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Alexanepder Craghead

One minor correx, Brian, PGE was never a publicly owned utility. It and Pacificorp (the once PP&L / Northwestern Electric) both have long and deep roots as privately owned for-profit utilities.

Floam

I don't know about the DMV, but other vehicle-related things can be negotiated if the amount is high enough. If you rack up a LOT of tickets you can bundle them, decide not to contest any, and the city/state will negotiate a reduced total. This is how UPS and friends handle parking tickets.

Stephen

I thought maybe you were going to comment on the state of power plant architect...but no, you have to get into the whole energy debate.
Maybe you could use this post as a jumping point to talk about how we can incorporate energy production into our homes or businesses and show some good examples around town.
Also, I have a friend who wanted to put solar panels on her house in a historic district and was told she would have to go through design review. She has perfect southern exposure on the back of her house, which should have been good since you can do that in a historic district. However, since she is on a corner lot she was told that she has no "back of house" or something to that effect. So no solar panels for her. This is dumb.
I live in Alameda/Irvington and am waiting to see what happens with the proposed historic distric here. Put the solar panels on now folks.
Also, I tried to tap into all the deals for green energy loans and was denied because I don't make enough money, even though the cost would be another $100 per month or something.
Anyway, maybe you have some time to look into this.

Rob

I was going to say it's a shame we don't have a competing power company to choose from... but that would probably make matters worse because the vast majority of people would choose the cheaper option. Cheaper usually means dirtier.

Jeffg

I grew up in rural Central Oregon and we had an electrical Co-Op. I don't know how well this would work in urban areas, but there is something nice about being a "member" verses a "customer". If the membership is unhappy with how things are being run, they can always vote to replace the existing board of directors with a new one.

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One minor correx, Brian, PGE was never a publicly owned utility.I have a friend who wanted to put solar panels on her house in a historic district and was told she would have to go through design review. She has perfect southern exposure on the back of her house, which should have been good since you can do that in a historic district. However, since she is on a corner lot she was told that she has no "back of house" or something to that effect. So no solar panels for her. This is dumb.

Cad Tech

Here's my take on it. I have worked with most of the building jurisdictions (in the Portland Metro Area) over the years and there is always more than one way to go about it. They claim historic protection and all. In the end it is us the customer that decides. There are a lot of solar projects all over the city (even in historic districts). Having designed projects in the historic district(s), it comes down to how you approach the project.

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