California panel removes proposed mandate for utility-controlled thermostats (NOTE: This article link expires on: 02/17/2008) - Bowing to public pressure, the California Energy Commission has removed its proposed mandate for utility-controlled thermostats from its 2008 energy efficiency building code. A hearing on that code is set for Jan. 30.
Under EWPC, PCT qualifies as one great business model innovation. As such, it should be open to competition with others business models in the making or that will emerge worldwide as the market evolves. The point is that PCT should not be allowed as a monopoly business model.
Customer choice should be enabled to a new level by introducing federal competition at the retail level. The remotion of the mandate by the Califonia panel is a strong signal of the end of the utility monopoly as we know it. Today's utilities have two main components: the grid and the enterprise. The enterprise as a state retail monopoly should be replaced by retail competition at the federal level of the U.S.
The grid is evolving to the smart grid utility to offer ultraquality transportation only electricity services, but the monopoly enterprice is acting as a restraing force on its progress.
Open Transmission Access is to evolve to Open Transportation (integrated transmission and distribution) to be developed at least costs under a controlled smart grid market to enable maximum welfare in the open retail and wholesale markets, as envisioned under EWPC market architecture and design.
Joseph Somsel, a former utility engineer who opposes the [original PCT] plan, said he was pleased to hear of the official change of heart at the commission.
"I'd call this a victory in the first battle since they've shifted venues in strategic retreat -- but a victory nonetheless," said Somsel, who raised awareness of the plan's mandatory nature in the Jan. 4 issue of the American Thinker, an online magazine.
However, Michael Shames, executive director of San Diego's Utility Consumers' Action Network, a critic of the plan's mandatory nature, wasn't impressed with the energy commission's statement.
"Most of the announcement is garbage," Shames wrote in an e-mail. "For us, the most important part of the announcement was the last line: 'Technology can be a powerful tool in managing our energy use. However, it is of utmost importance that consumers make their own energy decisions.'
"It is my plan to use this sentence again in the future when the next CEC or some other agency attempts to use good (remote energy services) for evil (non-overridable remote commands)," Shames wrote.
"Emerging advanced energy services will only be embraced by consumers if they have confidence that these technologies will not be used against them. It appears as though the CEC got that message this time around. We'll see if the message sticks," he wrote.