21 July 2008

More Crap from the Senator

I got this email from California's junior senator:
Dear Friend:

For most Californians, the term “long, hot summer” seems all too real right now. Records have been set for high temperatures, and now we are learning of possible power outages because of high electricity demands. These power outages can be avoided if we all act to reduce the use of electricity.

I’m happy to offer some solutions that all Californians can take to help us avoid power outages due to high demand, and that may also help to reduce your power bills. You can find some suggestions by clicking here or you can visit my Senate website for more tips about energy conservation and links to several sites including California’s "Flex Your Power" website and information about possible power outages. While we are all hoping for a cooler summer, it is time to prepare for hot days to come.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
So -- her tips are to turn off lights, run the dishwasher at night, etc. How effective are those tips compared to charging more for power? Not. Very. Seems that the Senator needs to have a chat with Lynne and friends about Smart Grids.

Bottom Line: Electricity rates, like water rates, should fluctuate with demand. When supplies are short, prices should rise. When they do, people will use less. ($4/gallon gas, anyone?)

4 comments:

Andrea said...

With all of these storms we keep losing power and finally decided to get an emergency generator. The hardware store was out of generators, so my husband searched and found one at mainpowerconnect.com we should now have the power needed when the next unexpected outage comes. The generator will keep the lights on, food cold and our air conditioning working. Hopefully the generator will also keep our sump pump working to protect the basement from flooding.

David Zetland said...

When government fails, people get generators and water tanks. Check out India...

TokyoTom said...

David, as Lynne noted your analysis on water is also applicable to electricty:

You: "The real problem is that the price of water in California, as in most of America, has virtually nothing to do with supply and demand. Although water is distributed by public and private monopolies that could easily charge high prices, municipalities and regulators set prices that are as low as possible. Underpriced water sends the wrong signal to the people using it: It tells them not to worry about how much they use."

The answer isn't simply to jack up prices, but to deregulate power markets so that consumers are offered a variety of pricing options that will then influence their choices in ways that ENHANCE consumer welfare. It will also spare us frequently hypocritical jawboning by wasteful energy users in high places.

David Zetland said...

TT -- this post discusses that solution for water.