Will you let the power company control your air conditioner?

In the news today we find that Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) is instituting a voluntary program (so far) that would allow TEP to control your air conditioner during periods of peak use. In this scheme, participants “will receive a new thermostat or upgrades to their current one and accompanying equipment to monitor and adjust their home’s temperature remotely” over the internet. “In exchange, participants will give the electric company authority to adjust the temperature of their home by up to 4 degrees.” During the trial period, customers will be notified in advance and have the option to override the remote manipulation.

This is part of Renewable Energy Standards (RES) mandated by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2006. That standard requires electric utilities to generate at least 15% of electricity from “renewable resources” by 2025. RES also requires a growing percentage of the total resource portfolio to come from distributed generation, i.e., residential or non-utility owned installations. The distributed energy requirement started at 5% of the total portfolio in 2007 and grew to 30% of the total renewable mix after this year.

The TEP program is part of a scheme called Demand Side Management and the so-called “smart grid,” another mandate by the Arizona Corporation Commission. A similar program is being instituted by Arizona Public Service in Phoenix. “Arizona’s public utilities will be required to achieve annual energy savings of at least 22%, measured in kWh, by 2020, with the savings to increase incrementally as a percent of retail energy sales in each prior calendar year to reach that goal.” “Energy savings” mean rationing electricity. And given that the air conditioners will be controlled over the internet, the system is vulnerable to attack by hackers who could wreak havoc with air conditioning systems in large buildings or in participating neighborhoods.

If you stay in the program through September, 2012, TEP is offering a $50 bribe for your participation in the brave new world.

And follow the money: Fannie Mae, the biggest U.S. mortgage finance company, holds Patent No. 6,904,336, for a “System and Method for Residential Emissions Trading,” which is the meter that would be attached to your house. Bloomberg reports this is a potential $22 billion dollar market. Maybe that’s why governments are creating a market to sell you something you don’t need.

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Related posts:

Arizona Corporation Commission May Ration Electricity

Smart Grid may ration electricity

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10 comments

  1. And the intrusion into our homes has begun…..
    Not by breaking down the door, but one finger at a time.  And, once they’re in, you’ll never be able to get them out since precedence has been set.
     
    We need to get Uncle Sam under control before we are controlled by Uncle Sam.

    1. … unlike cable – who has better access now.
       
      You do understand what the alternatives are … right? I doubt it. Your price for high use goes up non-linearly. I like that better. Instead of sneaking into your home to lower your thermostat a few degrees , they take your money.
       
      They are coming for ya J.

      1. Of course I understand the alternatives, don’t be so obtuse.
         
        The problem is the people who don’t understand the concept of conservation and you are correct, a non-linear scale based on usage is a better solution.  But sadly, that would be a logical solution that would only be perceived as “unfair” and “punishing” to those who chose not to be part of reducing their electric bill.  I can hear the bleeding hearts crying from here.

  2. Natural gas prices are actually based on demand, and there isn’t a way for consumers to know when the price is really high. Usually around February after a frost Southwest Gas will send out really high bills, and then justify it based on demand…
     
    now if there was a way to alter usage based on the price of the resource…

  3. Simply another means for the government and corporate America to hold us hostage to their whims and pick our pockets while they’re at it.  VOTE LIBERTARIAN!

    1. I dont use AC.
       
      By the way, you dont have a ‘right’ to ‘cheap’ AC. How are they ‘picking your pockets’ if the end result is to keep your power bill down?
       
      Easy solution – get rid of your AC.
       
       

      1.  Those who think cuts in electricity usage mean cheaper rates and lower bills are in for  sticker shock when their statements come out. Mandated renewable and energy conservation programs won’t  work, and will result in higher electric bills as utilities increase rates in order to recover higher cost and lost revenue.  Long-term  cutbacks in power availability mean  lower economic growth and fewer jobs, and lower standard of living for all.   Unfortunately, that appears to be where we are headed.  

      2. This just moderates load during peak use periods. This isnt about economic growth.
         
        The key problem in the long run is that the fuels used are competative across markets – agriculture, power, pharma, transportation – and inter-national etc. Unless and until that is decoupled, you can expect turbulence. One reason solar, tidal, geothermal and wind need serious consideration.
         
        Economies that allow their drivers to be controlled are themselves controlled – which is of course the point. It would be good in general not to allow that – that is good for the economy while being bad for those who would control the economy. (Think Koch brothers)
         

  4. This is not going to happen in NH…. NO WAY. This is more of the NWO, Agenda 21 Orwellian control they want over us.

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