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When could utilities be in danger of stopping service?

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:22 PM
I have been delaying purchasing a small generator for a while as funds are tight. At what point could power, water, gas etc. be in jeapordy. Are the providers invested in dangerous markets as well? Would we see mass layoffs from utility companies and see that as a sign?

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:40 PM
My crystal ball is in the shop right now, so this will not be a prophetic post... just my own thoughts.

I would say that the real worry will not be that there is no energy to buy, but rather that there is no money to buy it with. I can see people not being able to afford things like electricity and telephones, things we take for granted now. I am already seeing people who are so broke from being either unemployed or under-employed that they have to ration which lights to turn on or can't afford gasoline for their car this week.

There are still electric lines carrying plenty of electricity right there for them to use. The gas station down the street has plenty of gas to sell. Availability isn't the problem; money to purchase energy is the problem. Since home generators cost much more to run than it costs to buy the electricity from power companies, if your problem is moey they won't do you much good.

Now eventually, I can see some utilities simply not being able to afford upkeep and maintenance in certain areas. That could interrupt the flow of ready energy. But I see that as a second condition brought on by the first problem of lack of ability to buy power. I also think it will be sporadic and not widespread, perhaps taking longer to get power back on after an outage (as in weeks where it once would have taken hours) simply because the utilities are selling so little power to that area and have downsized so much that they cannot get to fixing the problem right away.


[edit on 9-3-2009 by TheRedneck]

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:57 PM
while some people refuse to pay their rent, they usually dont refuse to pay the ted the power man, thus its not likely at all. I bought stock in my power company a little while back and it has been steady as ever. on top of that my power bill has never been higher. the possibility of them going down is a fraction above nil.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:10 PM
reply to post by elston

I suppose there is less demand both on the domestic & industrial front for energy, considering the economic slow down and subsequent rise in unemployment ..... so do you think this will translate into there being less likelihood of rolling black-outs if it is a scorcher of a summer ?

I always thought the lack of power would come from excessive demand , not a deterioration due to lack of maintenance etc .

As expensive as a generator may seem now , if/when it becomes a necessity you may have to pay through the nose for it , with a dollar worth less than it is now.
Just IMHO.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:13 PM
reply to post by UmbraSumus

That's more like what I was thinking. I could get a decent 2000W for about $300 which would be more than enough for my needs. I was thinking of lack of maintenance and longer outages.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:26 PM

300$ is good money. That can get you 2 Solar panels at Harbor Freight Tools. Enough to power lights, washer/dryer, tv, fridge. Save another $1,700 and you can get a 2500watt solar house kit. You can either link in with the grid and have your electric company pay you for giving energy, or disconnect and keep it all for yourself.

Good day.

Edit: As for water, look in to purchasing one of these.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by Gouki]

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by Gouki

I already have some smaller portable solar. The generator is portable, and as I live in Chicago, portable might be REALLY handy.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:42 PM
word is that hybrid cars can be fitted with a DC/AC transformer and power your home for very low cost. (obviously because of the high efficiency battery installed in them.) anyone considering an alternative energy source should consider a hybrid.

but the fact of the matter is that if/when the lights go out A)they will not stay that way for long, or B)kiss your butt goodbye.

i should mention also that if the natural gas gets shut off in a local grid, there will be enough pressure in the system for about three days of use....hey, better than nothin.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:51 PM
2000 watt? 2500 watt? That sounds pretty low considering the average house is capable of using more like 40,000 watts before the mains trip. Forget running a over, a cooktop, a dryer, or probably even a water heater on that wattage. You'll have a few lights and maybe some small appliances, but that's about it.

Now, if you could run it constantly and store any unused power for surge times, that might work. 2500 watts is about the average for a typical house around here. But the problem is that you'd need an awful lot of batteries to handle that kind of power, and a 40 kW inverter is hard to come by and pricey.


posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:57 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

the small comforts that would be provided by even such a small wattage would make you the envy of the neighborhood. plus: its a car! serves a dual purpose. gotta think smart in times like these.

only a suggestion.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by tgidkp

I suppose you have a point, especially about the hybrid car. I just don't like giving up the luxury of having power whenever it is wanted, regardless of load.

And that's probably not a good thing.


posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:46 PM

Originally posted by elston
I have been delaying purchasing a small generator for a while as funds are tight.

At what point could power, water, gas etc. be in jeapordy.

Are the providers invested in dangerous markets as well?

Would we see mass layoffs from utility companies and see that as a sign?

your 4 points:
why even buy a generator, get a bunch of camping gear to be able to live in the house. lanterns, ice in coolers, adjusting ones needs to thrive without electricity wouldn't be that difficult.

utilities in general are regulated by governments...
and they are reluctant to discontinue service -
unless you present yourself as a true-blue deadbeat by refusing to pay them something

Yes, the individual utility companies have company treasuries, where they invest in other assets--- bonds, stocks, etc...not to keep down cost to the consumers... but for financing their retirees pensions and such (these liabilities are called 'Lagacy' costs)

Layoffs?... possibly at first to controll their expendatures... but the state or federal govt's would soon provide for more personnel to monitor the service areas... iow more spies to see just whose pirating gas/water/elect
and to cut-off utility service & insure its not tapped into again.

these are just viewpoints from my observation & experience,
and not necessarily playbooks of what the utilities will actually do

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:14 PM

Originally posted by drsmooth23
while some people refuse to pay their rent, they usually dont refuse to pay the ted the power man, thus its not likely at all.

I have to disagree with that. I've known plenty of people who when times were tough, they let their bills go unpaid and got cut off. They just visit other people's homes who have heat and food, electricity and/or telephone service.

So many people (mostly the elderly) die each winter because they can't afford to heat their homes. The rent is usually the first thing they'll pay, even if it's late. After that they become homeless if they can't find shelter elseplace. In fact I'm sitting here right now with a paid gas bill, but my furnace has broken ... I'm cold and there's some snow outside, but at least I still have my shelter ... and extra blankets

[edit on 9-3-2009 by violet]

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:30 PM
Well, I know a few people that work for an electric company here, not the utility company, but they sublet this electric company for alot of repairs and construction work, for instance moving and replacing power lines on a huge road widening project. The company hired out by the electricic utility company is talking layoffs and cutbacks. The utility companies sub the work to avoid paying employees and benefits and taxes, so I can see alot of people working as utility sub contractors losing jobs.

This year our power company got approval to raise rates. They did. For three months running I've had electric bills over $200 and we've had a mild winter. In colder winters in the same house, I never had one go over $170. I don't know how some people are being able to pay their utilities this year as so many agencies are running out of money or just plain didn't have enough.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 10:41 PM
I work for a light company and the lights will go out when people don't pay their bills. I predict tampering will increase, bad debt will amount to higher losses for the companies.

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

I don't need to run the whole house and if you are going to do that, I hope you own a gas station. I could run a fridge and recharge some batteries. It's just nice to have a back up for some basic necessities. I can hang my clothes to dry, fire to cook, etc.

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