Get Smart about Energy™


I do not think OpenEnergy could ever be accused of not supporting the "little guy". This is certainly true when it comes to reflecting on the upcoming battle between PG&E and the Marin Energy Authority, in particular the Marin Clean Energy proposals.

We only have to look at the recent dispute between PG&E and a smart meter pilot in Bakersfield to be suspicious when it comes to the behavior of a large utility organization. But I have also had the privilege of meeting some of the extraordinarily talented individuals working in PG&E, and hearing first-hand their commitment to solving the issues facing the delivery of reliable, safe and accurately billed energy over the upcoming decades.

There are times when economies of scale are simply essential to solving the complex issues of providing a critical resource. I think of a comment I heard recently, comparing the roll out of the smart grid by utility companies to the growth of the Internet. In some ways they are similar, said the speaker, but we must also remember that much of our equipment needs to last more than 40 years.

I'm a technologist, we think in life cycles of months. It was a sobering thought to realize that PG&E needed to think in terms of generations!

I thought it would be useful to make sure, despite our reluctance to read, that all the opinion expressed in writing were available to the debate. There is nothing like argument based on hearsay and emotion to destroy any logical approach to determining the correct answer for Marin's residents.

Here is a link to the report titled Marin Clean Energy: Pull the Plug issued by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury in December 2009.

We do encourage all interested parties to read the report, prior to evaluating the opinions being expressed on it. The conclusion however is quite clear, in particular that the Marin Energy Authority abandon its efforts to compete with PG&E.

I personally have no issue with competing with PG&E, but only if it makes financial sense for the consumers of electricity in Marin County. We are concerned to not see a number of issues pertaining to the delivery of electricity being addressed. These include integrating rooftop solar energy and meeting the needs of electric vehicles. If the residents of Marin behave as usual, in the green conscientiousness, we can assume any issues to do with my time delivery of electricity for charging car batteries to emerge here.

We urge all consumers to become informed of the issues - to opt out if the plan does not work for you, remain a customer if you wish to support their goals - but please do engage, it is your right and your responsibility!


Open4Energy - Get Smart about Energy™