1950-1980 230v Telecom_Grids

1950s – early 1980s:  the grids become Telecommunications Systems (“Power Line Communication” PLC)


Increasing dependence on Bulk-generated products from large-scale distant manufacturers.
Simple electro-mechanical “dial” meters with increasing use of “odometer” type meters i.e. householder can more easily access information of dwelling grid.
Manual circuit breakers (switches)
Simple fuse with sacrificial wire manually replaced.
Better quality plastic insulation becomes available. This increases the safety of the Dwelling 230v Control Console.

Zellweger_ZE_22-3_Ripple_receiver_relay_1050_HzRipple control (electromechanical receiver with switches activated by frequency changes transmitted throughout local grid) – enhanced load management potential. Time of Use information now available.
See Wiki illustration of early ripple receiver

Common uses of electrical products:
household appliance use extended to include television, clay-brick heat stores, record players, electrical razors, cooking utensils, electric blankets, radiograms (combination radio record player)


Visual (fuse loading, meter reading, appliance performance etc) with data recorded manually onto paper. Local Municipal Electricity Department (MED) or Power Board can now collate considerable information about patterns of behaviour of the users of the network e.g. the impacts of dwelling design, type of appliance use, hours of use etc.
Town Councils with MED’s can use their information to inform urban design and social welfare planning, as can those towns with good links to their Power Boards.


Credit: Power to the People -Electricity Supply Association of NZ (Neil Rennie)








A national network of 60 democratic, freehold cooperatives in the form of MEDs or Power Boards operates. Governance structure is service-driven so high degree of civics (conservation of resources) can prevail. The degree of civics varies from moderate to very good. Excellence cannot prevail because of the general national lack of science – see below the total conflation of power with electrical products. Nonetheless some regions in New Zealand become world leaders in local load management. All citizens of voting age retain the right to vote every voting+paperthree years how their community uses its local electrical potential and how the information of their home is used.

Common Perception of Dwelling 230v Control Console

The 230 volt control console remains an alien area in most households. It is perceived to be a danger zone though devices are now more insulated and foolproof.

More robust equipment means meters, the mains switches and exterior meter box ripple receivers are increasingly located outside dwellings in ”meter boxes”, completely separate from the switches for individual circuits of the dwelling. This is done in the name of efficiency and convenience without regard for how this fragments civic awareness of the importance of the 230v control console. The householder is further alienated from their load monitoring and management technology especially in regions where their MED or Power Board makes this separation mandatory. This alienation is especially common in apartment blocks where all meters/ripple receivers are locked in locked, central switchrooms.

The fact the householder retains a shareholding in the ownership of all equipment – including the meter and ripple system – means information and privacy issues are not seen as a major concern.

The confusion of power (the measure of the rate energy is manifest) power 14and the measured (230 volt electrical products) becomes endemic with the emergence of a complete new language of power. Almost every component of the local and national grid plus dwelling appliances becomes associated with power e.g. power wires, power tools, power bills etc. |
This lack of science reflects and generates increasingly unsustainable beliefs and the addictive use of Bulk-generated electrical products. The use of these products compounds at over 2% per year.

Health /ecology

p-21613-atl Benmore dam
Benmore Dam construction – when built it was the largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere


The belief it is acceptable to burn fossilized biomass on scale as of God-given right becomes almost universal in New Zealand. This ethos is reflected in an obsessive focus on building massive hydrodams and combustion devices. Electrically-driven tram systems are replaced with combustion-driven cars, buses and trucks along with the general loss of interest in electrically-driven mass transit systems. These combustion devices increase pollution in urban areas. At the same time the increasing use of Bulk-generated electrical products in distant regions transfers local pollution to more global pollution. The further diminishing of awareness of our local solar and wind potential is reflected in unsustainable urban design and agricultural practice though the 1973 mineral oil price scarcity reawakens fringe interest in these potentials.

1910-1950s a National Network of community-owned grids

1980s The Grand Confluence of Technological Innovation (Solid State and Optic Fiber)