Saturday, May 28, 2022 |
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• Cars a waste of energy • KIUC’s
mission failure • iVacation •
Cars a waste of energy
Mr. Mann is certainly a dreamer. So was Henry Ford, who made cars cheap in an era of cheap energy. I grew up with them, they were essential to life in the California suburbs.
I have built and dismantled more cars than I can recall. Mr. Mickens and I am sure many other people believe that automobiles are here to stay and all we really need are more roads to support them and possibly alternate fuels to power them once oil becomes scarce.
But cars in all forms are incredible wasters of energy and energy is getting precious.
There is not enough square footage on the entire island to support a fleet of thousands of electric cars plus homes and businesses with photovoltaic panels, wind energy, and biofuels.
Nuclear is a non-starter here though I respect Ms. Georgi taking a stand on that. We will have some cars running around on biofuels or electricity, and we will have an efficient mass transit system capable of moving “the masses,” as Mr. Mickens likes to say, to and from work, probably electric/biofuel hybrid busses.
I prefer to alternate between driving, busing and bicycling, and I think many others would like the opportunity to choose from alternatives as well.
Keep a car for parades, family trips to Koke‘e and to bring home that big whatever from Costco. But using it everyday to get to work?
In a few years that is going to seem like an extravagant thing to do.
Kurt Rutter, Kapa‘a
KIUC’s mission failure
On its website, KIUC states its primary mission is to “provide reliable power safely that is fairly and competitively priced”.
Well I for one feel that KIUC has failed badly to deliver on the “competitively priced” aspect. We on Kaua‘i have the highest electric rates in the nation — paying four times the national average retail price for electricity.
Part of reason for that is KIUC’s management has done a poor job of cost control. An example I’d like to discuss is the over-paying for purchased power.
First let me state that I am 100 percent in favor of moving away from using fossil fuels for power generation in favor of renewable sources like solar power. I put my money where my mouth is by recently installing a rooftop photovoltaic system. My power consumption had been right in line with Kaua‘i’s average of about 600 kilowatt hours monthly.
I am “grid connected” so that at night I purchase power from KIUC at the full retail rate of above 40 cents per kilowatt hour. When the sun shines I generate more power than I use and “sell” power to KIUC receiving about 20 cents per kilowatt hour under their “Schedule Q” tariff.
I turned to solar power not to “save the planet” (although that’s not a bad idea) but to save money in what I believe is a great investment that can return better than 20 percent on my investment after taking into consideration the substantial federal and state tax benefits.
Now here is where my issue with KIUC comes up. If I think solar power is a great investment, so apparently does Alexander & Baldwin. They are proposing to build a six-million-watt facility at Port Allen (as compared to my 2,400-watt home system) and sell electricity to KIUC for the same 20 cents I’m being paid.
That purchased power cost to KIUC gets passed right along to us “members” (ratepayers). I think 20 cents is way too much for KIUC to pay. If little old me can put in a solar system for about seven dollars a watt, A & B should be able to do it for more like four bucks a watt.
At a 20 cent price, A & B reaps a huge windfall, and KIUC customers get hosed. I believe 12-15 cents per kilowatt hour is a much more appropriate price.
I intend to take my views to the Hawai‘i Consumer Advocate and to the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission.
Allan Rachap, Koloa
Mr. James “Kimo” Rosen of Kapa‘a hit the nail on the head regarding people and vacations.
IPods, Blackberries, etc. on a vacation? I thought you were supposed to get away to have fun or relax doing other things away from the cyberworld we seem to be locked in.
Are you controlling your life or is cyberspace?
These devices have their good points but lift your head up and look around. There is a whole beautiful world past that little screen. Especially on Kaua‘i.
Harold Hargrave, Culver City, Calif.
For the benefit of those, who like Mr. Rosen and me, feel vacations should be cyber-free, I point out civilian cell phones don’t work at Koke‘e.
John Plews, Honolulu
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