1990-2015 Grid Dumb-down

1990s -2015: The Great  Dumb-Down as Community Information is Fragmented and Privatized

An app on my cellphone enables me to read the wires in my dwelling and display the performance of household appliances such as the photovoltaic panels on my roof. An app on my cellphone enables me to programme and display my camera from afar. Cellphone apps can enable me to programme and display the performance of heatpumps etc. However there is no app possible for communicating with the main meter of my home in New Zealand. It is a truly stupid device.
The total disconnect of citizens


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.

Smart_meter v intelligent meter
wiki on Smart Meters. Note: A smart meter is not necessarily an intelligent (civic) meter. Citizens retain the right to vote how intelligent meters are used i.e. it is a democratic device.

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.

I can plug this Enphase device into the 230v circuit anywhere in my home and the information in the wires of the activity of the photovoltaic cells on the roof is transmitted wirelessly to the Internet and my personal computer or cell phone. The wires are alive with information of the passage of the sun and clouds over my house.

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.

two donkeys fight
Giving the ripple receivers in dwellings to retailers creates very expensive stresses on national and local grids. It also destroys energy efficiency practice.

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.
In summary:
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.

grid wealth destroyed
From Energy?! Chapter Seven: The Ego and Power. The intelligence potential of the local grid is fragmented and privatized. Its immense wealth potential is thus decimated so a few individuals can make a few billions of dollars of short-term profits.

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.

2008 First "Minister of Energy and Resources" Rt Ho Gerry Brownlee
2008 First “Minister of Energy and Resources” Rt Ho Gerry Brownlee

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”.

2015 Self-styled “energy companies” now call their call-centre operators “your energy consultant” and “our energy expert”.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. Albert Einstein
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. Richard P. Feynman




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.
In summary.
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 oWhatsmynumber 2 jpegff 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.Whatsmyno railways station

consumer powerswitch
Sample illustrations from the 2011 General Election period of the intensive nationwide campaigns promoting these flawed notions of liberty.

powershop dumb meter This disconnect with fundamental civics is particularly dangerous because we have a choice in whether we use cellphones, PCs and the Internet. We have no choice about using a house.

Health /ecology

save energy environmental education

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.

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

Our Future: a Great Solar-Electrical Future