My Wish for Santa

I have been good this year. Well, pretty good. So, was hoping Santa will leave presents under my tree.

Am actually the Hanukkah bush type. But, heck, stick with me here.

Was thinking I might get coal in my stocking rather than presents. But when the Energy Secretary extended FERC’s consideration of the NOPR to early next year, my fear faded.

What’s on my wish list you ask? I did make a filing with the North Pole.

Was frankly surprised the North Pole isn’t in PJM. Guess I confused Pole and POLR. Or was that Polar Vortex? Just can’t stop thinking about the NOPR.

My wish might have been for world peace. But I reached for something even tougher to achieve. Though nearly as great.

My wish is to, somehow, magically I suppose, stop all this chatter that electricity demand is declining.

Please, please, I cannot stand it anymore. That nervous tick comes back whenever some so-called expert rolls with that in a PowerPoint presentation.

Demand for kilowatt-hours is steady or slightly declining. If measured by totals over a month or a year. All right. If your business is making kilowatt-hours, that’s a fact to contend with.

But demand for electric service, on demand – as much as you want, whenever you want — is on the rise. Virtually every structure in America is electrified. You wouldn’t build a home or business without it. And in our homes and businesses our use and dependence on electricity is surely increasing.

It’s easy to see that the demand for electric service, on demand, is greater with the passing of every year. A big blackout in the last century was a bigtime inconvenience. A big blackout in these early years of this century is practically devastating. A big blackout in the middle years of this century will be catastrophic.

That we power our machines, appliances and devices with fewer kilowatt-hours is, if you think about it, irrelevant to people. But we most certainly do want to power those machines, appliances and devices as we want.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. Time to put up the tinsel and lights. Yes, of course, LED lights. They’re truly beautiful. We all love a lighted tree. Who cares if the lighted effect needs but a trickle of watts. I might end up using fewer kilowatt-hours than the number of Santa’s reindeers. That would be nearly as good as a white Christmas.

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Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly
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