"[WASHINGTON] Millions of households across America are taking a first step
into the world of the "smart grid," as their power companies install meters
that can tell them how much electricity they are using hour by hour - and
sometimes, appliance by appliance. But not everyone is happy about it."
Seems to me to be similar to the mystery pricing adopted by the big
oil companies. No one has any really clear reason why gas prices go up
20 cents or more in one day and down 10 cents the next. The oil
companies say the prices are set by traders in the market (who don't
even own the product). Another case of pointing the finger at the
phantom world of financial derivatives?
I see a way for the government to control you through taxing your
energy usage based on the time of day. Or, law enforcement seeing
your power usage and deciding that you must be doing something
illegal like growing pot in your basement. It's all about control,
I knew it when BeeHO started yapping about smart grid technology.
Control the energy supply, control access to health care, control
the flow of information (kill conservative talk radio) which will
lead to control of the citizenry which will turn them into subjects.
Hell people, just give up now!
The article is from the New York Times. If you mean these comments, he can't
be a Fox viewer because Fox does not counsel 'giving up.' In fact the
network's motto is "Never give up! Never surrender!"
I stayed up one night and saw their "sign-off." It went something like this
"Just there the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts
with icy fingers. Knowing full well the horrors they faced at the hands of
300, they stare now across the plains at TEN THOUSAND Spartans commanding
THIRTY THOUSAND free Greeks! Today we rescue a world from mysticism and
tyranny and usher in future brighter than anything we can imagine!"
Or maybe it was the end of a DVD.
Hmm, might it be that the new meters aren't measuring the load in
the same way as the meters they're replacing?
I suppose I wouldn't mind a meter with an RS232 or (spit!) a USB port on
it, so *I* could query consumption at any time...
Not so much "control", just a blatant method of raising the prices while
saying it is your fault it costs so much. Get used to doing your laundry and
cooking after midnight, that is when the rates you have now will kick in,
while the daytime and evening rates will skyrocket. We have these meters
here but the local utility hasn't started billing according to time of day.
Polititians all claimed we would save money, just like they did when they
implented "free market" to the natural gas heating. It all costs much more
than one could ever imagine. My electric bill is now approaching $500.00 per
month, where only a few years ago we had the lowest electric rates on the
continent. And that is before they implement the time of day billing.
I'm pretty sure ours is a flat hourly rate, no matter what time of day -
but the rate *does* change after n kWh on each bill. We've got the dryer,
water heater and the baseboards all on an off-peak tariff, so those are
pretty cheap no matter when they use them - but they're a bit
unpredicatable as to when they work...
Ouch. I don't think ours ever goes above $200, and that's with all the
electric baseboards (family of 5, couple of computers running 24x7,
electric stove - plus a fridge/freezer that's over 30 years old and
probably inefficient as hell...)
Sorry, I didn't explain myself well. What I would really like to see
is about 150 new nuclear power plants built in the U.S. But that's not
going to happen, so we are going to see some kind of rationing soon.
Given that, I would rather see coupon-rationing rather than price
rationing since price-rationing only applies to the middle class.
If the price of power goes up astronomically, the "middle-class" will DEMAND
nuclear power plants. With your coupon scheme, a whole new regulatory body
will spring up to administer the coupons. There'll have to be exceptions
(like for iron lungs and exigent circumstances, agencies of government,
hospital, charitable, religious, and eleemosynary institutions), there'll be
counterfeiting and black-market enterprises, accounting gimmicks, and so on.
No, rationing by price is the only method that's been proven to work.
We've been doing that for a long time...sign up for the plan, receive a
monthly discount for limiting up to 15 minutes use of the AC and water
heater during peak times. Elec. power supply goofy enough here in FL
that one does not want to risk MORE outages than needed. Our power
blinks off for a second or two often enough to be truly
irritating...interval is about how long it takes me to get around to
resetting the clocks on ALL of my labor-saving devices :o)
Oh, well, I guess they "think" they have a solution to that problem:
Not only the power grid is supposed to "go smart", but also the
appliances connected to it. So, prepare your washing machine,
dishwasher or whatever, and have it start up automatically,
grid-controlled, when rates are the low - probably even automatically
when rates have fallen below a threshold you have set yourself.
In practice - well, I wouldn't really want my washing machine to
automatically go off at 3 am when I'm trying to sleep a few rooms down
the hallway, just because electricity may be cheapest at 3 am...
I think it's better to have the power usage spread out. Imagine what
would happen if all the laundry equipment in a community kicked on at
3:00am. Guys I know who work for the city water department tell me
that when something like The Super Bowl or big college game is being
broadcast, they can tell when the commercials come on because there
will be a drop in water pressure.
Right, special off-peak rates have been available here in Germany for
ages too. I used such a plan in my previous flat as well, where a
storage heater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_heater) was
"charged" with heat during the night, which it was supposed to pass on
to the air in the room during the day. Such storage heaters are
switched on, via the power grid, remotely by the utility company.
Generally, they guarantee that they willdeliver a certain number of
off-peak power hours per night, but don't tell exactly when the
off-peak power kicks in, so they have more freedom with their load
situation. I remember that slight "click" sound at different times,
when the storage heater was remotely turned on.
Nothing bad about that actually, as it allowed for the utility
companies to get rid of their excess capacities at night, and for the
owner of a storage heater to get (relatively) cheap electronic heat.
What would be possible under the umbrella term of "smart grid" goes so
much further than this, however, that I'm not sure if I'd really like
to see things go that extra mile. What we could see now are really
constantly changing, unpredictable prices - just like gas prices. Not
completely impossible (though requiring more new technology than just
a smart meter) would even be scenarios where more money gets charged
for certain kinds of devices. Probably I'm just being a bit
pessimistic here, but if it can be done (and if someone can make more
money with it), it probably will be done.
Let me add that Germany originally decided to shut down all of its
nuclear power plants by 2021 - without having a definitive answer
where our electricity is supposed to come from then. Our new
government (in office since the end of October) revised this decision
a little bit and plans to keep at least some of the nuclear power
plants in service for longer, but there are still no plans to build
new ones, even though they would actually be safer and more efficient.
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