Those Windfall CFL Programs

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on May 7, 2008

Martin Watcher, the marvelous mysterious blogger in Maryland, does the math today on the Public Service Commission's compact fluorescent light bulb program. The upshot is that the major utilities, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Allegany Power, have reaped nearly $1 million per month from the program thanks to surcharges on their customers' bills. From O'Malley Watch:

I need you to follow me on some math. 

Average BGE monthly energy usage: 1386 kWh
Charge per 1000 kWh for light bulb program: $.67
Monthly Charge per customer: 1.386*.67 = $.92
Number of BGE customers: 1.2 million
Monthly income on program for BGE: 1.2 million * .92 = $1,114,316
Number of light bulbs sold per month: 1 million/ 9 months = 111,111 CFLs
Cost of each CFL rebate for BGE = $1.50
Cost per month of the program: 111,111 * $1.50 = $166,666
Overcharge by BGE each month: $1,114,316 – $166,666 = $947,649
Total overcharge of BGE customers: $947649 * 9 months = $8.5 million

That’s right, Martin O’Malley’s handpicked PSC has overcharged BGE customers $8.5 million over the last 9 months because they are pushed this forced participation in a light bulb scam that folks might not even get the rewards of. Western Maryland residents at least got light bulbs out of the deal, but unless someone goes and buys a light bulb, they don’t get anything out of this program. And each month the PSC allows this program to continue unchecked, BGE brings in almost $950,000 more from ratepayers.

Read the whole post if you're at that outrage point in your day.

Hat tip: Mark Newgent.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: