Global Warming Hoax Search

Your Global Warming Hoax Tube

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Critics cool to 'smart thermostat' proposal

Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New thermostats in homes and businesses would be fitted with technology that would allow utilities to change a building's temperature by remote control under a proposal being considered by state energy officials.

Yet after a public outcry by critics worried about Big Brother dictating home temperatures, officials with the California Energy Commission said this week that they will change the proposed regulation so that customers would have the option of blocking outside control of their thermostats.

The new "smart thermostats," supporters said, could help ease summertime power emergencies by allowing officials to limit the use of air conditioning.

The revised regulation still will require installation of remote-control thermostats but will allow consumers the option of overriding outside control, commission spokeswoman Claudia Chandler said.

The regulation would apply not only to new buildings but also to replacement or significant retrofit of cooling and heating systems in existing homes and businesses.

The proposal goes before the commission Jan. 30, Chandler said. It is part of the 236-page 2008 edition of the state's building-efficiency standards, which are updated and approved every three years. The commission could approve the thermostat regulation and the other new standards at its Feb. 27 meeting, she said.

The special thermostats, which allow utilities to adjust air conditioning in homes and businesses via radio signals, are meant to be used only during emergencies as a way of avoiding costly and damaging blackouts, Chandler said. She noted that several of the state's utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Co., already operate similar voluntary programs in some areas.

Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld, a physicist famed for his energy-efficiency discoveries at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said he supports changing the proposal because of the "public concern" and because he expects most consumers will agree to grant utilities the authority to control their air conditioners in emergencies.

"Ninety-nine out of 100 will comply anyway," he said, adding that such emergencies occur only about once every 10 years.

Some lawmakers expressed strong misgivings.

"I don't think the CEC (California Energy Commission) should be going into people's homes to control their electricity," said Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, who heads the Assembly committee on utilities and commerce. "The state should provide people with incentives and education to do this on their own."

The committee's vice chairman, Rick Keene, R-Chico, agreed.

"It feels awfully Orwellian to me if you have the utility, with the government's blessing, be able to change the thermostat setting," Keene said.

He said the lack of a clear definition of "emergency event" might allow utilities to cut costs by purposely not buying enough power and then declaring an emergency.

Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based utility consumer watchdog group TURN, said the proposal for remote-controlled thermostats shouldn't "be forced down people's throats."

She also said the program would be expensive and financed by ratepayers. She questioned whether it would be cost-effective.

Chandler said the new regulation merely requires that programmable, remote-control thermostats be installed and does not address how they will be used. However, she added, the revision of the proposed regulation will stipulate that remote control of the thermostats cannot shut off air conditioners but can only raise the temperature to a maximum of 88 degrees.
The thermostats are part of a broader energy-saving strategy that includes "smart meters," which tell consumers how much power they're using and the cost of the electricity as it changes throughout the day, Chandler said. The decision on what kind of programs and rules would govern the use of such devices is up the state Public Utilities Commission, she said.

PG&E spokeswoman Nicole Tam said customers should be able to choose whether to participate. The utility had success last summer with a voluntary "SmartAC" program in which about 25,000 customers have remote-control thermostats in the Central Valley and hotter parts of the East Bay, she said.

At San Diego Gas and Electric Co., spokeswoman Rachel Laing said the utility, like Southern California Edison, has a voluntary summer program in which customers can permit remote control of their air conditioners during severe electricity shortages in exchange for credits on their bills, an approach that she said is preferable to rolling blackouts.

"Ultimately, this is actually less intrusive than the current remedy, which is shutting customers off completely," she said.

Laing said the utility will urge state officials to make sure that an "emergency event" be "strictly defined - that this is not just an expensive time (when electricity prices spike up) but a time when the alternative is a blackout."

Southern California Edison implemented its remote-control program six times last summer, spokeswoman Vanessa McGrady said.

No comments:

My Rant

The claim that climate change is direct result of man's energy consumption is simply unproven and politically motivated. While they propound lies that certain lightbulbs or cars will destroy the earth and raise ocean levels as much as 20 feet within the next century, fascists, like Al Gore, fly around in their Gulfstream jets and live in homes that use 22 times the energy of an average American's home! Their propaganda is outrageous and potentially catastrophic for the economies of United States, the developed world and developing world.

The proof of global warming or man's influence on climate change is not settled science. Just consider the source of the big lie: the proselytizing hypocritical high priest of the pagan environmental religion Al Gore or the other Kool-Aid drinking climateers from the left such as Learjet liberals, Hollywood high school drop-outs, billonaire elitists, the left-leaning mainstream media, the United Nations, academia, environmental radicals, socialists, other anti-capitalists and so called "researchers", "experts" and/or "scientists" whose paychecks depend upon the apparent existence of the "issue".

United States energy conservation and independence is a worthy goal that should be supported by Republicans, the Democrat Party, true Democrats, Independents and environmentalists. Energy independence is a major national security concern. However, lying to our people, implementing the cap & trade boondoggle which will crush our economy or doing anything that will cause the United States to transfer an portion of its sovereignty to the United Nations is idiotic. Not in my name!
Powered By Blogger