May 28, 2024

On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to allow the state’s utility providers to add a fixed fee to all electrical bills. The purpose of the fee is ostensibly to pay for the massive up-scaling of the electrical grid that will be required by Governor Newsom’s and the California Legislature’s various “green energy” initiatives:

California regulators on Thursday voted to make it cheaper for people to charge electric cars and cool their homes in the summer, a decision heralded as part of the state’s transition to clean energy but derided by others who warn it will raise prices for people who don’t use as much energy.

The California Public Utilities Commission voted to let the state’s big investor-owned utilities – including Pacific Gas & Electric – add a fixed charge to people’s power bills each month to pay for installing and maintaining the equipment necessary to transmit electricity to homes.

For most people, the charge will be $24.15 per month and will take effect starting late next year. Others with lower incomes who are enrolled in one of two discount programs will pay less, either $6 or $12 per month.

In exchange for the new charge, the price of electricity will drop by between 5 cents and 7 cents per kilowatt hour. One kilowatt hour is how much power it takes to use a 1,000-watt appliance – a coffee maker or vacuum cleaner, for instance – for one hour.

Here’s the problem:

For people who don’t use as much energy, the new fixed charge could increase their bill each month. This includes people who live in smaller apartments, have solar panels on their roofs or who live in cooler areas and don’t use air conditioning as much. That’s because for them, the decrease in the price of electricity would not be enough to offset the amount of the new monthly charge.

Effectively, people who use less energy will have their costs raised by this scheme, while people who use more will have their costs reduced.

Previously on RedState: Newsom Stands by Plan to Base Electricity Bills on Income vs. Usage As Even Democrat Lawmakers Revolt

In what universe does this make sense? The addition of this charge and the playing with rates means that people who are being more responsible, by California standards, are indirectly subsidizing the electric bills of people who are less responsible and use more electricity. Didn’t they think this through? Do they not understand the optics of this move?

Our sister site Twitchy documented some of the reactions to the new fee. Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin weighed in and provoked a lot of comments:

One wonders if the backlash will be enough to make the California Public Utilities Commission reconsider this scheme, but then California politicians and bureaucrats alike seem to be rarely within shouting distance of reality.

See Related: CA Dems Want to Get Tough on Crime…by Banning Self Checkout Lines in Grocery Stores

California can’t stay on this nonsensical course forever. Sooner or later, some semblance of sanity will have to return to the once and former Golden State. Newsom and the California Legislature are pushing laws and policies that are creating a 1949 Gold Rush in reverse, as productive people are fleeing the state for greener pastures in places like Texas and Florida. Turning California around isn’t something that can be done in a day, or a year. This isn’t the kind of stupidity that just pops up – this level of lunacy has to be nurtured for a couple of generations.

There used to be a saying, “As goes California, so goes the nation.” We can hope that’s not the case here.