January 13, 2008
The California Energy Commission will have remote control capabilities over new thermostats, which themselves will be mandatory in new homes.
The changes would allow utilities to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override the utilities’ suggested temperatures. But in emergencies, the utilities could override customers’ wishes.
Final approval is expected next month.
“You realize there are times – very rarely, once every few years – when you would be subject to a rotating outage and everything would crash including your computer and traffic lights, and you don’t want to do that,” said Arthur Rosenfeld, a member of the energy commission.
Reducing individual customers’ electrical use – if necessary, involuntarily – could avoid that, Rosenfeld said. “If you can control rotating outages by letting everyone in the state share the pain,” he said, “there’s a lot less pain to go around.”
If that sounds like “energy communism,” that’s because it is. The idea that people you have never met can control your home’s anything is outrageous. The logic behind the move is not hard to understand, but as my previous post on libertarianism said, logic does not equal constitutionality.