Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Now you need to call in how much electricity you consume

In an electricity emergency that is fast becoming a farce of particularly bad taste, the folks who use more than 25 KVA in the states of Sucre and Anzoategui will need to call the state owned electrical company to report how much their meter reads, dailyThe official news agency, ABA, does not give further details, so we can wonder about the following:
  • have the meter readers resigned?  have the meters become suddenly all obsolete and require replacing?
  • why everyday?  what happens Sunday if you do not open for business?  is there someone at CADAFE to get your call on Sunday?
  • and what will happen if you do not report everyday?  a fine?  an outright power cut?
  • is this a pilot program?  will we be forced one day to report daily our electricity home consumption?  will we need to fine ourselves?
  • and of course: why? (as in a logical explanation I mean, I am sure that CADAFE has some fancy made up story).
As usual, the bolibanana revolution raises more questions than it gives answers...........


  1. "why? (as in a logical explanation I mean, I am sure that CADAFE has some fancy made up story)"


    "As usual, the bolibanana revolution raises more questions than it gives answers"

    The top line answer can be anything absurd.The bottom line answer is:

    Chavez wants to accumulate power.He need to create problems and chaos - keep the people occupied with fear of crime, poverty, lack of service , worry , etc.etc in order to insure that people have little time , courage or energy to fight Chavismo.

  2. Actually, I think it is a good idea. It is what is being prone in the US with the smart grids and what Google is proposing: the more you are aware of your consumption the more you are likely to reduce it. It is a good exercise.

    How it is implemented? I don't know.All it says is that people have to "report" to the company.

  3. bruni

    it is not a good idea because the price of reading your meter is included in the bill. that will have little incentive as far as saving energy. the only way people save energy is when their bills increase. we are not in canada here.....

  4. 1979 Boat People1:49 PM

    In Ontario,Canada, we have SMART meters now.

    The link below would give you some info if you are interested in finding out more about it.

    At my house, we try to follow the guide line as much as we can to save money. This in turn we hope we can contribute to make enviroment a little bit better.

    For example, we dry our cloths in the back yard in the sunny days in the Summer time. I have tiny garden in the back yard to grow some vegetable in the summer.

  5. Bruni,

    You can't compare the fact of Chavez's abusive demands on the population with the merits of a certain technique.Playing the defense lawyer for his destabilization techniques gets us nowhere.This is not seeing the forest for the trees.

    It is high time that more people open their eyes to Chavez's goals and see the details of his actions in the context of his larger plan.

  6. Firepigette, Daniel what would you do if you were in charge of the electric utility in Venezuela right now?

    I agree that this is a mess and we should not be in such a situation, but given that we ARE..what would you do?

    Smart meters are very expensive and cannot be installed in a few months, generating plants take time to build and scheduled blackouts are hated by everyone..then what? What would you do?

    Well, IMHO what I understood from the news Daniel linked is a low-tech initiative that can be implementable and that can actually help. Frankly I don't see why you are so upset about it, given the mess we are already in, it is much better than other measures.

  7. Bruni

    The problem is that the government fucked up and has not even apologized.

    You cannot ask a country to help you in time of crisis if you are not truthful, if you keep blaming stuff to El Niño and refuse to accept your responsibility.

    If the government wanted really to enlist our help it could start by firing Ramirez, and probably indict him for all the corruption that is obvious in the electric system of Venezuela. Then maybe proposed solutions would have credibility.

    Why is that

    not investigated? Why are the responsible parties still in charge?

  8. Firepigette, this was very insightful:

    "need to create problems and chaos - keep the people occupied with fear of crime, poverty, lack of service , worry , etc.etc in order to insure that people have little time , courage or energy to fight"

    If you take that insight and apply it to everything you see on the TV news and read in the papers around the world you will have a good picture of how the world is manipulated. Hugo didn't make up the technique, and neither did Fidel.

    I say stay informed, but don't waste energy on things that one can't do anything about. Save the energy to use constructively on things that one can affect.

    As a side note, there will be some great opportunities opening up in small scale alternative energy in Venezuela, don't you think?

  9. Let us suppose the goverment apologizes and fires Ramirez and all the other ministers related with the energy sector, then what? Would the Megawatts resurface themselves just because?

    I agree this is an arrogant goverment that does not want to accept its responsability in the crisis, but wether they do or do not accept it, something must be done, because electrons are electrons, they do not understand politics. We are at a point in which no political measure is going to improve the situation.

    The equation is very simple: either you increase your generation or you reduce your consumption. Generation cannot be easily increased because it takes time to build new plants and whoever can build the plants is going to try to take advantage of the desperate situation Vzla is in. In fact, I am not at all surprised that Vzla is not paying international prices, even without bribery.

    Then if generation cannot be increased, consumption must be reduced. There you have a choice, you do it voluntarily, or you enforce it.

    It is a lose-lose situation but given so, I prefer measures like asking people to measure their consumption rather than a programmed or unprogrammed blackout, or even closing industries or charging a scandalous amount of money for a normal consumption.

    So, this discussion is about your post. You were indignant because some industries will have to measure their dayly consumption while I found that given the circumstances, this is one of the best ideas I have heard around.

    You must understand that Venezuela is way beyond normal and the danger here is that the electric grid colapses and that is bad for everybody. In particular for the opposition, because it would give the goverment an excuse to declare a global emergency.

  10. Boludo Tejano9:34 PM

    That is absurd. I have no objection to the electrical utility wanting a to know what my daily use is. After all, they also know what my monthly use is. If the electrical company wants daily records, they should buy some smart meters so that they can do all that online. My meter is read online. To have a customer check and call in daily : mas boludeces.More bureaucratic nightmare. Just what Venezuela needs. After all , it does bureaucracy so well.

    This reminds me of the idiocy of requiring utility bills being paid in person instead of giving the option of also paying by mail or direct bank withdrawal. At least when I was working in Argentina, that is the way it was done. (though w hyperinflation, I can see the reason,) Another layer of bureaucracy, why not?

    It also shows the congenital inability of Chavismo to come up with good solutions for governing. A third grader could come up with better solutions than the typical Chavista bureaucrat.

    The electrical utilities need to invest in more meters. I wonder if those living on free electricity will ever pay for it. How can you run a company when a substantial proportion of your customers don't pay?

  11. The only details I know are from what Daniel wrote. Not knowing any more details, I have to say that I agree with Bruni. And, of course, nobody can claim that Bruni, by writing what she did, is somehow being a Chavez apologist, a coy fence sitter, or is playing the defense lawyer.

  12. Bruni

    Sorry, but it does not work this way. Politics do not follow the laws of electrons.

    The government made a huge blunder and as long as it does not admit to it or at least sanctions a few of the guys (and, e.g., I am not talking about the EDELCA engineers that were asked to resign or the "saboteadores" when the ones that should be fired and under investigation are the ministers in charge). Such a government has no moral authority to punish heavy consumers and this must be addressed first before any eclectically plan has a chance to work out and not end up in civil war. We are not in Canada here as you remarked, so let's not use Canadians values and solutions.

    In addition your solutions are no good. As a business manager I can assure you that it is much more efficient to ask me to close a certain number of days instead of cutting my electric power at the whim of some asshole bureaucrat. By asking me to close at my convenience, something easily verifiable, I can minimize my losses. On the other hand, imposing cuts at whim risk damaging my electric machinery, creates havoc in my production line, etc, etc...

    The problem is that those in charge in Venezuela never held a fucking real job and have no idea what is it to meet payroll, production orders, etc, etc... They are just a bunch ideological and corrupt bureaucrats who, when everything is said and done, are not sad that the electric crisis will bring down a few more private business.

  13. The Chavista government is full of shit. Totally shameless, how can you honestly ask of the people to monitor themselves on this matter, when a third the population in Caracas are stealing electricity right of the street lines? And besides, mas falta de vergüenza when they spend so much oil money in Cuba and Nicaragua, spend Billions in weapons from Russia? How many Russian tanks are the equivalent of these SMART meters? Instead of buying all that crap they could have outfitted all the industrial sector with these meters. Even if this prevents inmediate blackouts people will freak and moan and rightly so, so in that case I disagree, this is one of the worst last minute and shameless solutions I have ever read about, and I lived thru the Colombian apagones of the 90´s... which is, by the way, what I think would be the best solution in this case. If I were in charge, the 4 hours mandatory blackout and the daylight savings hourly adjustment is the solution. It worked in Colombia and it was in place for a long time. Surprisingly, for a thuggish president Chavez lacks a lot of balls on this matter.

  14. The reason they are asking folks to report the readings is that CADAFE meter readers are getting spaced out looking at the wheel spin round and round!

    This is, as Firepigette says, a distraction, another thing to rail about to distract from other issues.

    This will be good for a couple of days of distraction, then something else will come up. And so on, ad nauseum, amen.

  15. Kolya9:33 AM

    Daniel, in response to Bruni, you wrote:

    "your solutions are no good. As a business manager I can assure you that it is much more efficient to ask me to close a certain number of days instead of cutting my electric power at the whim of some asshole bureaucrat."

    Daniel, please correct me if I'm wrong, but from how you wrote the post it seems that the requirement is simply to call once day to inform the electric utility how much power was consumed within the last 24 hours. There is nothing about bureaucrats cutting power at their whim. This new requirement may well be badly implemented, but I agree with Bruni that judging it on its face it does not seem like a bad or stupid measure. As low tech as it is, it seems to implement common sense behavioral economics. Nobody is claiming that this measure is the solution or anything of the sort.

  16. Well, to the best of my knowledge, there are intelligent meters already installed (at least in Caracas...)

    The system is connected to the internet and you can 'read' your consumption on line. They have it at my husband's place of work.

    I'm guessing that a normal family would not use more than 25KVA/day, thus this is only for businesses, offices, etc. But... if the premises of said business are located in a large building, they do not have access to the electricity meters! those are always locked and CADAFE or whatever electric company is the one with the keys.

    I really don't know what to think of the measure, could be a number of things: Trapo ROJO, some good intended officials trying to help, the regime pushing the businesses to the edge... etc. All of the above and more.. anything is possible in chavezland.

    Last but not least: Bruni is no chavez apologist! she is just one those people that tries to look for a logical and normal explanation for things. A bit 'comeflor' sometimes... as a very correct person she often cannot understand the chavista state of mind. OJO! This I say with respect, b/c I consider her a good friend. :)

  17. Kolya,

    Don't separate the action from the doer.This fragmented way of seeing things is not good for political understanding or for deep understanding of anything really.I might be able to fix a light switch without understanding too much about electricity but we are dealing with something far deeper and more complicated than that.

    If you put something 'in context' you place it in perspective — you explain what led up to a particular incident and what came or could come after and who are the perpetrators of a specific action. To do this, of course, you need to know something fairly well- meaning, you have to know the larger picture.

    One of the big problems I see with the opposition has been precisely this inability to contextualize which has led to a series of incognitos that have led to confusion and subsequent inaction or highly improper action..

  18. US YT7:36 PM

    Dear Government,

    Please leave me alone. Don’t tell me how much electricity I can use, make me pay for it and I will figure out my own lifestyle. Or please don’t tell me what or how many cars I can own. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t regulate the amount of water my toilet can flush. Btw, now I have to flush 3 times, so where’s the savings? Or are you eventually going to tell me to eat less so I sh… less and the mini flush will do?

    Just came back from Europe where now the eco-plaque is being introduced to supposedly control “Feinstaub” (fine dust) in the cities. Good luck with that now that volcano whatever it’s name dumped a few billion tons of Feinstaub all over Europe. Whatever they have supposedly saved (measured in micrograms / car / year) is of course now done away with for the next few thousand years.

    Keep on falling for your governments’ BS, my dear tree-huggers.



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