The other day I went to the mailbox and pulled out a letter from the electric company. It was an offer to participate in their “Peak Power Savers” program. If I would just sign up, the electric company would send me a free $25.00 Visa prepaid card. In addition, my electric bill would go down. Wow, I thought, sounds too good to be true. I read on.
This is how it would work: the electric company would come out to the house, and install a gizmo on the central air conditioning box outside. From then on, whenever we had a blistering hot day and everyone was running their AC, the gizmo would allow the electric company to remotely cut the run time on the air conditioner in half. The fan would keep spinning to circulate air, but the AC would only be on fifty percent of the time.
Gee, I thought, this was exactly what Glenn Beck talked about five or six years ago (actually I think he was talking about it in 2009). He said the electric company would use the smart meters to monitor when we were using electricity and what appliances we were using at peak hours, and would be able to remotely withhold some of the electricity.
The electric company has become part of the Big Brother network, invading the privacy of our homes and trying to make decisions for us. My family is perfectly capable of conserving electricity without assistance. We use natural light as much as possible. The TVs stay off most of the day. The laundry goes on the line whenever the weather allows. Our air conditioner is probably one of the last to go on in our neighborhood, as we have allowed our bodies to become acclimated to the warm temperatures. But when we feel the need to flip on the AC, it will be OUR decision, and no one will be cutting the power back except us. Thanks, but no thanks, Consumers Energy.