Sunday, July 5, 2015

California approves major electricity rate changes

California approves major electricity rate changes
Sammy Roth,, The Desert Sun 6:07 p.m. EDT July 3, 2015
(Photo: Paul Buck< EPA)
State officials voted unanimously to raise electricity rates for millions of Californians on Friday, over the objections of consumer advocates and environmental groups who called the plan a giveaway to the wealthy and said it would discourage people from saving energy and going solar.
The controversial changes were a long time coming. For years, Southern California Edison , Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric have wanted to raise rates for those who use the least and lower rates for those who use the most, and the California Public Utilities Commission made it happen in a 5-0 vote.
The plan approved Friday also leaves the door open for new fixed charges, another utility industry goal.
Edison and other electricity providers have argued that current rates unfairly penalize high-usage customers, and that low-usage customers aren't paying their fair share. Utility companies have also said that all customers, including solar customers, need to pay more to keep the electric grid running — hence the need for higher fixed charges.
Consumer advocates agree that some changes are needed to make rates more fair. But they criticized the plan passed Friday as a sign that the public utilities commission isn't looking out for the best interests of the public.
"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," Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Network, a San Francisco-based ratepayer advocacy group, said in a statement.
Edison's residential customers currently pay for electricity in four tiers, with energy use in the fourth tier costing more than twice as much as in the first tier. That stark difference, consumer advocates say, motivates people to save energy, and gives high-usage customers a financial incentive to invest in energy efficiency and rooftop solar.
Under the changes approved Friday, the difference between what high-usage customers and low-usage customers pay will shrink. By 2019, the number of tiers will be reduced from four to two, with a price difference of just 25% between them.
Critics say those changes amount to a redistribution of wealth from low-income to high-income families, arguing that wealthier people tend to use the most energy.
In explaining their votes at Friday's meeting, several commissioners said the link between income and electricity use isn't as well-established as critics believe. Many high-usage customers, they said, are simply large families living in small homes, or low-income desert residents who need constant air conditioning to stay cool during the summer.
There will also be a "surcharge" for the highest-usage customers, a last-minute addition by commission President Michael Picker to mollify Commissioner Mike Florio and other critics of his original, utility-backed proposal. Under that surcharge, the most excessive electricity use will be billed at more than twice the rate of low-end electricity use.
Critics, though, weren't convinced that the surcharge would make much difference, since it would only apply to electricity use more than 400% above baseline. The public utilities commission estimated that it would only apply to 10% of Edison customers, and only then to the top 4% of actual electricity use.
The plan passed Friday would also delay new fixed charges sought until at least 2020. But it lays the groundwork for utility companies to make a new case for those charges.
Additionally it switches all Edison, PG&E and SDG&E residential customers to "time-of-use" electricity rates starting in 2019. Under those rates, the cost of electricity will depend on the time of day — and time of year — that you use it.
Several commissioners repeatedly emphasized that the commission will have many more changes to encourage conservation and solar over the next few years, including an ongoing proceeding to revamp the solar incentive program known as "net energy metering."
Consumer advocates, though, weren't convinced that the commission would follow through on those promises.
"It's hard not to look at the commission's track record and look at the repeated attempts to fast-track power plants in lieu of clean energy," said Evan Gillespie, western region deputy director of the Sierra Club 's Beyond Coal Campaign.
Sammy Roth writes about energy and water for The Desert Sun. He can be reached at

Editor's note:
Additionally it switches all Edison, PG&E and SDG&E residential customers to "time-of-use" electricity rates starting in 2019. Under those rates, the cost of electricity will depend on the time of day — and time of year — that you use it.

The medical link between EMF pollution and 'unexplainable' chronic disease symptoms

The medical link between EMF pollution and 'unexplainable' chronic disease symptoms
by Jonathan Landsman printable article Originally published July 3 2015
  (NaturalNews) The health danger of 'electrical pollution' is grossly misunderstood by Western medicine. But, for those suffering with the ill effects of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposure – this is no laughing matter. If you're suffering with chronic fatigue, headaches, insomnia, autoimmune disorders or hormonal issues – I strongly suggest you continue reading this article.

  Are you suffering from 'unexplainable' chronic disease symptoms? On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, learn about the very real health threats posed by EMF pollution – especially the wiring in your home; commonly used wireless devices and other household electronic devices.

The medical link between EMF pollution and chronic disease symptoms

  Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, founder of Klinghardt Academy, links the ever-increasing exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with the rapid rise in neurological illnesses like low-level depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, numbness, tingling and "unexplainable" muscle aches and pains. In fact, Dr. Klinghardt believes that "smart" meters -- which are being forced on homeowners as a way to "save energy" (yeah right) -- are "the worst invention that we've followed in the last 2 years with absolutely devastating consequences."

  Samuel Milham, MD, MPH warns the public in his book, Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, "that because of the recent proliferation of radio frequency radiation from cell phones and towers, terrestrial antennas, Wi-Fi and Wi-max systems, broadband internet over power lines, and personal electronic equipment, we may be facing a looming epidemic of morbidity and mortality."

  Make no mistake about it: We are 'electrical beings' and, since WWII, the proliferation of electrical power lines and wireless technology has placed an enormous stress on our biological systems. And, just in case you think I'm just making all this stuff up, you ought to read the "BioInitiative 2012" – a scientific document talking about the risks associated with EMF pollution prepared by 29 authors from ten countries, ten holding medical degrees, 21 PhDs, and three MsC, MA or MPHs.

  On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, you'll discover what the mainstream media refuses to discuss about the health dangers connected to commonly used electrical devices; home environmental toxins plus much more. If you're suffering with allergies, irregular heartbeats or any other 'unexplainable' disease symptoms – be sure to join us for a lifesaving program.

How can a building biologist help you to avoid chronic disease?

  We live in an increasingly toxic world which does NOT support healthy living. Chemtrails and other environmental chemicals pollute the sky; heavy metals, artificial sweeteners and GMOs are invading the food supply and household poisons from mold to wireless radiation often place too much stress on the immune system and inhibit our ability to prevent, even reverse chronic disease conditions.

  So, why should I care about 'building biology?' Well, we all know that illnesses and ailments are on the rise. In fact, allergy experts claim that 50% of illness is caused or worsened by indoor pollution; asthma has doubled since the 1980s and chemical sensitivities has grown to 18% of the population.

  So, although a healthy diet and exercise routine can help to prevent disease – we should never ignore the relationship between buildings and human health. That's where a 'building biologist' can help to identify and resolve environmental issues.

  On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, Jonathan Landsman and Larry Gust, an experienced environmental expert will help you to identify one of the most ignored health threats of our time – EMF pollution. Join us for a great show!

This week's guest: Larry Gust, Electrical engineer and environmental consultant

Learn how to protect yourself from EMF pollution to REVERSE disease symptoms – Sun. Jul. 5

  Larry Gust received a BS Electrical Engineering degree and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Gust has a 25-year business background with two Fortune 500 companies. He studied environmental technology at the International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology and is a certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant and a certified electromagnetic radiation specialist.

  Larry's expertise includes the areas of indoor environmental inspection, measurement and interpretation of environmental parameters, safe building practices, air purification systems and water purification systems, and electromagnetic field countermeasures. Since 1993, Larry has been consulting, teaching and speaking about the health effects of the indoor environment and what people can do to clean up their own environments.

  REVERSE disease symptoms naturally. Hopefully, Western medicine will eventually realize that EMF pollution could be the reason why so many people are suffering today – despite living a relatively healthy lifestyle. Learn how to eliminate the unwanted physical (and emotional) stress connected to EMF pollution.

To hear this FREE show - visit: and enter your email address for show details + FREE gifts!