fixed charge, he said. “For a zero usage or very low usage customer, they act virtually the same. But there are very few customers with very low usage. Once you move above that $10 minimum bill, it has no impact.”
The commission decided to deal with the tiered rate structure now and deal with the fixed charge in 2019, he explained. But the implication of the minimum bill is that even the lowest usage customers should pay “some fair share” for the distribution system, he added.
“They viewed the minimum bill as a first step toward fixed charges. That is not what we asked for but it is a step in the right direction.”
Rates follow cost with a TOU structure and it is important to provide that cost signal for residential customers, Garwacki said. SCE just completed transitioning all its non-residential customers to TOU rates. Studies are beginning to demonstrate that, over time, usage shifts and the load profile flattens in response to them.
“It is not as large as some imagine because electricity is what economists call inelastic,” he said. “Most customers use electricity to facilitate their businesses and don’t want to drive their businesses around their electricity rates. But we are talking about a large number of customers, so even small reactions provide significant benefits.”
SCE wanted an opt-in to TOU rates, based on the success demonstrated by an Arizona Public Service opt-in TOU program and because that option seems to offer the most customer choice , Garwacki said.
The commission disagreed. “They didn’t want to take as long to get customers on TOU rates. A default TOU with an opt-out option preserves customer choice but there would be more customers remaining on it.”
SCE will now turn to helping customers understand how to benefit from the new rates. “We will make it as easy as possible for them to select what the best rate structure,” Garwacki said. “It is all about implementation now.”
PG&E, for its part, was more tight-lipped about the decision.
“We are still reviewing the decision,” PG&E Spokesperson Ari Vanrenen said. “For now, we are committed to helping our customers understand the charges and to use energy more efficiently to save money.”
The consumer watchdogs
The proposed TOU rate for PG&E, California's Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) was quoted in the decision, “would result in a 0.4% decrease in total load consumption and an 11% decrease in peak load consumption.”
In terms of how it will impact ratepayers, “the decision was a little less moderate than what we had hoped,” an ORA Spokesperson told Southern California Public Radio (SCPR). Some 80% of customers will see monthly increases “in the range of $10 or more."
The public’s opposition “was loud and clear, as was utility support,” according to The Utility Reform Network (TURN) Executive Director Mark Toney. “This is a lose-lose for customers, but business as usual for the CPUC, which has once again done PG&E, Edison and SDG&E’s bidding.”
“This decision did not avoid fixed charges,” TURN Communications Director Mindy Spatt said. "It opens the way. They just said it would have to be done in a rate case. It puts fixed charges on the table for the future.”
According to TURN research, Spatt said, it will increase bills for people who can least afford it "while energy hogs get a break on the backs of people who are doing their best to conserve.”
TURN prefers the minimum bill to the fixed charge because it will have less of an impact on lower income customers. Like SCE, it wants TOU rates to be an opt-in and not the default choice. “If TOU rates are good for customers, they will choose them. But they should not be imposed,” Spatt said.
TURN was frustrated that an alternate proposal from Commissioner Mike Florio, which eliminated fixed charges completely, was withdrawn. “At the last minute,” Toney said, it “was abandoned in favor of rushed revisions to the original proposed decision by President Picker. TURN, other parties, and the public were shut out.”
TURN “will definitely be seeking reconsideration,” Spatt said.
“Most importantly, we're glad to see that the commission has not adopted fixed charges – and recognized that there’s no evidence to justify them,” said Solar Energy Industries Association Spokesperson Ken Johnson. “These rates are workable, although we believe a greater tier differential would more appropriately reflect the costs of high energy users.”
The flattened tiers, he added, “should significantly mitigate any concerns the utilities have about cost shifts among ratepayers.”
"This decision is an important part of the process to incorporate more distributed resources into the system,” said Solar Electric Power Association Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Tanuj Deora. But rate design “needs to be articulated as part of a broader conversation on the utility business models."
“The proposed decision achieves the utilities’ goal of flattening the tiers while also making the entire rate system more equitable for ratepayers,” said SolarCity Public Affairs Director Will Craven. “If net metering remains in place, this decision will continue to allow Californians to go solar.”
“Because the tiers are flattened and the rates are more closely tied to cost, more middle usage customers will consider solar,” Garwicki said. “A recent CPUC energy division report found solar adoption is higher under flatter tiers.”
The main event – fixed charges
A just-released study from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory showed that TOU rates and fixed cost recovery charges balance one another and have relatively little impact on electricity bills.
The decision makes two fundamental points about fixed charges before its ruling: (1) AB 327 permits, but does not require, fixed charges in residential rates if they offset non-volumetric costs; and (2) the debate is about whether utilities should be able to use fixed charges to recover fixed costs.
“Until there is resolution over the appropriate recovery of these fixed costs, the exact extent of any subsidy between low usage and high usage customers remains unknown.”
The decision then sets four pre-conditions to further consideration of fixed charges.
- Calculation of the fixed charge must be approved in a general rate case
- That calculation must use a methodology approved through a rigorous series of CPUC sessions and procedures
- An IOU may only request the fixed charge through its approved 2018 Residential rate design window
- The IOU’s default TOU must have been implemented for at least one year before the fixed charge can be implemented
The purpose of a fixed charge, SCE’s Garwicki said, is to base rates on the cost of service. The utility estimates the cost of serving an average residential customer is $30 per month. It argued all customers should have a $10 per month fixed component added to their rates that would reduce the volumetric rate and be closer to the cost of service.
But the commission said it wanted to more completely understand what goes into the fixed cost calculation, Garwicki said. “They needed to fix the elephant in the room, the tiered rate differentials. There is time to deal with the fixed charges down the road.”
TURN "absolutely" objects to fixed charges, Spatt said. “The decision does not authorize fixed charges but it tells the utilities to ask for fixed charges in their rate cases and the commission will be fine with them. We are going to fight it tooth and nail.”
“We count more than a dozen net metering and rate design proceedings underway across the country that will have major implications for rooftop solar,” said VoteSolar Regional Director Susannah Churchill.
“We are very much in the middle of an existential fight over the future of customer-sited solar in the U.S. and, as the state with by far the biggest solar industry and over a quarter million solar roofs already, all eyes are on the CPUC to see whether the agency will continue to stand for solar progress and customer choice, or cave to that utility pressure.”
Here we are seeing SOLAR CITY-----which is simply a global energy corporation owned by the same 1% global rich-----telling us soaring rate increases on the 99% will push more people to solar and that is GREEN.
Know to where all the subsidies to install solar energy have gone these several years?
TO HIGH RISE OFFICE BUILDINGS AND GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES---NOT INDIVIDUAL HOME-OWNERS AND NOT LANDLORDS---NOW THE LARGEST SECTOR OF HOMEOWNERS.
All WE THE PEOPLE need to do when we hear these talking points from national media and pols----it remember-----CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ARE FAR-RIGHT WING 1% WALL STREET ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE----so any public policies coming from city halls, state assemblies, or Congress filled with Wall Street players are LYING ABOUT ANY OF THESE POLICIES HAVING ANY VALUE FOR THE 99%.
“Because the tiers are flattened and the rates are more closely tied to cost, more middle usage customers will consider solar,” Garwicki said. “A recent CPUC energy division report found solar adoption is higher under flatter tiers.”
So, after a few decades of SMART METER and tiering rates it is the ones pushed towards most rationing that are getting soaked.
STATE: Higher electricity rates for energy misers
JANIE HAR / ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 3, 2015 Updated: July 4, 2015 8:15 p.m.
Most residential customers in California will see their electricity bills increase under a new rate structure passed Friday by state regulators.
The Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a plan that raises rates on more efficient users while giving a break to big energy users.
It is the first overhaul of the rate system since brownouts roiled California 15 years ago. Legislators at the time expanded rate-paying tiers from two to four and froze lowest-tier rates to protect households from huge swings in energy bills.
The new proposal calls for a return to two tiers, plus a surcharge for the highest electricity users. The rate structure would impact 75 percent of California’s residential customers, or more than 10 million electricity accounts held through Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
Utilities have long complained that the steeply-tiered system means higher-use households have unfairly subsidized low-use households for years. They say that the gap has only increased, with low-use households not even paying for the cost of supplying electricity.
“We’re trying to make things more affordable for those upper-use customers because they are paying far more than their share,” said Russ Garwacki, director of pricing design and research at Southern California Edison, which serves 14 million people through 5 million accounts. “It’s a matter of fairness.”
Environmental and consumer advocates disagree, saying that the current tier structure promotes energy conservation. They criticized the PUC for presenting a revised proposal late Wednesday and voting Friday, which is a federal holiday, although not a state holiday.
“This is really the utilities versus everybody else,” said Evan Gillespie, a campaign director for Sierra Club California, said earlier in the week. “There was a very, very clear choice on which way to go.”
In 2000, California’s energy crisis prompted lawmakers to put in protections. In 2013, state lawmakers lifted many of those restrictions, allowing utilities to propose new rates.
Ratepayer groups have been lobbying for a three-tier rate system proposed by PUC Commissioner Mike Florio. That item was on Friday’s agenda, but Florio publicly supported a revised version of a two-tier system preferred by utilities and PUC President Michael Picker.
Mike Campbell, program director of the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, said he did not have an analysis of the new proposal, but he expected the majority of customers will see their bills increase.
The compromise plan called for a 25 percent price differential between the two tiers by 2019. The alternate called for a 33 percent difference among three tiers. The original plan by Picker called for a 20 percent difference.
Any labor or justice organization that keeps allowing this growing subsidy to appear SOCIALLY PROGRESSIVE watching as vital resources are allowed to become too costly for an ever-broader sector of our US citizens----are 1% WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS. REAL left-leaning labor and justice do not act as promoters of ever-repressive policies.
REAL JUSTICE IS NOT TIED TO ONE WORLD ONE GLOBAL CORPORATION.
Like other states Maryland has a total capture of its Maryland Assembly and races for Governor-----election rigging and fraud make sure only CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA candidates make it to general elections. Republican voters are of course leaving as they can see what is coming----next will be the Democratic voters knowing that all of these CLINTON/OBAMA policies are NOT DEMOCRATIC but far-right wing Wall Street neo-liberalism. 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION FRAUD MATTERS.
Maryland citizens and regional and small business owners in the energy sector knew back in the late 1980-early 1990s all of these mergers and deregulation were illegal and unconstitutional. It killed free market, the subsidies sending profits to these global energy corporations soared. We have ENERGY MONOPOLIES in our nation, in our states, in our cities THAT ARE ILLEGAL.....anti-trust forbids these structures no matter how they try to hide this consolidation by creating fake green energy categories----the same 1% own all this.
For US cities like Baltimore ----the public conduit under our streets is VITAL in reversing all of this by rebuilding small business energy competition and allowing them access to these conduits. Global energy corporations of course know this and are MOVING FORWARD with privatizing all public infrastructure including our public conduit. When a PUGH says she knows energy-----when a candidate openly embraces all of what Wall Street Baltimore Development and its MASTER PLAN has to offer-----they are simply knowing who is invested in what global corporation----and working for them.
Moving Smart Energy Forward Since 1816Baltimore Gas and Electric
BGE to Connect Baltimore City Customers in Need with Bill Assistance Resources at the Energy Assistance Expo
BALTIMORE (Jan. 7, 2016) – Customers of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) who live in Baltimore City can learn about their eligibility for energy assistance grants and receive assistance with the grant application process at an Energy Assistance Expo on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Expo will be held at the Southern Baptist Church at 1701 N. Chester St. in Baltimore from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. BGE joins with the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), the City of Baltimore, the Fuel Fund of Maryland and members of the 45th District legislative team, including Senator Nathaniel McFadden, to host the event.
“We encourage customers with limited incomes to attend the Expo to learn about all the resources available to them, so they don’t find themselves in a difficult situation,” said Rob Biagiotti, BGE’s vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer. “There are programs that can assist eligible customers with upcoming bills, as well as outstanding payments. BGE also has a Budget Billing program available to all customers which spreads payments out over a 12 month period, so customers aren’t as affected by seasonal increases in energy use.”
If a customer’s most recent monthly income is less than or equal to the amount below, they may be eligible for energy assistance and help with energy bills. Customers do not need to have a turn-off notice to apply for energy assistance.
Household Size Maximum Monthly Gross Income
For each additional person, add $607.00.
Customers applying for energy assistance should bring the following with them for processing:
- Government-issued photo identification
- Proof of residence (lease, rent book, mortgage statement)
- Copies of Social Security Cards for all household members, including children
- Proof of all of your household’s total gross income for the last 30 days (from all sources of income)
- The name of your home energy supplier and account number
- A copy of your most recent utility bill
The Energy Assistance Expo is intended for customers who live in Baltimore City. Qualifying customers can also apply for grants at any OHEP office during normal business hours at 2700 N. Charles Street, Suite 202, Baltimore. For more information on OHEP, call 410.396.5555. Customers who live outside of Baltimore City can contact OHEP at 800-352-1446. Customers who need aid beyond the OHEP grant may also contact the Fuel Fund of Maryland at 410.821.3022, or visit them online: Fuel Fund of Maryland.
Additional Resources for Customers:
BGE’s Community Resource Guide (informally known as The Purple Book) – A collection of resources and information about assistance programs of all kinds – federal, state and local, as well as programs from BGE and non-profit providers. The Guide is available in English and Spanish.
Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) and Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) - EUSP is a state program that helps qualifying limited-income customers pay the electric portion of their bills. MEAP provides a grant for qualifying limited-income customers regardless of their heating source. Customers may apply for either or both programs once a year, starting July 1 each year. The programs provide bill payment assistance, resolution of past utility debts and selected weatherization services to make residences more energy efficient. Call 800-352-1446 for information. EUSP and MEAP applications and brochures can be downloaded from the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) website.
Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) - Customers who enroll in either EUSP or MEAP are eligible to enroll in the Utility Service Protection Program. USPP provides a means for limited-income customers who qualify and comply with the payment terms of the USPP agreement to protect their utility service. Call 800.352.1446 for information about the USPP, or visit the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) website.
BGE Smart Energy Savers Program – BGE offers a host of empowering choices to help customers conserve energy, save money and protect the environment.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) - If you qualify for MEAP, you may also be eligible to receive weatherization services through the Weatherization Assistance Program. Ask about weatherization when you apply for your energy assistance grant or contact your local weatherization office, at 800-638-7781, or visit them online: Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program.
Fuel Fund of Maryland - BGE works with the Fuel Fund to make bill assistance available to eligible households. BGE provides customer-funded matching credits for customers who apply for and receive help from the Fuel Fund. For more information, including where to apply, call the Fuel Fund at 410.821.3022, or visit them online: Fuel Fund of Maryland.
2-1-1 Maryland – 2-1-1 Maryland provides a link to community health and human service resources statewide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages. Dial 2-1-1 to find assistance when you or someone you know needs help, from child care, jobs, health care, and insurance — to emergency services to help you in times of disaster or crisis.
About the Office of Home Energy Programs
The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides subsidies to assist limited-income residents with heating and cooling bills. OHEP's goal is to make energy costs more affordable and thus minimize heating crises. OHEP administers The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) and the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP).
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation’s first gas utility, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
As this article states---most of the repressive stances won't become apparent until several years from now----here we see 2020.
OH, REALLY???? WE ARE CRYING OUT TO SEE HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY OUR TOASTER USES????????
'Claire Maugham, policy director of Smart Energy GB, the company commissioned by the Government to publicise the roll-out over the next five years, said: “People are crying out for this unbelievably outdated infrastructure to be changed. It’s essential that people see the information about their energy use and can give this information to other suppliers when they want to switch.”
This is not a universal view'.
For younger folks---we have had from the beginning of public electric utilities simply had a public sector employee walking from house to house actually visualizing REAL meter readings that were usually very accurate. Citizens never had a problem with our conventional system. It was only when mergers and privatizations removed those employees and the guestiments started------
Smart meters: will you pay more for 'peak electricity'?You'll soon receive a 'free' hi-tech meter between now and 2020.
But do the Government's energy-saving claims add up?
Will smart meters really save you money? The devices are supposed to encourage householders to use less energy
By Kate Palmer
8:00AM BST 24 May 2015
It’s a multi-billion-pound project that’s supposed to reap huge savings for households by cutting our energy consumption and turning us all into savvy consumers.
And if it’s not already installed, it will be coming to your house soon.
“Smart meters” are so far operating in 1.5 million homes. But the roll-out is gathering pace, with a total of 53 million meters set to be installed by 2020 – one for every British home.
A brilliant innovation? Or a sinister and intrusive technology that will give energy suppliers – acknowledged as some of Britain’s worst businesses for customer service and billing errors – even more scope to bungle?
What is a smart meter and why do I need one?
Smart meters replace your existing gas or electricity meter, sending information to a display unit that goes in the home. The gadget updates every 30 minutes with information on your energy consumption in pounds and pence, as well as kilowatt hours (kWh).
This should end “estimated bills”, where suppliers charge you according to your assumed energy use, so customers won’t need to be in credit or debt.
No one will be forced to install a smart meter, but every household is subsiding the project with an estimated £200 increase in energy bills, because the cost to firms will be incorporated into energy bills.
Claire Maugham, policy director of Smart Energy GB, the company commissioned by the Government to publicise the roll-out over the next five years, said: “People are crying out for this unbelievably outdated infrastructure to be changed. It’s essential that people see the information about their energy use and can give this information to other suppliers when they want to switch.”
This is not a universal view.
The in-home display, which receives signals from your 'smart' electricity and gas meter
There are more effective and cheaper solutions, according to Dan Lewis, energy policy adviser to the Institute of Directors, which represents 35,000 company directors.
He said the £800m bill for the in-home display units, for example, could be better spent on connecting the meters with phones, tablets and PCs at no additional hardware cost.
Devices that cost just £30 claim to do everything smart meters can – and better. The “Loop Clip”, for example, attaches to your old electricity or gas meter and communicates with a device in your broadband router to provide 15 minute updates of energy use, double the frequency of a smart meter.
Similar devices from other firms cost between £30 and £85.
Ms Maugham dismissed such devices as “unsuitable” because they did not feed information back to suppliers and keep data secure. “How will they send accurate meter readings to suppliers? They could require webcams trained on meters to feed information back, which is hardly what consumers would want,” she said.
When will I get a meter?
The full national installation begins later this year when a central communications system to handle data transfer between meters and suppliers is due to go live.
Energy firms will source and deliver smart meters to customers, although people can contact their supplier directly and ask for one right now. The meters are then compatible with any energy supplier.
But credible sources warn that the 2020 target to install a meter in every home is “veering off-track and could prove to be a costly failure”. The Energy & Climate Change Committee, an influential group of MPs, said that it would be better if the Government organised industry-wide roll-out rather than leaving it to each energy supplier to develop its own solution.
The planned start date of 2014 had to be revised after the company in charge of the communications system, the Data Communications Company, said parts of the system had to be redesigned.
“Hard-to-treat” households won’t be able to get a meter immediately. Some flats, for instance, may be unsuitable because the meters cannot communicate with the in-home display unit if it is several floors away. Homes where a gas or electricity meter is situated in the garage, for example, may also considered hard to treat.
Despite these challenges, Ms Maugham said there was “no indication the project will run over time and over budget”. The Tories’ pre-election commitment to deliver smart meters in the next five years is a “reassurance” to consumers that the project will be completed by 2020, she said. “High rise is a particular challenge and we are developing technical solutions at the moment,” Ms Maugham said.
How much will it cost? Although the roll-out will cost £17bn, the Government expects that everyone will use 2pc less gas and 2.8pc less electricity once they know how much energy they are using and what it will cost.
But behavioural and energy experts say the claimed £6bn net savings are inaccurate, because they depend on the assumption that people will use less energy.
Householders are already disengaged from smart meters, energy firms say. British Gas and Ovo, for example, have both reported that after one year just 60pc of their customers still look at their display at least once a month.
Alexa Spence is a psychologist who researches people’s behaviour around energy use at Nottingham University. She said: “Our studies show that people who are most concerned about paying their energy bills are least likely to engage with the in-home displays. Unless there is more widespread acceptance of the technology, we’re not going to achieve the full benefits and it could be a missed opportunity to encourage people to save energy.”
According to research conducted at Nottingham University, just 42pc of people are willing to reduce their energy use at all.
Will I pay more for energy?
Energy firms will soon offer new "time of use" energy deals although it is likely that traditional tariffs will still remain.
On these tariffs, householders will pay more for watching television, charging gadgets and running the washing machine during morning and evening “rush hours”.
This is because smart meters transmit information about when you use most energy to suppliers, giving them the power to increase bills at busy times, just like paying off-peak and peak time travel.
Time-of-day pricing could save money if you can programme your dishwasher or washing machine to run at night, for instance, or if you have storage heating that is switched on overnight.
But it could potentially lead to higher prices for essential energy use, such as cooking in the evening.
It has also raised concerns that tariffs will become so confusing that customers will be left unable to compare suppliers to make sure they are on the cheapest deal.
The Government says energy bills will fall by £6bn as a result of the smart meter roll-out
“If there is no time-of-day pricing, smart meters will do nothing,” said Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at Greenwich University.
“This is the only way to change people’s behaviour, especially in low-income households where a higher price per unit of energy will lead them to turn things off.”
Ms Maugham said: “There’s a really big appetite for time-of-use tariffs; research by UCL shows one in three consumers wants an energy tariff with variable prices.
In the future, washing machines might be programmed to turn on at 6am to be ready in the morning, before the more expensive tariff comes in.
“It doesn’t matter if we have more energy tariffs as long as people can clearly understand them,” she said.
Will my energy use be shared with anyone?
The information is reported back to suppliers and won’t be passed on without your permission. Energy data is transmitted via a custom built network that covers 99.3pc of the population and has GCHQ developed security.
Ms Maugham said she “rarely hears about concerns” over data sharing from consumers and that “people trust their energy supplier with their data.
“They will always have complete control – you don’t have to give others access unless you want to.”
Householders will be able to opt into data sharing in return for “additional services” from a supplier, such as such as comparing your energy use with that of your neighbours, she said.