Bigger Electricity

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It’s interesting that the same voices which once keened in feigned outrage about the supposed chokehold applied by “Big Oil” to the prostrate American consumer are silent about its replacement:

Bigger Electricity.

Their silence about this being proof that their outrage was feigned.

It is difficult to conceive of anything more centralized and consolidated – morebig– than the grid. Of which there are just a few regional ones –  including Eastern, Western and Texas – controlled by a handful of state-permitted utilities that will have – that already have – the ability to meter the power we’re permitted to have and the power to charge us what they determine to be a “fair” price for it.

Adjustable at their whim – both in terms of price and availability.

That which can be turned on can be turned off.

Or turned down.

When demand becomes too high, the utilities can (and do) decrease supply. Or raise the cost, which achieves the same.

There is no  – as in zero – free market for electricity.

It is a wholly state-corporate “partnership,” the actual thing the keeners accused “Big Oil” of being, which it never was.

With electricity, you get what’s provided, according to the terms and conditions of the single-source provider (the utility which “serves” your area) and you pay whatever it says you will pay. If you don’t pay what they say you’ll pay, there is no option to pay less.

You can stop patronizing the extortionate Exxon station down the road – in favor of the more reasonable Speedway a couple of blocks farther down the same road.

There is competition.

There are alternatives.

You cannot seek better/cheaper electricity service.

You are plugged in – like Neo, within his Matrix.

Without alternatives.

Big Electricity is much more amenable to centralization than Big Oil, for several physical reasons – chief among them being that the mechanism of distribution is necessarily centralized.

Electricity is generated at a utility plant, then transmitted via a network of cables and substations and so on to each individual user (residential and commercial). All connected to the same source of generating capacity, over which you have no control – and no thus, no alternative.

In many areas, you haven’t even got the option to disconnect from the grid. Local codes require you to keep a meter hooked up.

Which keeps their hooks, in you.

Gasoline and diesel are refined at centralized facilities, too. But their distribution is decentralized. Tanker trucks bring the energy to wherever there is demand – at a price the market will bear.

You do not have to buy “gas” from one provider, as you do electricity. There is choice and so, competition – which imposes at least some restraint upon what each distributor/retailer can charge as well as an impetus to provide the energy for less rather than more than the

. . . competition.

Gas is also physical – and fungible – in a way that electricity isn’t. Once you buy a tank of gas, it is yours in the same way that the car, itself, is yours. Electricity is more intangible. It can be stored, like gas – but in a less fungible way. You cannot easily “pour” the kilowatt-hour equivalent of five gallons of gas from a “jug” in your shed to your discharged electric car – which cannot be recharged, right now because the utility decided to meter the power to lesser on account of “peak demand.”

Or perhaps to nil – for not being sufficiently socially obedient.

No Vax? No charge!

Keep in mind who runs Electric Bartertown – where there is just one “Masterblaster.”

Well, there’s solar (How to be a Solar Advocate), right?

I will be able to charge my electric car that way – and be free of the control grid!

This is a fatuity – based on incomprehension of the electrical needs of electric cars, which require voltages (think of this in terms of pressure) comparable to the water pressure needed to keep the water flowing in a whole neighborhood of homes – which requires large diameter piping from the water source to handle the necessary volume of water. A solar array capable of generating the kind of voltage necessary to keep an EV charged up – let alone “fast” charged up – would require an “investment” in “infrastructure” comparable to the cost of the EV, itself.

And even then, it’s only physically feasible if you have the necessary square footage to spread out your array, to catch the necessary rays. Apartment-dwellers will not have this option, even assuming they had the dollars. Most single family subdivision homes haven’t got the necessary real estate to catch sufficient rays, either.

That means most people will be tied – either physically or financially and in most cases, both – to Big Electric. And to Big Government, which controls Big Electric.

Who will both control you.

Isn’t it interesting that the same keeners who wailed about the control supposedly wielded by ExxonMobil, et al seem to be unconcerned about the total control soon to be actually wielded by Joe Biden, et al?

Which there won’t be any alternative to – as in places like Russia and China where energy distribution is a state-run enterprise and you get exactly what you’re told you’ll pay for.

If you even get that.

. . .

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50 COMMENTS

  1. The first solar powered electric chair is on its way…..Start lining up those(fully vaxxxxed)globalist/elitist criminals now—-

  2. Luckily, for now anyway, centralization of generation is starting to wane. Industry experts predict that generation in the future will be from small micro-grids that trade their excesses on the larger grid in a similar manner as is done now. Thanks to new DC over-grids that will be built, we can even trade worldwide, not just countries with the same frequency (which is basically nobody except Canada and Western Japan). Even if the grid is cut from an area, they still have generation capacity for themselves. If this keeps up, this problem should resolve itself. Notice I said if, sometimes these types of decentralization projects have a strange way of quietly fading out or becoming illegal. Nonetheless, we have still come a long way from centralized, fully vertically integrated utilities. Most utilities have been relegated to paper shuffler status, buying power from market traders and reselling it to us.

  3. GM is shipping its first electric Hummers, according to an article in Zerohedge.

    The comments are scathing. I liked this one from ‘Confucius’, which reminded me of an old joke about two kinds of women (those you pay to stay, and those you pay to stay away):

    ‘There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.’

  4. I have a small solar system with battery backup that I installed a couple of years ago – mainly wanted to keep fridge and a few lights going during blackouts. It turned out to be a good decision, because here in the middle of silicon valley, I’ve now had this system provide power for almost 50 hours of outage over two years. Our electric grid is turning to junk, and the powers that be are making it worse.

    So, because I have a solar array, in the summer, I hardly buy any power from the grid, so our utility regulator is now considering charging a “self generation fee” for people like me, which is based on the nominal size of the array, not its effective output, and in my case, it means I have to pay $32/month because I don’t use power from the grid.

    Imagine a world where competition existed. I could switch to someone less insane! But now, we can’t have that, oh the chaos competition would create.

    • how can someone charge you for doing something outside their control?

      that’s like me neighbor charging me for mowing my own grass instead of paying him.

      only through the power of govt monopoly can such an idea exist.

      • The state does whatever it wants to. For example, if you collect rainwater here, you have to put a meter on the tank and pay for its use as well. Our rainy season is in the winter, so some people collect water for when it’s in short supply in the summer, and they’ve got to pay to use it.

  5. I read of a guy who built a good sized house and a mother-in-law cottage, off grid in an area far from any electric company, so hooking up is not even an option. He wanted to have enough electric on hand to not have to do what most off grid people have to do to get by with what they have. Most do many different things to conserve. He didn’t want to do that.

    Basically have it like he was hooked up to a normal electric company and live like a normal person.

    So that meant a pretty big solar system, a large battery farm (and a little building to keep that in) and a diesel generator for backup. All told over 100k. He spends a lot of time keeping it all going too. Most solar systems aren’t designed for a “normal” like operation, so he has to fiddle with it all the time. But he has a normal amount of power, but it costs him. More than most folks will be able to afford.

    • Don’t know if they still do so, but engineers drew them up as the primary cooling systems in even large buildings in semi arid and arid climates, Arizona, Southern California, New Mexico, Utah, etc. 20+ years ago, when I got out of the construction trade. The problem of course is they need a constant supply of water, which isn’t exactly a guaranteed thing in such climates.

  6. Solar- “This is a fatuity – based on incomprehension of the electrical needs of electric cars, which require voltages (think of this in terms of pressure) comparable to the water pressure needed to keep the water flowing in a whole neighborhood of homes…”

    If you’re speaking about grid electricity, then yes, few are wired for 480V service. But one can easily set up a, say, 600V photovoltaic array, and the electrical equipment required for conversion to 480V AC. Theoretically, a more efficient system would just use a regulated solar array to charge the electric car with DC electricity.

    The volume of solar electrical power necessary to make a solar Tesla “supercharger” would indeed be ridiculous. Even the smallest version (72kW) would require about $45k in solar panels and a field’s worth of space (~1/10 acre).

    The ~10kW array necessary for the 240V charger is more feasible, which Tesla says gives you about 25 miles/hr charge. That still would cost about $6k for the solar panels alone, but the real estate is manageable (~550 sq ft).

    But this is all talk about Teslas. For a more reasonable solution, I’d go with something like that $4.5k Chinese job featured a little while back. Make a S10 truck version of that, and that’s the ticket if you want a nice little off-grid electric vehicle.

  7. ERCOT in Texas is controlled by Oncor. Google for who owns Oncor, and you will begin to see why the double standard exists for electricity vs. oil.

    • Isn’t that special. Texas Governor Abbott is one ice storm away from his ass being handed to him by a lib if he gets the nomination. He should have exposed and dissaciated himself and the Texas government from this crap.

      • I don’t think that defeating Abbott will be as easy as one ice storm. Robert Francis O’Rourke is a Buffoon — note the capital ‘B’. The Texas Democratic party doesn’t seem to take the office seriously, and O’Rourke is the latest in a series of almost joke candidates.

        But, yes, if he loses, Abbott brought it on himself. Due to the double holiday weekend when the ice storm hit, no one at any level of government was on the job after noon the Thursday before.

  8. Before Obama declared that electricity prices would necessarily triple, my basic rate to have electricity hooked up to consume the stuff was eight dollars per month. It is now 50 dollars per month to have electricity fed to your premises. Obama has me paying through the nose just to receive a monthly statement. What you call a swindle, extortion, malfeasance.

    Former President Obama is a very compassionate human being who does care and is concerned for your welfare.

    600,000 homeless Americans will agree. They don’t need no ‘lectricity.

    Just buy a 40 lb propane tank and a propane burner, keep it in your kitchen. Be plenty safe.

    You’ll be cookin’ with gas then.

    Before natural gas lines distributed NG to each residence, there were four-foot tall propane bottles outside next to your house with flexible copper line with gas fittings leading to the propane burning stove top and oven in the kitchen. In the basement was a coal bin and an octopus coal-burning furnace with a bonnet and hot air ducting to each room in the house. You weren’t even connected to the grid, distribution was done by deliveries.

    Three ton of coal in the coal bin, you were going to be ok for the winter, the coal was right there, didn’t need electricity to keep the furnace in operation, feed the burner coal, take out the ashes and clinkers. Was a fun chore to do and you made sure you stayed warm, safe and sound, no threat to your well-being then.

    How it got done way back when before natural gas became the fuel of choice.

    Of course, I remember the console radio in the living room before television got here.

    If the electricity went out, you could use a candle at night, but you still had heat and a propane stove. You could still stay warm and out of danger.

    • Hey drumphis!
      You just described my grandparents house perfectly. When I was a little kiddo I loved when the coal truck came to fill the bin; probably breathing the dust wasn’t the greatest but what did I know. When my grandfather died my grandma really wasn’t strong enough to shovel coal so she had a gas furnace installed in its place.
      Great memories.

  9. I live in a blue state just above communist California. It wont be long before the same rolling blackouts will be applied to Washington as in California. I am contemplating installing a natural gas 100amp generator for that day but it will be just a stop gap in the road to serfdom.

    • Ever think about building a private island in international waters? I would if I had the money. No government to worry about. Then again, one might get caught up in manifest destiny, then you’re back to square one, plus the government gets a free island from you.

      • That works until someone with big guns decides they want it. Government/Cartel (is there a difference?…) moves in and simply takes it. Sure, if you have billions you could have merc’s and defenses. But not enough to keep from being droned, or over run.

  10. Electric power is the one thing that most of us simply cannot live without. From keeping our food from spoiling, to cooking it. Most of us do not have, as Eric says, sufficient area, or finances to become grid independent. Unless you have a land line, which supplies its own power, you can’t communicate without it. Who knew the TVA was an agent of the Psychopaths In Charge?
    If your smart meter turns off your power, learn how to bypass it, and get your power free. It does involve risk, as you will be dealing with hot power in an exposed condition. And of course the risk of armed goons showing up to threaten your life if you don’t cut it out.

    • They’ll figure your scheme out FAR quicker than you think. “Somehow the ammeter for this bus/feeder is reading higher than what our smart-meter data is showing. Hmm… Let’s check the individual meters out on the computer. Huh, this house is reporting that it is drawing half as much kWh as it historically has, let’s send a guy out to check inside the meter. Okay, the tamper-seal appears to be broken, and there’s wires bridging the two sides of the meter socket. He’s clearly stealing power! Let’s back-bill him for all the power he stole and then prosecute him.” You will either get burned electrically (most people are too dumb to do hot work safely), or burned legally. Keep a generator or other backup source if you are worried about the meter shutting you off. Besides, if you are really persistent, they will just pull your transformer cutout fuse. Good luck attempting to circumvent that and living to tell the tale!

  11. Worked on many an apartment complex’s emergency generator and nat gas was the dominant fuel,guess life and safety now takes a back seat to GREEN concerns!

  12. ‘[The grid] is a wholly state-corporate “partnership,” the actual thing the keeners accused “Big Oil” of being.’ — eric

    Now it’s not just your vehicles, but also your damned kitchen they want to take over:

    ‘Berkeley is now among cities drafting blueprints to cap off the gas lines even on existing homes and businesses. Ithaca, N.Y., last month passed just such an ordinance.

    ‘In New York City, which accounts for 5% of the gas burned in buildings nationwide, a ban passed by the City Council on Wednesday is expected to be signed by the mayor. Twenty cities in Massachusetts are pursuing bans.

    ‘A gas industry counteroffensive, meanwhile, has pushed 19 fossil-fuel-friendly states to prohibit any local bans. Champions of those state laws often invoke California as the progressive boogeyman.’

    ‘Even some of the most progressive West Coasters bristle at the thought of giving up cooking with fire.’

    https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-12-16/clash-of-the-kitchens-california-leads-the-way-in-a-new-climate-battleground

    As the article goes on to detail, now the Californicators are swaddling kitchens in plastic sheeting to demonstrate — scientifically! — that gas stoves unleash deadly pollutants (carbon dioxide and water vapor) into your home.

    GAHHHH! I’m about a week away from replacing my electric stove with a gas stove which — among other valuable features — works just fine when the grid goes down.

    They’ll tear muh gas stove outta muh cold, dead hands … we don’t dial 911.

    • And the unsurprising conclusion:

      ‘It calls to mind the early days of electric cars, when embrace of Tesla roadsters by early adopters who could otherwise afford the finest combustion-engine Porsche or Mercedes sparked a shift in consumer opinion.

      ‘The success [sic] of the California-driven movement to start shutting the natural gas spigots could hinge on whether the same shift plays out in the kitchen.’

      Pure fantasy … WHAT ‘shift in consumer opinion’?

      Electrons good, hydrocarbons B-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-D-D-D!

    • Your range top will work, though you will have to light it with a a lighter or a match, but your oven may not. Mine’s 20+ years old, and has a glow wire igniter for the oven burner. The gas control valve will not feed fuel to the oven burner unless that glow wire is hot, which is powered by electricity.

      • Thanks; probably true of mine as well. Access to burners is the main priority — to at least enjoy a hot drink while freezing in the dark.

      • What if you hold the glow wire up to the match/lighter for a while? Or is the glow wire inaccessible? Or does it need a hotter flame?

        • It’s usually a 350-ish Watt Globar element in series with the associated gas valve. When the Globar gets to temp, it’s resistance has dropped enough to allow the gas valve to open, a very clever and cheap ignition safety device. It also means the Globar igniter plus gas valve require something like 400 Watts at 120V while the oven controller is calling for heat.

      • Holy cow, thanks RK.
        So basically, they trick the dumb masses into paying to have satellite grid infrastructure to be built on their property, on the promise that they will “make their investment back over 10 years” in savings…and then they turn around and impose a bunch of arbitrary “surcharges” to simply annul all savings benefit.

        You can’t get more brazen than this. But all the dupes who got tricked into subsidizing the grid by blighting their own property with unsightly panels have no choice but to shrug and absorb the new bumps to their monthly bills.

        It’s kinda like the cities that vote to subsidize sportball stadiums on the theory that an uptick in “foot business” will offset the taxes. But then instead, the city assesses a bunch of additional “sportsball surcharges” to hitcha wit da double whammy! Instead of sportsball fetishism, you have eco-virtue signaling.

    • Hi Jim,

      Yup. I did similar. Plumbed my house for propane heat and cooking (the latter not yet hooked up but ready to whenever I can afford the stove). I also have a wood stove, so fire another way.

      Fish heads, served cold and rotting, to all these creeps.

      • Depending on your woodstove, it may also be an alternative cooking appliance. Many years ago, when I was more able, and heated exclusively with wood, all winter long we kept a pot of what has been called “perpetual stew” going on the woodstove. Whatever you had, leftovers or otherwise, simply thrown in the pot, water added as required, and some of it eaten a couple of hours later. My former wife became addicted to cabbage soup, which is cabbage with whatever you have to add. Sadly, most grocery stores no longer offer chicken necks and backs, which were VERY cheap, and an excellent addition to your cabbage soup. I assume they now go into McNuggets. If there ever was a culture that knew how to live on next to nothing, it’s the Russians. Who ate a LOT of cabbage and turnips. Which can be grown not too far above the Arctic circle.

    • Gas is MUCH easier to cook with. You can look at the flame and determine how much heat you’re applying. I can cook on someone else’s gas range without the slightest inconvenience. Electric, you have to memorize the setting you need to cook what you’re cooking, after much experimentation, with YOUR range, which does NOT apply to other such ranges. Electrical power is among the most inefficient means of power usage. Transmission loss is unpredictable, depending on a wild set of parameters, with vast differences. Decades ago, I read a study that indicated local electrical generation was more efficient than central generation. That a diesel generator supplying power to a small area, as in a few city blocks, was more efficient than a central power plant.

      • Makes some sense. All wires have resistance. That’s based on the cross sectional area, the material, and the length. Then you use that resulting value in the usual ohms law equations to determine how much energy is lost.

        The electric everything world doesn’t work until we have zero point or something very much like it. Now is such a thing possible? Given some of the out of the mainstream ideas about how the universe works, yes. But if they did work the powers that be would keep it secret. Because then we don’t have to pay for energy any more. We buy some device once and then that’s it. We have energy at whatever its limits are forever unless it breaks beyond repair.

        But with the limits of electric power as they are now, that’s why its being pushed.

    • They want to make all our energy unreliable. I’ve had exactly one natural gas outage in my life and that was when they did some work to the meter to remove a mechanism that contained mercury (the horrors) and had to shut it off.

      Electric interruptions? Had about dozen short ones (seconds, minutes) the other night when it was windy. Never mind some years back when it was out for days.

      • Hi Brent,

        Yup – you raise an excellent point. In my area,power outages are a fairly regular part of life. Hence, practically everyone (me included) has a generator back-up to keep essentials on (in my case, the computer and wifi). CNG (and propane) always works – because it’s hard lines, underground, from point to point. No wires dangling from poles to be knocked down by a tree branch.

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