Archive for the ‘monopoly’ Category

Public Service Announcement: Google, GE, NRDC and The Climate Group call for real-time information technologies to cut emissions

December 19th, 2009 No comments

I copy below an interesting press release with the title noted above, regarding the “smart metering” of power consumption.

I have blogged previously on Google`s efforts to speed the introduction of Smart Meters.

Perhaps we will also see a little more focus on the negative role that our widespread public utility monopolies have played in inflating energy costs and dampening conservation, competitive pricing and green options, and greater interest in market freedom in the power sector?

Not simply greater information, but freer markets is what we need. This would accomplish more than more “green” mandates. Other libertarian ideas are here. As my favorite free-market blogger, Rob Bradley, once said so well: “a
free-market approach is not about “do nothing” but implementing a whole
new energy approach to remove myriad regulation and subsidies that have
built up over a century or more.”

December 15, 2009

“Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy –
and they need the tools to use less.” 

Google, GE, The Climate Group, and NRDC, supported by a broad group of
companies and organizations, called on governments across the world to
support citizens’ access to real-time information on home energy consumption. (Read the statement)

In homes, technology that makes energy consumption visible in the home
can help people save not only carbon but electricity costs.   Our recent case studies at
show that some homeowners were able to save 40 per cent on their
electricity bills from better understanding their patterns of energy

The statement says “The bottom line is: We can’t solve climate change
if people are in the dark about how they use energy in their own homes.
Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy –
and they need the tools to use less.” 

By empowering citizens with information and tools for
managing energy, national and sub-national governments, businesses and
organizations around the world can harness the power of hundreds of
millions to fight climate change and save consumers millions of dollars
in the process.

Specifically, all countries should ensure that their citizens have access to basic information including:

  • Near real-time or real-time home energy consumption
  • Pricing and pricing plans
  • Carbon intensity, including source and carbon content of electricity

call for supporting citizens’ access to information can be achieved
with technologies that exist today which can be rapidly deployed. To
get there, countries can provide incentives for energy monitoring
equipment and set rules for consumer access to information. They can
also enact stronger energy efficiency standards, as well as provide
financial incentives and variable energy pricing plans.

Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google, said:  “By providing people with real-time home energy information we can make
a major down payment on tackling climate change while saving money and
creating exciting new industries and jobs.”

Steve Fludder, VP of GE’s ecomagination, said: “This is not future technology that were talking about. We can do this now.”

Molly Webb, Director of Strategic Engagement, The Climate Group
said: “Just as user-generated content drove Web 2.0, then
user-generated energy information and ‘the internet of things is our
future. With a strong global agreement to tackle climate change, ICT
infrastructure will be a key enabler in the short term of carbon
efficiency on a global scale.”

The statement comes after yesterday’s launch of SMART 2020: Pathways to Scale
which called for energy information for all. This information can be
used across the wider economy by citizens and businesses to enable a
range of innovations in services around energy and fuel efficiency. The
Climate Group is tracking these initiatives with measurable results on

Read the statement here.

Categories: climate change, GE, Google, monopoly, power Tags:

Statism & clear partisan blindness: Joe Romm, Steven Milloy and ethical certainty over problems stemming from lack of competition in power markets

October 5th, 2009 No comments

Joe Romm of Climate Progress has a new post up that lambasts a recent WaPo op-ed by “environmental ethicist” David Henderson. Romm provides useful information on the relative efficacy of government technology forcing efforts, but comes down like a ton of bricks on Henderson, all while ignoring the 800 lb. gorilla in the room – consumer frustration over, and energy inefficiency resulting from, the lack of competition in local power markets.

In this, Romm mirrors anti-enviro Steven Milloy, who has been raking GE over the coals for its actions to support “green mandates” for subsidies that benefit GE by stimulating markets for GE`s energy-efficient smart meters and smart water heaters

I left the following note at Joe`s that draws attention to the parallels:

Joe, you marginalize yourself and do the debate a disservice by continuing to mirror partisans like Steven Milloy, who`s so busy demonizing those who want more green power and greater efficiency that he forgets to examine WHY our power system isn`t MUCH more efficient and doesn`t provide greater consumer choice – namely, grants by local governments of power monopolies and related regulatory balkanization

Let`s not forget that the environmentalists` “ethical” argument for interfering with the market for electrical products is [based on the fact] that local governments have prevented competition in local markets for power generation and distribution.

[To comment, please visit this post at my main blog at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.]

Categories: Joe Romm, monopoly, power, Steven Milloy Tags: