It practically leaps out of the envelopes and off the pages of my PG&E bills, especially when compared and contrasted to electricity bills from Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CEC) for our Bend, Oregon, home.
"It" is the exorbitant cost of electricity charged to residential customers for the dubious privilege of California living (similar costs to businesses surely hurt our economy and unemployment rate).
Have you looked at the breakdown of the rates that apply to your different tiers of usage?
They are listed as "Baseline," "101-130% of Baseline," and so on up to, if you are staying cool to survive a heat wave, "201- 300% of Baseline." You might think that your "Baseline" is free electricity because there's no price, but that would be wrong thinking.
If you pay attention to your bill, you'll quickly see that you pay from almost 13 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH) to over 34 cents per KWH.
Your effective rate overall will range from, in my case, 18 cents per KWH last month up to 21+ cents per KWH in last summer's peak. You do see, of course, that as your reasonable needs increase in a straight line, your rates shoot up to make those higher-but-essential KWHs very expensive.
Then I gaze upon the rate - one, single rate - that is charged to us in Bend: 7.33 cents per KWH.
Wow! Is your mouth hanging open or do you need to grab a calculator to see what your PG&E bill would be if every last KWH was 7.33 cents.
I did; instead of a $204 bill, it would have been about $83, and last summer's peak bill would have been about $110 instead of $317.
I assume that you likewise pay two and a half to almost three times what folks in Bend pay.
I actually called CEC's business office to see if there were higher rates that kick in, for instance, for someone with a very large, all-electric house with a big air conditioning unit, or two, as well as electric water heater and clothes dryer.
Nope, the lady said, that's the rate. However, there is a flat monthly "Facilities charge" of $11.75, which still leaves the cost a fraction of PG&E's.
Oh, and in the winter (November through March up there), the rate drops to 7.07 cents.
You and I both know why, right? Why cheap, 5 cent per KWH coal-produced electricity is not used.
Why literally $10s of millions worth of wind turbines and solar arrays have been built, that cannot produce electricity for less than, I think I've previously reported, 30-40 cents per KWH. Yes, by law California utilities can't buy cheap coal-produced energy; other states can, of course, so we only gouge ourselves via PG&E and AB 32, the CA cap and trade law mandating so-called "renewable" green energy.
When, that is, the sun shines and the wind blows.