I’ve totally had it with the hypocritical people out there who allegedly support free-marketism and consumer choice, and who then slam home solar and net metering and people with home solar as free loaders and anti-free-marketers.
So, here’s an open letter to the allegedly pro-free-market types who hypocritically stand up for the electric utility monopoly.
Dear Utility Monopoly Supporter, I’m tired of you accusing those of us with rooftop solar as being (liberal) freeloaders who are against the free-market. In fact, it is YOU who are anti-free market.
What I want, and what every “free-marketer”, including YOU, should want, is a break-up of the giant utility monopolies (isn’t monopoly and free-market an oxymoron?).
I don’t want a “free ride” for my solar system on the electric grid. I. Am. Not. A. Freeloader. I want to see the big guy, meaning the electric utility producer, SEPARATED COMPLETELY from the electric utility distribution network owner. Right now, the primary electricity producer ALSO owns the distribution network over which they send and sell their electricity.
This is a fundamental conflict of interest. The same guy who controls production, also controls distribution. And, NO, it’s not like any other vertically integrated business. In fact, utilities are UNLIKE any other vertically integrated business.
Because, while I have a choice over who I will buy my hamburger meat from, I have NO choice but to buy electricity from a single provider — or at least I did not have a choice until rooftop solar started to take off in the U.S.
Now that I have rooftop solar, I see things A LOT differently than before. I realize what a TOTAL UNFAIR SCAM utility monopolies are, and I see how they are trying to use their monopoly of PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION to try and quash the very thing that you, the self-professed free-marketers, support: Competiton for electricity production.
Contrary to your name-calling, I, and my fellow home solar rooftop bretheren are NOT freeloaders. I, and I am betting most of my fellow solar rooftop owners are with me, are not trying to get a free ride on the distribution network. I will pay A FAIR AMOUNT for my access to the grid. No problem!
I am NOT against the workers at utility companies, or paying them to do the important work they do.
I AM against an unfair monopoly. The break-up of this monopoly, by the way, would NOT entail a loss of jobs for these folks, though it would, of course, entail the breakup/breakdown of easy, fat-cat profits for monopolists who’ve never before had to face ANY competition, and who are whining now that they are FINALLY facing some competition.
To the pro Big Utiity “free market” hypocrites: What’s so great about the electric utility monopoly anyway? What’s in it for you? If it’s “lower prices for energy”, THEN MAKE THAT ARGUMENT, which is about efficiency, NOT ABOUT THE FREE MARKET, and stop mis-representing the true foundation of your argumentative frame.
Can you imagine Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, whining about actually having to face some competition?
Gimme a break!
I’m happy to pay a FAIR AMOUNT to send my exess home solar produced electricity to my neighbors (which, BTW, is far more energy efficient than sending electricity to them from tens, hundreds of miles away) with one caveat: Big Electricity Producer MUST BE COMPLETELY SEPARATED from Big Utility Distribution Network Operator. And, ideally, we would ALSO have more than one Distribution Network Operator.
Big Electricity Producer, rather than owning the distritubiton network, again, a CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST, would, like me, a small electricity producer, PAY the now SEPARATE ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION NETWORK OPERATOR to push electricity onto the grid.
New electricity producers would pop up (ideally renewable energy producers), and they would no longer have to ask Big Utility Monopoly for permission to produce that electricity. They, like I, and Big Utility Producer (who’s size would inevitably decline as it faced the competition it should have been facing from the very beginning) would pay Utility Distribution Network Operators to use the network, as would non-producers of electricity as well.
Seems pretty fair, competition inspiring, and FREE-MARKET to me — much more free-market than the electric utility monopoly we now have, doesn’t it?
P.S. — To the pro Big Utiity “free market” hypocrites: What’s so great about the electric utility monopoly anyway? What’s in it for you? If it’s “lower prices for energy”, THEN MAKE THAT ARGUMENT, which is about efficiency, NOT ABOUT THE FREE MARKET, and stop mis-representing the true foundation of your argumentative frame.
I can take you on that one too, but I won’t do it now — see you in the comment streams below online articles about solar, utilities, and net-metering 😉