Electricity pricing in California will cause old people to not use life saving air conditioning in heat waves

Old people and babies are vulnerable to death from heat waves. The electrical pricing is setting old people up to not use the air conditioning that they may truly need at some point to save their life.

Steeply tiered electricity costs can nail people with electricity bills of $200-500 or more in months where they use several hours of air conditioning in one day in California and South Korea and many other countries.

Elderly people are generally more vulnerable to the effects of a heat wave, particularly if they:

*take certain medications or if they are affected by conditions that have the effect of decreasing their tolerance to heat
*are physically and socially isolated
* present a loss of autonomy

Cost of air conditioning and electricity

Korea, like Japan, charges three rates based on the level of electricity usage. But unlike Japan, there is a larger increase between the tiered rates.

A household that consumes 200 kWh a month would face a bill of 25,000 won (US$22.33). However, that bill increases to 250,000 won (US$222) if it uses an air conditioner eight hours a day during the scorching heat.

The hundreds of thousands who can’t afford to escape the heat or afford air conditioning, the government has set up designated “heatwave resting areas”. In Seoul, there are more than 3,000 such cooling shelters open mainly during the day.

The most vulnerable are the elderly in rural areas, where the death rate from heat-related causes is 5.6 times higher than cities.

By 2050, 37 percent of South Korea’s population will consist of the elderly and heatwaves are increasingly becoming an issue in the rapidly aging nation. Currently, almost half of the elderly population lives in poverty.

For the hundreds of thousands who can’t afford to escape the heat or afford air conditioning, the government has set up designated “heatwave resting areas”. In Seoul, there are more than 3,000 such cooling shelters open mainly during the day.

PGE in California also has steeply tiered electricity rates and will charge over 5 times the baseline price heavy uses of electricity. This would include running air conditioners for many hours during a heat wave.

France had thousands of elderly deaths because of lack of air conditioning during heat waves.

In 2006, California had 140-600 heat wave deaths during a 17 day heatwave.

There will be more and more old people in the developed countries and there could be more prolonged heat waves. The elderly will likely be on fixed incomes and would be avoiding the prolonged use of electricity because of the regular large energy bills.

Protecting Babies from heat

Due to their different metabolism, babies are particularly sensitive to heat. Vigilance is important during a heat wave and the following advice will help you to take good care of your little one:

* Keep your baby in diapers at home. He/she will perspire less and therefore have less hydric loss to compensate for.
* Have your baby drink regularly.
* Place a fan in his/her room.
* Give your baby a bath two or three times a day to cool him/her down.
* If you go outside, cover your baby’s head and limit exposure to extreme heat as much as possible.

114 thoughts on “Electricity pricing in California will cause old people to not use life saving air conditioning in heat waves”

  1. California is moving towards mandatory time of use rates so you’ll be able to run your AC as much as you want at night…Maybe the market for ice storage AC systems like the Ice Bear will take off: https://www.ice-energy.com/technology/ Makes ice at night when electricity is cheap cool the house during the day when electricity is expensive.

    Reply
  2. Sounds like Thailand when I lived there as a kid. As “rich foreigners” we had a large home, servants, etc. but the electricity was so expensive we only ran the ACs at night, and only in our bedrooms.

    Reply
  3. It looks like there is little in the article that supports the conclusion that “Electricity pricing in California will cause old people to not use life saving air conditioning in heat waves” Is it a California- Bashing article?

    Reply
  4. What happened to solar power driving costs into the negative during the day? Sounds like PV payments would be cheaper than this, and considering the AC runs during the day that is when a PV system produces the most power. Of course, if their insulation isn’t very good nothing will fix that short of better insulation in their homes.

    Reply
  5. California is moving towards mandatory time of use rates, so you’ll be able to run your AC as much as you want at night… Maybe the market for ice storage AC systems like the Ice Bear will take off: https://www.ice-energy.com/technology/ Makes ice at night when electricity is cheap, cool the house during the day when electricity is expensive.

    Reply
  6. Sounds like Thailand when I lived there as a kid. As rich foreigners”” we had a large home”” servants etc. but the electricity was so expensive we only ran the ACs at night”” and only in our bedrooms.”””

    Reply
  7. It looks like there is little in the article that supports the conclusion that Electricity pricing in California will cause old people to not use life saving air conditioning in heat waves”” Is it a California- Bashing article?”””

    Reply
  8. What happened to solar power driving costs into the negative during the day? Sounds like PV payments would be cheaper than this and considering the AC runs during the day that is when a PV system produces the most power. Of course if their insulation isn’t very good nothing will fix that short of better insulation in their homes.

    Reply
  9. Some more hints – most are common sense: If the utility offers a plan to average out your bills so you pay the same each month, take advantage of it to reduce the urge to ‘save money’ at the cost of your health during peak heat/peak cost. If you have a ‘time of day’ plan with high rates during peak heat hours, pre-cool your home before the peak hours to reduce the duration of peak indoor heat. But not too much – feeling the air getting warmer may be harder to tolerate than a constant moderately warm temperature. A thermostat with timers can make this easier, and you’ll be less tempted to turn the AC off if you’ve set it rationally. Avoid using appliances that generate los of heat – large screen TVs, ovens, washing machines. Use a smaller TV or listen to the radio or recorded music, defer cooking/baking and washing to off peak heat hours, etc. A fan uses a lot less energy than AC and can increase comfort by keeping air moving so humidity doesn’t build up next to your body.

    Reply
  10. Fair pricing, my foot. They have a monopoly, and they are exploiting it. The get electricity for less than 10 cents /kwh and they gouge us 55 cents/kwh if we use the AC. If it was a true open market, it would not be above 15 cents.

    Reply
  11. Battery storage is very expensive, as a power grid able to transfer more power longer distances, so a state must have back up on demand powerplants (hydro, nuclear, coal, gas) for when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. Having to pay for these power plants and wind and solar will always be more expensive than just paying for the on demand power plants as was done in the past. This increased cost must be paid for in increased electricity rates. Remember that price and cost are not the same thing. Prices can turn negative if a lot of electricity is dumped onto a spot market, the costs are never negative, and must be paid for by consumers. Or if they cannot pay (e.g. the elderly) then these people must suffer a reduced quality of life and even an earlier death.

    Reply
  12. Tier pricing is what most large consumers pay. Utilities have always want to use tier pricing for small consumers to push small consumers to reduce power consumption during high demand period. The reason for this is that peak power is very expensive for the utilities to generate or to buy.

    Reply
  13. It should be noted that even without tier pricing that just the cost of increase air conditioning will be a problem for seniors. Also tier pricing is fair pricing since during heat wave peak power cost a lot more than base load power. Without tier pricing frugal consumers would be subsidizing wasteful consumers. My suggestion for seniors is to do what I do. And that is to just cool the rooms you use. Close the doors on the others. And keep it as warm as you can tolerate.

    Reply
  14. Isn’t the possible increase in deaths of seniors and infants the reason why we should be taking “Climate Change” serious?

    Reply
  15. Some more hints – most are common sense: If the utility offers a plan to average out your bills so you pay the same each month take advantage of it to reduce the urge to ‘save money’ at the cost of your health during peak heat/peak cost.If you have a ‘time of day’ plan with high rates during peak heat hours pre-cool your home before the peak hours to reduce the duration of peak indoor heat. But not too much – feeling the air getting warmer may be harder to tolerate than a constant moderately warm temperature. A thermostat with timers can make this easier and you’ll be less tempted to turn the AC off if you’ve set it rationally. Avoid using appliances that generate los of heat – large screen TVs ovens washing machines. Use a smaller TV or listen to the radio or recorded music defer cooking/baking and washing to off peak heat hours etc.A fan uses a lot less energy than AC and can increase comfort by keeping air moving so humidity doesn’t build up next to your body.

    Reply
  16. Fair pricing my foot. They have a monopoly and they are exploiting it. The get electricity for less than 10 cents /kwh and they gouge us 55 cents/kwh if we use the AC. If it was a true open market it would not be above 15 cents.

    Reply
  17. Battery storage is very expensive as a power grid able to transfer more power longer distances so a state must have back up on demand powerplants (hydro nuclear coal gas) for when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. Having to pay for these power plants and wind and solar will always be more expensive than just paying for the on demand power plants as was done in the past. This increased cost must be paid for in increased electricity rates. Remember that price and cost are not the same thing. Prices can turn negative if a lot of electricity is dumped onto a spot market the costs are never negative and must be paid for by consumers. Or if they cannot pay (e.g. the elderly) then these people must suffer a reduced quality of life and even an earlier death.

    Reply
  18. Tier pricing is what most large consumers pay. Utilities have always want to use tier pricing for small consumers to push small consumers to reduce power consumption during high demand period. The reason for this is that peak power is very expensive for the utilities to generate or to buy.

    Reply
  19. It should be noted that even without tier pricing that just the cost of increase air conditioning will be a problem for seniors. Also tier pricing is fair pricing since during heat wave peak power cost a lot more than base load power. Without tier pricing frugal consumers would be subsidizing wasteful consumers. My suggestion for seniors is to do what I do. And that is to just cool the rooms you use. Close the doors on the others. And keep it as warm as you can tolerate.

    Reply
  20. Isn’t the possible increase in deaths of seniors and infants the reason why we should be taking Climate Change”” serious?”””

    Reply
  21. Why should you be forced to conserve electricity in the big future? Loads have gone down – lighting uses less with CF bulbs and even less with LED bulbs. You have one or two big loads in your house (AC/heatpump and he oven). What gives? Why would California, the richest state in the union, be content with this? Usually people on this site want a future where energy is plentiful – like launching a BFR per hour or traveling Mach 5. Then there are these envirowhackjobs that want to give back ground. AC is something you never give up once you’ve become accustomed to it.

    Reply
  22. Why should you be forced to conserve electricity in the big future? Loads have gone down – lighting uses less with CF bulbs and even less with LED bulbs. You have one or two big loads in your house (AC/heatpump and he oven). What gives? Why would California the richest state in the union be content with this? Usually people on this site want a future where energy is plentiful – like launching a BFR per hour or traveling Mach 5. Then there are these envirowhackjobs that want to give back ground. AC is something you never give up once you’ve become accustomed to it.

    Reply
  23. Cooling and heating is one area where you don’t need battery storage. You just need thermal storage in the actual home. Have enough thermal mass in your room and cool it down while you have “free” solar power during the day. Then it’ll be cool for the night until the sun comes up. Thermal mass is simplicity itself: a water bed, fish tank, thick brick/concrete walls, containers of wax that melt at 20 degrees, or freeze water if you have a slightly more sophisticated system. Solar needs batteries for all sorts of applications, but temperature control isn’t one of them.

    Reply
  24. Sure. Absolutely. CA should build a bunch of new generation nuclear power plants, then maybe use solar and natural gas for power over baseline. But complain as much as you like, that is not going to happen until after a decade or two of pain attempting to switch from nuclear/coal/gas to all renewables with repeated generation shortfalls and peak tier price increases and ending up building more natural gas generation to plug the gaps. Californian seniors will have to adapt or die in the meantime, sorry.

    Reply
  25. Another name for Tier 3 pricing is “gouging”! Electricity is like bread. If you eat more bread you should pay more for the extra slice but not more for each slice just because there is a “shortage of bread.” If California had a rational energy policy the Public Utilities should always have enough base load power for the “Public” residential users regardless of the worst case weather. But the Green Energy religion demands sacrifice of senior citizens and medically vulnerable persons so Jerry Brown can virtue signal when struts on the world stage. California needs to dump its Green Energy boondoggles and build coal and nuclear power plants which can properly supply California with abundant and ever cheaper electricity!

    Reply
  26. Because Kalifornya is run by psychopathic greentârds who want people to die (except them and their chosen ones, of course) in order to save Mother Gaia.

    Reply
  27. Yup. Kalifornya is becoming more and more like Venezuela each and every day. Too bad the state doesn’t have its own currency to hyperinflate away, or it would be worse.

    Reply
  28. Rates that reflect the marginal cost of generation do more to lower the cost of electricity than any other rate structure. However, rather than time of day, rates should be based of instantaneous load on the system. The marginal cost of generation is much lower on a relatively cool, cloudy day in the summer, and this should be reflected in rates.

    Reply
  29. Cooling and heating is one area where you don’t need battery storage. You just need thermal storage in the actual home.Have enough thermal mass in your room and cool it down while you have free”” solar power during the day. Then it’ll be cool for the night until the sun comes up. Thermal mass is simplicity itself: a water bed”” fish tank thick brick/concrete walls containers of wax that melt at 20 degrees or freeze water if you have a slightly more sophisticated system.Solar needs batteries for all sorts of applications”” but temperature control isn’t one of them.”””

    Reply
  30. Sure. Absolutely. CA should build a bunch of new generation nuclear power plants then maybe use solar and natural gas for power over baseline. But complain as much as you like that is not going to happen until after a decade or two of pain attempting to switch from nuclear/coal/gas to all renewables with repeated generation shortfalls and peak tier price increases and ending up building more natural gas generation to plug the gaps. Californian seniors will have to adapt or die in the meantime sorry.

    Reply
  31. Another name for Tier 3 pricing is gouging””! Electricity is like bread. If you eat more bread you should pay more for the extra slice but not more for each slice just because there is a “”””shortage of bread.”””” If California had a rational energy policy the Public Utilities should always have enough base load power for the “”””Public”””” residential users regardless of the worst case weather. But the Green Energy religion demands sacrifice of senior citizens and medically vulnerable persons so Jerry Brown can virtue signal when struts on the world stage. California needs to dump its Green Energy boondoggles and build coal and nuclear power plants which can properly supply California with abundant and ever cheaper electricity!”””

    Reply
  32. Because Kalifornya is run by psychopathic greentârds who want people to die (except them and their chosen ones of course) in order to save Mother Gaia.”

    Reply
  33. Yup. Kalifornya is becoming more and more like Venezuela each and every day.Too bad the state doesn’t have its own currency to hyperinflate away or it would be worse.

    Reply
  34. Rates that reflect the marginal cost of generation do more to lower the cost of electricity than any other rate structure. However rather than time of day rates should be based of instantaneous load on the system. The marginal cost of generation is much lower on a relatively cool cloudy day in the summer and this should be reflected in rates.

    Reply
  35. Total nonsense There is no evidence that seniors are “dying” from heat and in any case, just stay in a smaller house Americans consume 2x or 3x more energy than other countries as they waste a lot Waste less energy, stay in a reasonably sied house and you will be just fine

    Reply
  36. Just buy a smaller house or apartment and you will be just fine No need to have 4 bedrooms or 3 if you live with one family

    Reply
  37. Liar comment There is no evidence that going green means sacrificing people , quite the opposite, it is the polluters (coal producers) which cause thousands of deaths per year So you have all your “facts” reversed

    Reply
  38. Total nonsenseThere is no evidence that seniors are dying”” from heat and in any case”” just stay in a smaller house Americans consume 2x or 3x more energy than other countries as they waste a lot Waste less energy”” stay in a reasonably sied house and you will be just fine”””

    Reply
  39. Liar comment There is no evidence that going green means sacrificing people quite the opposite it is the polluters (coal producers) which cause thousands of deaths per year So you have all your facts”” reversed”””

    Reply
  40. But the rationing of rationale electricity production is what is causing the problem. We have the technology to adapt (assuming it’ll be as bad as the IPCC claims). Not allowing the technology to be used though is idiotic if not criminal.

    Reply
  41. But the rationing of rationale electricity production is what is causing the problem. We have the technology to adapt (assuming it’ll be as bad as the IPCC claims). Not allowing the technology to be used though is idiotic if not criminal.

    Reply
  42. If they can afford to have a heat storage system installed, then they could probably afford A/C at higher electricity rates anyway. I think the real solution is to stop making electricity more costly to produce by mandating/subsidizing renewables.

    Reply
  43. If they can afford to have a heat storage system installed then they could probably afford A/C at higher electricity rates anyway. I think the real solution is to stop making electricity more costly to produce by mandating/subsidizing renewables.

    Reply
  44. You didn’t mention that the tiered rates are ending this year and the future rates will be for the time of day only. There is also the CARE program that discounts the rate for the poor and if the person has medical issues they can get a similar discount with a doctor’s letter and a form. Note, for those that are still stressed by the bill with the the time of day rates in a heat wave, run your AC early in the morning to chill the house (or open the windows if the outside temperature is lower than your desire target temperature) then set the AC to only run at a higher temperature (which will hopefully only happen much later in the day.) Note, you should also insulate your house which PG&E will subsidize.

    Reply
  45. Ummm…. since the utilities have to buy expensive outside power and have to run peak plants which are more expensive than the base load generation then why shouldn’t that extra charge be passed on to those that use the power???? I thought you guys on the right understood market prices? 😉

    Reply
  46. You didn’t mention that the tiered rates are ending this year and the future rates will be for the time of day only. There is also the CARE program that discounts the rate for the poor and if the person has medical issues they can get a similar discount with a doctor’s letter and a form. Note for those that are still stressed by the bill with the the time of day rates in a heat wave run your AC early in the morning to chill the house (or open the windows if the outside temperature is lower than your desire target temperature) then set the AC to only run at a higher temperature (which will hopefully only happen much later in the day.) Note you should also insulate your house which PG&E will subsidize.

    Reply
  47. If the power distribution companies didn’t have any ‘ must buy ‘ legislation for solar, or didn’t have to pay artificially high feed-in tariffs for it, the price paid for solar would drop like a rock on sunny days, especially with low demand, and nobody would install it anymore. Nuclear, coal and gas can charge cars, and chill or heat water, at night, then meet normal demand all day and through the evening. Solar has to do the lot during a window either side of noon – so needing three times the capacity to do the same job – and then can’t do any of it on cloudy days, or much of it on short winter ones. Periodic scarcity is a recipe for price gouging.

    Reply
  48. Thermal mass is water or bricks or something. If they can’t afford one tonne of water then they should probably give up now. My local water supplier charges $2 per kiloliter.

    Reply
  49. Ummm…. since the utilities have to buy expensive outside power and have to run peak plants which are more expensive than the base load generation then why shouldn’t that extra charge be passed on to those that use the power???? I thought you guys on the right understood market prices? 😉

    Reply
  50. If the power distribution companies didn’t have any ‘ must buy ‘ legislation for solar or didn’t have to pay artificially high feed-in tariffs for it the price paid for solar would drop like a rock on sunny days especially with low demand and nobody would install it anymore.Nuclear coal and gas can charge cars and chill or heat water at night then meet normal demand all day and through the evening. Solar has to do the lot during a window either side of noon – so needing three times the capacity to do the same job – and then can’t do any of it on cloudy days or much of it on short winter ones. Periodic scarcity is a recipe for price gouging.

    Reply
  51. Thermal mass is water or bricks or something. If they can’t afford one tonne of water then they should probably give up now. My local water supplier charges $2 per kiloliter.

    Reply
  52. Why care? This isn’t a bad thing. Old Scrooge couch potatoes kicking-off. Old people with some sense (and hopefully some value to society) will live.

    Reply
  53. Why care? This isn’t a bad thing. Old Scrooge couch potatoes kicking-off. Old people with some sense (and hopefully some value to society) will live.

    Reply
  54. if they were actually market prices we’d agree. But they’re NOT market prices and ina situation where we do NOT have a market.

    Reply
  55. if they were actually market prices we’d agree. But they’re NOT market prices and ina situation where we do NOT have a market.

    Reply
  56. Dude – the question was “why do consumers tolerate it?” I wasn’t asking for clarification on the complex rate scheme involving severely choked supply in California. When the economy is built on “services” instead of export, then the economy consumes itself with things like property taxes, high electric rates, etc..

    Reply
  57. Dude – the question was why do consumers tolerate it?”” I wasn’t asking for clarification on the complex rate scheme involving severely choked supply in California. When the economy is built on “”””services”””” instead of export”” then the economy consumes itself with things like property taxes high electric rates”” etc..”””

    Reply
  58. Dude – the question was “why do consumers tolerate it?” I wasn’t asking for clarification on the complex rate scheme involving severely choked supply in California. When the economy is built on “services” instead of export, then the economy consumes itself with things like property taxes, high electric rates, etc..

    Reply
  59. Why care? This isn’t a bad thing. Old Scrooge couch potatoes kicking-off. Old people with some sense (and hopefully some value to society) will live.

    Reply
  60. If the power distribution companies didn’t have any ‘ must buy ‘ legislation for solar, or didn’t have to pay artificially high feed-in tariffs for it, the price paid for solar would drop like a rock on sunny days, especially with low demand, and nobody would install it anymore.
    Nuclear, coal and gas can charge cars, and chill or heat water, at night, then meet normal demand all day and through the evening. Solar has to do the lot during a window either side of noon – so needing three times the capacity to do the same job – and then can’t do any of it on cloudy days, or much of it on short winter ones. Periodic scarcity is a recipe for price gouging.

    Reply
  61. Thermal mass is water or bricks or something. If they can’t afford one tonne of water then they should probably give up now. My local water supplier charges $2 per kiloliter.

    Reply
  62. Ummm…. since the utilities have to buy expensive outside power and have to run peak plants which are more expensive than the base load generation then why shouldn’t that extra charge be passed on to those that use the power???? I thought you guys on the right understood market prices? 😉

    Reply
  63. You didn’t mention that the tiered rates are ending this year and the future rates will be for the time of day only. There is also the CARE program that discounts the rate for the poor and if the person has medical issues they can get a similar discount with a doctor’s letter and a form. Note, for those that are still stressed by the bill with the the time of day rates in a heat wave, run your AC early in the morning to chill the house (or open the windows if the outside temperature is lower than your desire target temperature) then set the AC to only run at a higher temperature (which will hopefully only happen much later in the day.) Note, you should also insulate your house which PG&E will subsidize.

    Reply
  64. If they can afford to have a heat storage system installed, then they could probably afford A/C at higher electricity rates anyway.

    I think the real solution is to stop making electricity more costly to produce by mandating/subsidizing renewables.

    Reply
  65. But the rationing of rationale electricity production is what is causing the problem. We have the technology to adapt (assuming it’ll be as bad as the IPCC claims). Not allowing the technology to be used though is idiotic if not criminal.

    Reply
  66. Total nonsense
    There is no evidence that seniors are “dying” from heat and in any case, just stay in a smaller house
    Americans consume 2x or 3x more energy than other countries as they waste a lot
    Waste less energy, stay in a reasonably sied house and you will be just fine

    Reply
  67. Liar comment
    There is no evidence that going green means sacrificing people , quite the opposite, it is the polluters (coal producers) which cause thousands of deaths per year
    So you have all your “facts” reversed

    Reply
  68. Cooling and heating is one area where you don’t need battery storage. You just need thermal storage in the actual home.

    Have enough thermal mass in your room and cool it down while you have “free” solar power during the day. Then it’ll be cool for the night until the sun comes up. Thermal mass is simplicity itself: a water bed, fish tank, thick brick/concrete walls, containers of wax that melt at 20 degrees, or freeze water if you have a slightly more sophisticated system.

    Solar needs batteries for all sorts of applications, but temperature control isn’t one of them.

    Reply
  69. Sure. Absolutely. CA should build a bunch of new generation nuclear power plants, then maybe use solar and natural gas for power over baseline.

    But complain as much as you like, that is not going to happen until after a decade or two of pain attempting to switch from nuclear/coal/gas to all renewables with repeated generation shortfalls and peak tier price increases and ending up building more natural gas generation to plug the gaps. Californian seniors will have to adapt or die in the meantime, sorry.

    Reply
  70. Another name for Tier 3 pricing is “gouging”! Electricity is like bread. If you eat more bread you should pay more for the extra slice but not more for each slice just because there is a “shortage of bread.” If California had a rational energy policy the Public Utilities should always have enough base load power for the “Public” residential users regardless of the worst case weather. But the Green Energy religion demands sacrifice of senior citizens and medically vulnerable persons so Jerry Brown can virtue signal when struts on the world stage.

    California needs to dump its Green Energy boondoggles and build coal and nuclear power plants which can properly supply California with abundant and ever cheaper electricity!

    Reply
  71. Rates that reflect the marginal cost of generation do more to lower the cost of electricity than any other rate structure. However, rather than time of day, rates should be based of instantaneous load on the system. The marginal cost of generation is much lower on a relatively cool, cloudy day in the summer, and this should be reflected in rates.

    Reply
  72. Why should you be forced to conserve electricity in the big future? Loads have gone down – lighting uses less with CF bulbs and even less with LED bulbs. You have one or two big loads in your house (AC/heatpump and he oven). What gives? Why would California, the richest state in the union, be content with this? Usually people on this site want a future where energy is plentiful – like launching a BFR per hour or traveling Mach 5. Then there are these envirowhackjobs that want to give back ground. AC is something you never give up once you’ve become accustomed to it.

    Reply
  73. Some more hints – most are common sense:

    If the utility offers a plan to average out your bills so you pay the same each month, take advantage of it to reduce the urge to ‘save money’ at the cost of your health during peak heat/peak cost.

    If you have a ‘time of day’ plan with high rates during peak heat hours, pre-cool your home before the peak hours to reduce the duration of peak indoor heat. But not too much – feeling the air getting warmer may be harder to tolerate than a constant moderately warm temperature. A thermostat with timers can make this easier, and you’ll be less tempted to turn the AC off if you’ve set it rationally.

    Avoid using appliances that generate los of heat – large screen TVs, ovens, washing machines. Use a smaller TV or listen to the radio or recorded music, defer cooking/baking and washing to off peak heat hours, etc.

    A fan uses a lot less energy than AC and can increase comfort by keeping air moving so humidity doesn’t build up next to your body.

    Reply
  74. Fair pricing, my foot. They have a monopoly, and they are exploiting it. The get electricity for less than 10 cents /kwh and they gouge us 55 cents/kwh if we use the AC. If it was a true open market, it would not be above 15 cents.

    Reply
  75. Battery storage is very expensive, as a power grid able to transfer more power longer distances, so a state must have back up on demand powerplants (hydro, nuclear, coal, gas) for when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. Having to pay for these power plants and wind and solar will always be more expensive than just paying for the on demand power plants as was done in the past. This increased cost must be paid for in increased electricity rates. Remember that price and cost are not the same thing. Prices can turn negative if a lot of electricity is dumped onto a spot market, the costs are never negative, and must be paid for by consumers. Or if they cannot pay (e.g. the elderly) then these people must suffer a reduced quality of life and even an earlier death.

    Reply
  76. Tier pricing is what most large consumers pay. Utilities have always want to use tier pricing for small consumers to push small consumers to reduce power consumption during high demand period. The reason for this is that peak power is very expensive for the utilities to generate or to buy.

    Reply
  77. It should be noted that even without tier pricing that just the cost of increase air conditioning will be a problem for seniors. Also tier pricing is fair pricing since during heat wave peak power cost a lot more than base load power. Without tier pricing frugal consumers would be subsidizing wasteful consumers. My suggestion for seniors is to do what I do. And that is to just cool the rooms you use. Close the doors on the others. And keep it as warm as you can tolerate.

    Reply
  78. Sounds like Thailand when I lived there as a kid. As “rich foreigners” we had a large home, servants, etc. but the electricity was so expensive we only ran the ACs at night, and only in our bedrooms.

    Reply
  79. It looks like there is little in the article that supports the conclusion that “Electricity pricing in California will cause old people to not use life saving air conditioning in heat waves” Is it a California- Bashing article?

    Reply
  80. What happened to solar power driving costs into the negative during the day? Sounds like PV payments would be cheaper than this, and considering the AC runs during the day that is when a PV system produces the most power. Of course, if their insulation isn’t very good nothing will fix that short of better insulation in their homes.

    Reply
  81. California is moving towards mandatory time of use rates, so you’ll be able to run your AC as much as you want at night…

    Maybe the market for ice storage AC systems like the Ice Bear will take off: https://www.ice-energy.com/technology/

    Makes ice at night when electricity is cheap, cool the house during the day when electricity is expensive.

    Reply

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