Southern California Edison Monopoly

October 20th, 2016

          I recently closed the Edison electricity account at my former residence. It has solar energy panels that produce electricity which supplements  my energy needs. When the panels produced energy in excess of those needs the excess was fed into the Edison grid. Each year Edison sent a bill for the amount of electricity used in excess of the amount produced by the solar panels. That annual amount, usually less than $500, represented my total Edison energy and delivery cost for the year (government taxes were billed separately each month).

          Since the residence was vacant for several months before the Edison account was closed, the solar panels produced more energy than was used during that period. The final Edison bill showed the panels had produced 415 kWh surplus energy and the value totalled $355.07 that was owed me – had the account remained open.

          The closing Edison bill reflected a dollar credit of $62.03. Not the $355.07 credit shown in the statement – just $62.03.  In conversations with Edison staff I was advised that Edison only purchases user-generated power at the wholesale rate. I then asked about transferring the energy credit to my current Edison account but was advised that would not be allowed. My reaction to this situation is that a customer rip-off situation exists with respect to those who have solar energy panels. It certainly makes the case that customers should not install more solar panels than needed for their energy use needs.

          As for Edison and their energy markup monopoly privileges, it appears the public utility is delivering energy they purchase or produce to customers after a 570% markup. That, in my opinion, amounts to an absolute rip-off.

Posted by: Bond Shands
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