Feeds

California to snatch control of citizens' air-con

Cooking the public for the public good

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Californians will be forced to break out in a sweat whether they like it or not as part of an energy efficiency plan being considered by the state government.

The plan, which would mandate “smart thermostats” in new and substantially rebuilt buildings, as well as overhauled heating and cooling systems, is included in a revised building code being considered by the California Energy Commission this month.

Utilities, faced with energy shortages, would be able to remotely adjust the thermostats in consumers’ homes, effectively cooling down heating systems and dialling back air-conditioning systems, to reduce power draw.

Of the two, air-conditioning is arguably the bigger problem. California’s energy crisis back in 2000/2001 was largely caused by a combination of spiralling demand from air-conditioning units after a population boom in the state’s central valley and other arid areas, coupled with a bodged utilities privatisation programme and a creaking power infrastructure. The result was brownouts and rolling power cuts through a torrid summer.

But Californians jealously guard their freedom to watch TV wearing a bikini in winter or a all-in-one rubber body suit in summer without breaking a sweat or feeling a chill. An outcry over the plans has forced regulators to allow consumers to over-ride the central set temperature though, apparently, the utilities will be able to over-ride that over-ride in extremis.

Whether the plan will be adopted is anyone’s guess. Back in 2004 a San Francisco-based state legislator tried to get the principles of Feng Shui enshrined in the state building code – shockingly, he failed. At around the same time, though, the state swore in an Austrian-born half-man, half-robot as their duly elected supreme leader. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.