1990s -2015: The Great Dumb-Down as Community Information is Fragmented and Privatized
Almost total dependence on Bulk-generated electrical products and extracted mineral products from distant large-scale plant, including industrial-scale wind farms.
Solid state ripple receivers incorporated into meter. Increasingly ripple receivers become inactive relics and are not installed in new dwellings.
Thermal-magnetic circuit breakers prevail.
Optic fiber communication is supplemented by meters becoming microwave broadcasters.
Cheap microchips installed in appliances enable Time of Use data storage and an exponential increase in the capacity for both micro-management and macro-management of NZ dwellings.
Wireless remote control devices, including cell phones, become common.
The Dwelling 230v Control Console becomes miniaturized and more user friendly with new insulating materials and solid state devices.
Common uses of electrical products:
household appliance use extended to include all manner of communication devices with the widespread use of adapters enabling a wide range of voltages throughout the dwelling.
Vast amounts of information now available of the intimate activities of the inhabitants and how the electrical potential of a dwelling is used. Most of it is generated in digital form (numeric representation): 1100011001000100110101101000100010100
This is only accessible to the person who owns the device that interprets the data. Some direct visual observation is still possible but this is now a relatively primitive process.
This information can now be transmitted globally at Time of Use via optic fiber, cellular radio networks, satellites and the Internet. The mains meter of a dwelling becomes an enhanced broadcaster. Its capacity as a data logger and processor increases exponentially. Thus it becomes an even more central determinant of the design and use of both the home and its appliances.
These meters are now essentially the 230v Control Console of a home and the information in them is now the property of private corporations. Thus most of the grid’s information is privatized and fragmented in ways that destroy the ability of communities to make informed use of their local potential.
The official reason given for gifting the meters to the new private retailers of electrical products (TransAlta et al) is that most dwelling meters are decades old and thus have depreciated to a “book value” of zero. Also our legislators and their advisers believe that this fragmented and privatized form of ownership enhances “competition” and “innovation”.
The official reason given for gifting the ripple receivers to the new private retailers of electrical products (TransAlta et al) is that “it makes sense to because the load control device is on the same board as the meters.”
The real reason for the transfer of ownership is to enable these private corporations to maximize profits from the sale of Bulk-generated electrical products, block competing dwelling-scale technology and use the grids to generate debt. This occurs as planned.
Over the 12-year period from the June 1994 quarter to the June 2007 quarter, the CPI increased overall by 34.0 percent while electricity prices for household consumers increased by 79.8 percent.
In this new ” competitive” and “profit-driven” market system the big retailer-manufacturers of Bulk-generated electrical products make their largest profits by stressing the grid to the max. By contrast, the lines companies maximize their profits by minimizing stress to the grid.
The structural legacy of the era 1910-1980 is almost completely dismantled. The national inclusive network of 60 democratic, freehold cooperatives in the form of Municipal Electricity Departments and Power Boards is replaced by a national exclusive network of private, overseas controlled corporations. All citizens are stripped of their right to engage directly through their cooperatives in the national electrical market.
1993 Electricity Industry Reform legislation makes it effectively illegal to engage in energy efficiency practice” by replacing the “service imperative” with the “profit imperative” which dictates that all activities must maximize short-term profits for the principal shareholders. This banning of energy efficiency practice destroys the most basic tenement of civics.
1998 Electricity Industry Reform legislation effectively removes the right of individuals and their communities to own the information of their local electrical grid. This information is now fragmented and becomes the property of a few private, overseas controlled corporations through their NZ agents – Contact Energy, Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy, Trust Power et al.
2011 NZ Electricity Authority legislation effectively removes the right of citizens to own the information of their Dwelling 230v Control Console. This becomes the property of the above private corporations using a complex web of meter ownership structures, disenfranchising legislation and extensive, sophisticated media campaigns.
By 2015 the majority of people in New Zealand have neither the institutional memory nor the language to understand civics. Many in the generations that experienced the civics of the 1910 -1990 era are now dead. Also very high migration rates (both immigration and emigration) work to destroy knowledge of this civic history of New Zealand. Our universities and our main media have vested interests in erasing this civic awareness too.
This loss of civics can be seen to derive directly from the increasing lack of science in NZ communities.
For instance, the notion of a Minister of Energy and Resources is accepted without question, as is the associated equation of energy/resources with combusted fossilized biomass and Bulk-generated electrical products. This belief system simultaneously reflects and generates uncivil (unsustainable) behaviour.
In what is called the “Energy Conscious Age” the manufacturers of Bulk-generated electrical products are rebranded as “energy corporations”. The meter reader is now known as the “energy man”.
Citizens are legislated to be tradable commodities and already perhaps one million people have been traded between private corporations with little or no consultation.
Common Perception of Dwelling 230v Control Console
Few people are aware that the 230 volt grid of their dwelling and their local grid are primarily information systems – the wiring is alive with information. They remain inculcated in the belief that the main value of their household and community grids resides in their wires, switches, voltage adapters and the 230v electrical products that are reticulated over these grids.
They comprehend to some degree that cellphone systems, PCs, GPS systems and the Internet are primarily information systems. However they remain oblivious to the immense information potential of their 230v system and its associated civic issues, including privacy. This major disconnect is reflected in the fact there is no Government agency or NGO with either the brief or the language to protect citizen’s rights.
By 2015 technological advances make it possible for citizens to use an unprecedented array of designs and devices to maximize the electrical, solar and other potentials of their dwelling and local community. However they can no longer do this because they are almost entirely alienated from the 230v Control Centre of their dwelling, which is the central means of communication and information flow. Even if they invest in a very expensive duplication of the control console it is of little value because legislative, compliance and institutional barriers make it impossible to interact with their local grid in an intelligent way.
The lack of science (civics) means most people associate freedom simply with the ability to use the dwelling meter to buy product off a small, select group of corporations. They fail to associate freedom with the right to own the information of their dwelling and be able to practice true energy efficiency.
All areas and levels of society are impacted by the adoption of the fatally flawed equation of energy with combusted fossilized biomass with power with Bulk-generated electrical products. A new industry emerges to propagate this belief system and its language. Its members have various titles including “energy experts”, “Environmental Educators”, “environment journalists”, “carbon traders” and “green activists.” The energy equation becomes imbedded in curriculum frameworks governing education at all levels. It becomes the foundation of legislation and accounting systems. It frames the popular discourse.
The net result of this flawed ethos is escalating debt, inequity, pollution, waste and general addictive behaviour. In particular New Zealanders become at high risk from warfare for mineral oil supplies, from social implosion as credit systems based on the delusion of eternal mineral oil collapse and from more extreme weather events.