I would imagine that you are glad you’ve moved or are in the process of moving off-grid. Saving money on your power bills and being able to keep the lights on when your neighbors suffer power outages from storms and other problems make it well worth the time you’re putting into becoming self-reliant. You probably already have very little faith in the power monopolies to keep the electric grid functioning properly, and I have some news for you today that will reinforce that opinion.
Did you know that the only way the Federal Emergency Management Agency is legally allowed to provide funds to power utilities following a damaging storm is if the utilities replace “in kind” the electrical components that failed? In other words, the government in its infinite wisdom has decided that the best way to deal with the problem of antiquated and unreliable power grid components is to replace them when they fail with equally antiquated and unreliable components. Is anyone surprised that four weeks after superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast that some people in New York and New Jersey were still without power?
Check out this Wall Street Journal, “In Sandy’s Wake, Time to Upgrade the Power Grid.” In this piece, former New York governor George Pataki spells out the numerous and serious problems with our electrical infrastructure – referring to it as “perhaps the greatest flaw underpinning the American way of life” – and offers solutions that include burying electrical distribution networks and modernizing the transmission systems that carry high-voltage electricity from large power plants to the local distribution level.
The solutions offered by Pataki are sound ones, but he acknowledges that they will be very expensive to implement at a time when many people are already overwhelmed with bills. What he did not mention is something we all already know – the real answer to the problem is getting off the grid.
What did you think about the article’s assessment of the U.S. power grid? Do you agree with the solutions that were proposed? Do you think people will be willing to pay even higher utility bills than they already do in order to enact the proposed changes? I’d love to hear from you about this subject.