I appreciated Mr. Mays’ March 10 column about electrification and its importance, and wanted to add my thoughts about its affordability.

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(3) comments


Any argument that electrification is cost-effective should be discounted immediately - because its just patently false. Go ahead and stand on your soap box - but dont lie.

Terence Y

Unfortunately, Ms. Chou, your letter doesn’t provide evidence of affordability nor electrification being a smart, cost-effective decision. You talk about a “payback period” but you don’t provide a number, or a range, for what the upfront cost is. You say people would save about $330 a year on their electric bill – but those are at current rates. What will happen when everyone has no choice but to rely on electricity (conveniently ignoring the fact half of our electricity for the past 20 years is provided by gas-fired power plants)? Not very cost-effective as I’m betting costs will go up (perhaps significantly) and your current savings estimate will go down (perhaps to zero or negative). You talk about rebates, but who is paying for those rebates? I’m betting many folks who can’t afford the upfront cost (lower and middle income folks) yet there are forced to subsidize the “rich” - not cost effective for them. And it doesn’t appear to be very smart to deal with the inconvenience of “smart panels” when we can leave things as-is. After all, isn’t life supposed to become less inconvenient?

Meanwhile, another paper reported that Los Altos is a ghost town because they were in the second day of a predicted five-day power outage. The manager of the Los Altos Grill was kind enough of hook up a generator so that residents could eat a hot dinner and spend an evening with warmth and light. I’d recommend folks thinking about an all-electrification conversion budget funds to install an emergency generator, for those inevitable and likely more frequent power outages our area will encounter. Maybe not affordable or cost-effective, but smart...

Dirk van Ulden

Wendy - you sure know how to mix apples and oranges. Going from a gas fired water heater to a heat pump device does not save on electricity. You are throwing statistics around as in pipe dreams. I don't think even the most committed electrification fan will exclaim that one will save on cost when making these conversions. Their purpose is to save the planet which they believe can be done by restricting our comfort instead of pursuing difficult decisions such as demanding that China and India clean up their acts. It is far easier to manipulate our gullible population.

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