The California Public Utilities Commission wants to “decarbonize” California, meaning they want to force everyone to toss their natural gas furnaces, stoves, ranges and water heaters in favor of replacing the same with electric appliances. This makes no sense.
Electricity is a secondary energy source; it has to be made from a primary energy source. Across America, 79 percent of all energy is made from fossil fuels. Unless and until California is truly powered by 100 percent renewables, this is a fool’s errand.
That is, if you replace all of your natural gas appliances, what have you gained if the new appliances are ultimately still powered by fossil fuels? Moreover, you will be paying significantly more for some utility to convert the gas to electricity than you would have paid to simply keep using natural gas via a direct hookup.
This is part of a greater effort to replace all of our power sources with wind and solar, along with the mandate to replace our gas and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles. However, wind and solar only produce intermittent power. That is, they do not produce a consistent power source, also known as base load, 24/7. This is particularly problematic at night when most people will need to charge their electric vehicles. Furthermore, we do not have the technology or the infrastructure to store the power from these intermittent sources for use later in the day or night. This explains why, to this day, wind and solar power sources require natural gas backup.
Electricity is prohibitively expensive compared to natural gas, and it is getting more expensive over time because generating electricity from renewables is more expensive than generating it from fossil fuels, nuclear and hydroelectric. Additionally, the circuits that power your neighborhood will also have to be upgraded at your expense in order to convert to all electric and to deliver the additionally required power throughout the state, especially considering the higher voltage required to charge electric car batteries. In other countries that have already embarked down this dark and cold road, the poor, including the elderly who are on fixed incomes, are forced to choose whether to “heat or eat” because they can’t afford to do both.
Please urge the PUC to abandon this plan, along with the plan that will, in essence, force our utilities to shut off power during high fire hazard wind events. In lieu of being sued again, the utilities have rightly determined the only course of action is to shut off power for as long as it takes for the storm to pass, plus the time it will take their crews to reassess the safety of the transmission lines.
These prolonged shutdowns will likely occur every season, sometimes more than once a season, with each cycle taking up to a week. Hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other critical consumer services do not have the ability to continue operating without power for this length of time, meaning we will have exchanged one type of disaster for another