Streams

Following Up: Timing Electricity Use

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ken Belson, New York Times Metro Utilities reporter, talks about off-peak pricing for electricity.

Guests:

Ken Belson
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Comments [1]

Elisa Triffleman from Port Washington, NY

Brian and staff,

I started listening to this segment late, so my apologies, but there were two things I heard which were a little distressing. One was Mr. Belson's emphasis that segmenting peak use from non-peak use would really only be useful for "big houses with washers and dryers right in the house." It may be true in Manhattan that only "big houses"--which I take to mean domiciles for the incredibly wealthy--have laundries in them, but in the outer boroughs, many smaller houses in distinctly less well-off areas also have laundries, so this issue could affect them too.

The other thing which was distressing is specific to the concept of peak-hour charging for residential customers. Mr. Belson specifically noted that doing laundry after 10 pm would reduce consumption and costs. The problem is, some of the people who are adversely affected by peak hour rates are the elderly and parents/caregivers of very young children. In both groups, it is not always or may be rarely if ever feasible for them to leave the house ad shut off the AC during the day and do laundry at 10:00 pm. Mr. Belson's comment seemed clearly reflective of the absence of consideration of the needs of these groups given by public policy makers and the utility companies.

In any event, I hope Brian has a wonderful vacation; you've certainly earned it!

Jul. 26 2008 12:06 PM

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