So I was quietly reading about Austin, Texas electric power developments in the Austin American-Statesman (“Mueller becoming a lab for energy: Research plans, neighbors’ efforts converging“) when I stumbled across a remark of such – I don’t know what to call it – irony? Orwellian newspeak? Not quite sure what to say, so I’ll just share.
Some elements of the smart grid are already working, Duncan said. For instance, the utility can turn off air conditioners remotely for a few minutes when the system is close to exceeding capacity. The utility does this only with customers who agree ahead of time.
However, in California, regulatory officials withdrew a proposal for a similar program this year after critics accused them of encouraging Big Brother policies.
Duncan said the concerns are unwarranted and noted that the City Council oversees Austin Energy, making political recourse possible.
Really? We don’t have to worry about Big Brother policies because the City Council is watching over everything?
Well then, everything is doubleplusgood.
Actually I’m not too worried about Big Brother in cases in which customers can choose whether or not to participate, and can choose their own competitive retail energy service providers. What? Consumers can’t choose their own retail energy supplier in Austin because the city government has locked them into the city’s own electric utility?
I hope the Ministry of Plenty is keeping a close eye on the city policies….