by John Hawkins | January 17, 2008 11:19 am
Cue the Darth Vader theme as the all-powerful state reaches further and further into people’s lives in California,
Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages.
The proposed rules are contained in a document circulated by the California Energy Commission, which for more than three decades has set state energy efficiency standards for home appliances, like water heaters, air conditioners and refrigerators.
The changes would allow utilities to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override the utilities’ suggested temperatures. But in emergencies, the utilities could override customers’ wishes.
Final approval is expected next month.
“You realize there are times – very rarely, once every few years – when you would be subject to a rotating outage and everything would crash including your computer and traffic lights, and you don’t want to do that,” said Arthur Rosenfeld, a member of the energy commission.
Reducing individual customers’ electrical use – if necessary, involuntarily – could avoid that, Rosenfeld said. “If you can control rotating outages by letting everyone in the state share the pain,” he said, “there’s a lot less pain to go around.”
This is a totalitarian program, right out of 1984 and anybody, Republican or Democrat, who supports something like this is too googly-eyed mad with the desire to control their fellow citizens to be trusted with a position in government.
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