Let’s say you move out of your parents’ home and set up your own place. You call up the Utility and they tell you what rate schedule you’re on. Although there might be one or two options, these are not negotiable.
On a regular basis, strangers decide what you’ll be paying per kilowatt. They invite you to comment at a public meeting about the proposed rate increases, but you never do.
The terms are: open the envelope and pay whatever they ask for last month’s use.
You agree to keep doing that for the rest of your life, plus 30 days, unless you stop using electricity sooner.
Over time, you trade power-hogging appliances for energy efficient ones, replace the incandescents with florescents and then LED’s, try to be more careful about unplugging where you can, turn down the A/C, and generally try to conserve, but the bill still goes up.
Why would anybody take that deal if they didn’t have to?
It’s the electricity debt-forever plan. And, it’s still the most common, if not all that popular.
You agreed to pay, and you pay. Pay every month for decades, with little to show for it.
Why is this “electricity debt-forever plan” the most common deal for obtaining electricity?
Do you pay for anything else that way?
Maybe water. Maybe for gas to heat the house. Even then, people dig wells or build cisterns, or have propane delivered, if it makes more sense.
You wouldn’t buy food that way. You’d shop around for food, and you’d have options.
When I left home, Pacific Bell was my only option for telephone (AT&T for “long-distance”). But, these days I can get those services from dozens of alternate providers–with many plans, each. I can even buy some of the equipment and own it outright, reducing my monthly payment to just the services.
There isn’t much you’d agree to buy, not knowing what the price would be, even if you used exactly the same amount as the month before.
The main reason the electricity-debt-forever plan is so common is that it used to be the only one available.
Look around the neighborhood. People are acquiring rooftop solar for a reason.
Until you opt out of the old deal with the Utility, and into a better, solar one, every payment you make (of variable and increasing amount) is for the use of something you needed last month, plus overhead, like water down the drain.
That money is not coming back. It won’t be supplying you with any benefits this month, or in the future. Not like a solar loan payment, or the savings you get from buying from a third-party rooftop-solar electric provider.
The sooner you “pick the Utility’s pocket” (stop buying their electricity) to make a purchase of solar, the sooner it will be paid off, and providing you years of electricity for free (or close to it). Even if you use a third-party rooftop solar provider, and don’t buy the equipment, you can start saving money every month, immediately, and put it to better use.
Young families, today, have grown up expecting to have rooftop solar on their first homes. They don’t need to wait.
Those of us who only had one “choice” for electricity should follow their example, and that of the early adopters. Early adopters actually paid more, to be solar beta-testers for us. They also shaped the solar electric market so that we have better options than they did (as well as better interest rates). Thank you, early adopters!
We have the best options to choose from, right now, today.