An initiative to control the thermostats of private homes and businesses has bit the dust.
Investor’s Business Daily had a good review of the proposal on Jan. 15 – only three days ago – and to say that people freaked out about the Big Brother concept is an understatement.
The California Energy Commission has proposed requiring the use of what is called a Programmable Communicating Thermostat (PCT) that would allow government to control the temperature of homes and businesses in the event of high energy prices or shortages.
As one outraged consumer said in an e-mail to the commissioner: “We need to build new facilities to handle the growth in the state, not become Big Brothers to the citizens of California.”
Nuclear power, for example, could provide California — and the nation, for that matter — with all the clean electricity needed if the same bureaucrats who propose controlling our thermostats would get out of the way.
But California has banned construction of new nuclear power plants since 1976. Four reactors under construction at that time were allowed to be completed, and Californians should be glad they were.
I bet they are glad those four plants were finished; but they certainly will not admit it.
After a public outcry, commission officials last week said the regulation would be revised so that the devices would still be required, but configured so that customers could override outside control by utilities.
But the agency backed off even more this week by announcing that the proposed remote-controlled thermostats would be dropped entirely from the 2008 edition of the building-efficiency standards.
It does seem that even in California, environmental whackos can go too far.