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I would love to have participated in this rather darkly hilarious effort, but that SCE cut our power all afternoon these last 3 days anyway - very helpful.

Let us enumerate the ways this effort is bizarre.
1) CAISO day ahead power sales for this period in this area are around $220/MWh (www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/prices.html). This is pretty expensive by CA standards.

There's a huge consumer business opportunity here.
2) All you have to do is be miserably hot for the 5 hottest days of the year and you could save $40! If someone offered me $2 to be miserably hot for an hour I don't think I'd take it. My kids who can't nap in 105 F heat certainly wouldn't, and they're pretty broke.
3) Saving power by turning off lights or unplugging a phone charger is absurd. ACs are it, as far as major energy consumers in houses at this time of year. Dedicated 240 V breaker? ACs. I could run every other appliance and I think it would still win.
3) (cont) If it doesn't make the lights dim when you turn it on, turning it off is unlikely to help the grid much.
4) Utility electricity consumers are not a particularly natural counterparty for predictive energy arbitrage, at least, not in an unfederated individual sense.

Broadly, this sort of groveling PR utility message is a huge signal of a market failure.
4) (cont) CA is still suffering PTSD from Enron's fraudulent stupidity, but wildly swinging prices are battery magnets, and we should be deploying them en masse at every scale.
5) When did we, as a city/state/nation, adopt a scarcity mindset? Our far-sighted ancestors BUILT future-proof water and power infrastructure in CA that was so wildly successful we *terraformed* half the state and barely maintained this gift to posterity.
5) (cont) Now, with our population and consumption finally nudging against the limits of systems designed and built for a century ago, our response is to send weird emails begging people to unplug their phones? BUILD!
We need to think about how Los Angeles and California will look in 2120 and build towards that future. We don't know every answer but we know of a few tricks which will help the overall process a lot. Solar, batteries, desal, permitting reform.

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Darkly amusing and insightful thread from @CJHandmer . Let's build for the long term future we want.