Fredericton — An old-fashioned alternative to NB Power’s new money-losing smart meter plan was proposed this morning at the Tim Hortons on Prospect Street in Fredericton.
NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas was getting his daily extra-large coffee with four cream and two sweeteners, when he was engaged in an impromptu debate on the NB Power smart meter plan by 72-year-old retiree Guy Électron. Concerned about the cost, risk and complexity of the new plan, Électron proposed a simpler and lower risk solution to the multimillion-dollar tech tangent.
“Mr. Thomas,” Électron started, “I have a better idea than buying millions of dollars of new smart meters. Instead of using these new-fangled meters to help people to monitor their energy consumption, how’s about we ask folks to walk around their house and look for stuff that’s turned on that doesn’t need to be turned on?
“For example, lights left on in empty rooms or heaters turned up too high, that kind of thing,” he said.
“Good sir, allow me to explain,” said Thomas. “Smart meters will connect directly to the utility’s computers and track consumption in real time. That will open up opportunities for variable rates to try and direct electricity consumption to off-peak hours.”
“Umm, don’t you already know the off-peak hours?” challenged Électron.
“Well, yes…” replied Thomas. “But, come on…real-time connectivity! Real-time stuff is awesome! And the meters also allow for homeowners to install solar panels and sell what they don’t use back to the utility.”
“Absolutely no one is going to do that except serious geeks,” retorted Électron, “And, half of them will probably fry themselves trying to save $2.50. By the way, don’t you have this huge, massive billion-dollar debt to pay off, and interest rates are going up?”
“And, don’t you still have to do that super-risky refurbishment of Mactaquac before that sucker falls apart?”
“Of course! But…”
“And don’t we already have a bunch of debt from our last super-risky Lepreau refurbishment project, which is underperforming and has a bunch of nuclear waste to manage?
“Sounds to me like you’ve got your hands full without these money-losing meters,” he finished, and went back to his newspaper in the corner booth.
Thomas reportedly has been sulking in his office all day, thinking about other “cool” things on which to spend ratepayer money.