An Open Letter to Electrical Utilities

Reliability and Accountability... Appreciated.

 

Dear Local Electrical Utility,

The Grid Effort applauds the work and important contribution that electrical utilities provide to cities all across our nation.  As an organization with a deep appreciation of how important electricity is in our communities, we have a great deal of sincere respect for the work that electrical utilities perform in delivering their product to all of us each and every day.  We also appreciate the expertise and resources committed by the National Electrical Reliability Corporation to improve electric grid reliability. 

The Grid Efforts exists to correct a long-present limitation in the specifications for resilience in the nation's electrical power grid, specifically protection of the high voltage transformers.  As you know, every aspect of the electrical power grid is expertly built and maintained to specification.  Therefor any weaknesses in the grid must be a result of the specifications to which it was built and is maintained.  

The Grid Effort is an organization supported by electrical consumers who wish to participate in an effort to improve the resilience of that portion of the electrical power grid that serves their city.  We want our communities protected from risk of long term blackouts caused by electromagnetic pulse or extreme solar storms.  It’s our intent to be of service to the community and the utilities by providing the means to bypass the long held practice of endless technical studies, policy and review meetings, funding approval processes, bureaucracy, and general inaction.  Instead, The Grid Effort will simply supply the needed equipment and give it to the communities or the utilities themselves.    The utilities can then be heroes to the customer communities by simply installing the equipment.

Electrical utilities have an important influence on a critical piece of each community’s infrastructure, which is essential to the lifestyles, health, and wellbeing of every member of the community.  Therefore, The Grid Effort appreciate efforts by utilities to continue to address their moral and operational obligation to look after the safety of the community through the continued supplied of electricity. 

It’s understood by The Grid Effort and knowledgeable experts that, after years and years of studies and testing have now been completed, enough data has been collected to allow a reasonable body to conclude that effective blocking equipment exists and can be installed.  Moreover, sufficient expertise to ensure proper installation and operation of the equipment exists within the utility company and/or can be retained, if needed.

The Grid Effort endeavors to work with all utilities in a collaborative fashion to help complete our goal.  We will seek to understand the utility's priorities and, as best as possible, structure our interface to dovetail with them.  Again as best as possible, we look forward to supporting reasonable processes for implementing the wishes of the citizens of a community, whether those methods are established best practices, or new, non-routine innovations.  In either case, The Grid Effort wishes to partner with the community, and with the utility.  Some examples of collaborative, community oriented posture might include:

  • The utility allowing its customers to make a donation to The Grid Effort by including an extra amount in their (monthly) electric bill, which would then be donated to The Grid Effort.  In exchange, The Grid Effort would support a policy of the utility retaining a reasonable amount of said donations in order to cover handling and management expenses associated with the giving and donating.
  • The utility enabling its staff to donate Paid Time Off hours to fund the man hours necessary for the electricians to support the  installation of the equipment.  Any staff at the utility could be enabled to donate a day or two, or even just an hour our two.  Any lineman, any technical staff, any admin staff, and any management could donate just a little time.  With this method, the great employees at the utility could, if they want, help to cover the expense of improving the resilience of the electric grid, without that expense hitting the utility's financial budget.

Any utility wishing to boost its reputation as a supporter in-and-for the community, then supporting The Grid Effort is a fine way to demonstrate that support.  Not only is such support very credible and genuine, it’s also in the utility’s “wheel house.”  Additionally, it obviously offers the added advantage of servicing as a legitimate charitable tax write off for the utility.