Edison and the hot hot summer

by Robyn on August 17, 2009

We enjoy living in an area where we are served by SoCal Edison for our electric needs. Mind you, I am not complaining, I love that I can get the modern conveniences of life courtesy of our electric provider. However, we just got our bill for July, $384 for 30 days of cool, computers and tv. $384 for a house that is less than 1000 square feet. We installed a whole house fan, it gets turned on and the air off around 7 each evening. It was supposed to save money. Has it? Not a bit.

It’s got me thinking about electric cars. The new Chevy Volt. It is supposed to be the cure all for SoCal. I’m not picking on the Volt, it is a rather attractive vehicle. But I need more info.

We are the car capital of the western world. There are cars everywhere and gas is expensive here because we consume so much of the stuff. So everyone jumped on the bandwagon of alternative energy vehicles. Well, until someone finds one that will run on water, I think we’re in trouble.

No matter how attractive a car is, if it is using a resource that is going to increase my electric bill more than it already is, I shudder to think about how that is helping our environment. And, my bottom line. Edison tells me I pay so much because my consumption is higher than last year. Well, I have more people living with me now than last year, can they add in that factor? No. If I add a car to the usage it is only going to be more usage. Not a good idea. Will they give me a break because I’m powering a car? hmmm. maybe I should ask them.

The other train of thought is how all that electric is generated. Just where does the electricity come from? Well, at the SCE website they tell me that the majority of the electricity the provide is derived from natural gas resources: “The primary energy source is burned as fuel or used directly to spin a turbine, which spins the generator. The generator is basically an electric conductor, such as copper, that spins within a magnetic field, producing “alternating current” electricity at 60 Hertz, or cycles per second.” Hmmm. How is that helping the environment? So if I buy an electric car, I use more power at my home, Edison uses more power at their plant and both of us harm the environment more than if I just continue to drive my MINI Cooper and use the fossil fuel that I’ve always used. I spend $25 a week on premium gasoline. I drive about 300 miles a week, all in the span of 7 mile bursts, yeah gotta love that! But I do get to drive into San Diego or OC on occasion for some fun.

I think I like my carbon footprint just the way it is now.

{ 4 comments }

Robyn August 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Exactly. I am not sure how to get public utilities to understand they’re singing to the choir. I am not the board of supervisors approving all the new building going on around here!

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger!

CookingSchoolConfidential.com August 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I’ve been careful about water consumption, electricity use, gas use, etc. my whole life. So when they give incentives to people to cut back, it’s just a bit unfair to people like me who have been cutting back all along. I have no more cutting back to do, so I will never qualify for the incentive. But, still, my bills are lower than anyone else we know and wouldn’t it be nice to be recognized for years and years of careful use rather than jumping on the bandwagon now.

Okay. that’s out of my system.

Cheers!

Robyn August 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Yep. Exactly what I was thinking. Do they not understand we are the green generation. We implemented Earth Day for goodness sake. It’s not like we’ve been GIANT consumers for years and now must cut back or else. I am now at the emotional end of the spectrum where I think I might say “stuff it” and use to my hearts content. I’ll be dead in 40 years so who cares?

Well of course I’m not going to do that. But just once I wish someone somewhere would consider the fact that most of us don’t have a private jet, or even a Piper 2-seater to jump into and fly off to the nest best fundraising cause! We’re the front line defense and get little or no recognition for it.

s'mee August 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm

For my entire married life, for my children’s entire childhood, because we live in a desert, we did not have a lawn. No grass for little people to play on or keep the dust around the house down. Water. I live in a desert, so they told me to cut back to conserve to use low flow toilets and shower heads, which we also have done for the past 32 years. We only wash full loads of laundry and dishes. We bought energy efficient appliances. We turn off lights computers and other electric powered whatevers unless we are using them at the moment. We reduce, reuse, reduce and where-out; and use canvas bags instead of plastic.

Now we are *again* being asked to conserve. We are told that if we do not reduce our capacity/usage (of water, gas, and electricity) from last year we will suffer a higher than “normal” rate. I am not sure how much more we *can* reduce. We have been using the minimum for 30+ years!

How about mowing down the lawn in the island medians in the wealthy neighborhoods? How about not watering the playgrounds at the elementary school until the water runs down a block or three? Any chance we can go back to the civic codes that restricted bill board lighting and storefront signage? Nope. Ask me to flush my toilet once a day and take a “military shower”, and to stop watering that lawn that was never put in.

I’m ticked.

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