Re: So go hybrid
True, but I wonder what would be politically undesireable about clean (as in non-carbon) energy being unmetred - everyone gets the same standing charge and you just use as much or as little as you like. Sort of how water used to be before the drive for meters?
If energy was free, use would go up - particularly heating and lighting use. Lights because its more convenient to leave them on in a lot of situations, and heating because its easier to open a window. More people would heat their properties 24/7, and there would be no incentive to buy economical appliances. A unit rate is hugely important in constraining demand, and since we aren't going to have a surplus of renewable power year round any time in the next couple of decades, it won't be going away. One of the intentions of consumer smart meters is to enable more complicated pricing structures to be "offered" to the public, with the intention of forcing down demand, and a big part of that is around increasing the unit rate at times of high system utilisation.
And politically speaking, you'd find problems charging the same flat rate standing charge to a little old lady who lives alone, and a large, wealthy family who use ten times as much power. How would you scale that standing charge if they lived in similar houses?