Last modified on August 27, 2011, at 14:03

reframe:NB Power

See reframe:namespace, framing (politics), defense frame and issue/position/argument for explanations of the principles used in this reframing. Redirect spin terms and nonsense phrases used in context of the NB Power controversy, 2010, e.g. rate split, sell NB Power, etc. to this page rather than to their own pages in term:namespace. This makes it much simpler to educate the people who use such terms. For instance when posting material from news articles or quotes from officials who use these terms, simply putting a link [[rate split]] into the text creates a link to this page.

Do you have more great arciltes like this one?

realigning the frameEdit

NB Power must come to be perceived by the public as not simply a cheap-as-possible electric provider, and not a subsidizer of electric supply to consumers who may continue to waste as much as they do now, but as a steward of vital irreplaceable public rights of way and a trusted provider of electric power, safety-related services and a regulated broker of communications access to poles and to homes.

This involves several specific challenges to assumptions commonly made by the media and politicians:

NB Power moves more information than electricity, and this will be more so over timeEdit

Currently almost all Internet, phone, TV and other data traffic moves over NB Power's poles, which are provincially regulated (the SCC has ruled that the CRTC has no jurisdiction over power poles!).

As NIST smart grid standards and time-of-use pricing are implemented, which is inevitable, the openADR and openHAN standards guarantee that data will flow to and through power lines themselves if only to manage energy use (cut peak load, etc.). A rural BPL solution to provide universal wired broadband, which IBM+IBEC are deploying in the US, would move literally all the information in a household over the power lines at least to the transformer on a power pole.

Over time, the income and assets and expertise involved in moving information will be greater and those involved in moving electricity itself will be less - eventually NB Power must become a general purpose utility capable of managing both power and data, and is already leading the Maritime region in this regard.

NB Power is primarily a distribution network, transmission is regulated, generation commodityEdit

NB Power's primary value is in its distribution network that connects all consumers by wires to the power grid, and to communications services which will only become more advanced and safety-critical over time. By contrast, its transmission network is highly regulated by the OATT and therefore cannot be a source of reliable long-term profits. Generation of power is generally a liability, and the more of this that can be passed off to grid users themselves (via cogeneration, etc.), the better. Most utilities are reducing their generating assets and going into new businesses enabled by their distribution network and relationships, e.g. the electric co-ops working with IBM and IBEC in the US (see rural BPL). NB Power could sell off all generating assets, give up all transmission discretion and profit (which is minimal anyway) and would still be the most strategic Crown asset in the province. Equating "selling NB Power" to selling off generating assets is a very serious error.

NB Power is well-positioned to pay its debt off, by entering the communications businessEdit

NB Power has numerous advantages when selling communications services directly to the public:

  • it already operates a secure trusted network to manage its own assets, to high safety standards
  • it already has a longstanding trusted relationship with the public and manages much private data
  • as a regulated Crown corporation it has little incentive to enable questionable business practices
  • it controls the NB Power right of way which technically belongs to the people or First Nations
  • it is owned by the province that regulates it, with jurisdiction over the power poles and the right of way and all education, medical, transport and other possible uses of a secure authenticated network
  • NB Power can sell electricity, conservation of electricity, monitoring and management of electricity, transmission of electricity generated by the customer or a third party, and pays for all its infrastructure including broadband communications within its system with the revenues from these, therefore it has extreme advantages over telcos (Aliant, Rogers, Telus, etc.) in provisioning costs
  • NB Power has every rational reason to deploy encryption, authentication, bonding and insurance sufficient to enable third parties to access its network and offer trusted services to the public
  • NB Power has, and has used, arbitrary power to set prices for access to power poles, to disrupt and eliminate competitors or force them to raise rates to pay for this risk or even to fight with each other

Because some of these advantages are unfair and anti-competitive, a heavily regulated communications regime where the price of access to power poles, electric service cables, home wiring masts, etc., are established as formal tariffs, and the requirements for encryption, authentication, bonding and insurance to offer safety-critical services (such as fire or medical monitoring or home security) are uniform across the province, is relatively easy to justify and would be easy for any government to implement. The alternative would be either an increasingly-indebted NB Power unable to use any of its advantages to compete in communications, and telecom incumbents faced with uncertain regulation and able to block or stall deployment of safety-critical services and NIST smart grid standards.

NB Power is not in the business of lower rates per watt, but can lower overall bills with dataEdit

NB Power should, like all other utilities in North America, accept that any generated transmitted and distributed electricity is expensive and getting more so, and subject to time-of-use pricing to deal with peak loads that cannot in principle be managed any other way than dynamic pricing. To avoid catastrophically higher power bills due to this increase in prices per watt during peak hours, NB Power and politicians should speak in terms of lower utility bills including communications and water and taxes related to fire safety and medical coverage. All of these can be made much more efficient by deploying NIST smart grid standards and intelligent community systems as early as possible across the province. Even universal wired broadband becomes practical if this is done.

NB Power can reduce inequities within the provinceEdit

Amazingly, the Tobic reserve where the prime generating asset used by NB Power is located, is one of the poorest communities in Canada. Other reserves hosting such assets have even poorer deals with NB Power. Renegotiating those deals can solve ownership and stewardship disputes and lead to new deals that enable these communities to be first to adopt the most advanced safety and communications systems in the province, which will help them overcome other economic disadvantages. As a Crown corporation, NB Power can be the vehicle of resolving longstanding equity problems within NB, and in doing so it can generate the skills, experience and trust to engage others inside and outside the province. The correct mechanisms for doing this are not rate-per-watt subsidies that increase waste but aggressive promotion of grid upgrades and implementation of NIST smart grid standards.

IMHO you've got the right asewnr!

Phenomenal breadkown of the topic, you should write for me too!

examples of useEdit

lower bills not lower ratesEdit

In the debate about rates, instead of saying "lower rates" are a goal or desirable, say "lower overall utility bills".

NB Power manages rather than owns rights of way, they cannot be soldEdit

In the debate about rights of way, instead of saying NB Power "owns" them, say it "manages them" on behalf of the province and First Nations who have ceded the power to do so to it and can withdraw it. Rights of way cannot be sold as they were expropriated by the public for use by the public in perpetuity for the public good, not to sell to third parties for private good.

NB Power must be valued as a communications company primarilyEdit

In the debate over NB Power's asset value, compare it directly to Telus, Bell, Rogers and so on, to emphasize the communications rights of way in the distribution network, including customer relations (NB Power is probably more trusted than any of those in this regard).

NB Power debt is most readily and easily paid by deploying new and communications servicesEdit

In the debate over NB Power debt, emphasize the new emerging services (see home grid evolution from 2010 to 2020) and the income potential of those as the primary way to be paying off the debt.

Ya learn something new evyeardy. It's true I guess!

other resourcesEdit

See power grid terms, home grid evolution from 2010 to 2020, rural BPL, NB Power controversy, 2010, and the Main Page.

what progressives value and wantEdit

Resilience. {State how this frame will support resilient and safer communities). Sustainability. {State how this frame will support sustainability, including efficient use of materials and energy and minimizing use of transport.} Fairness. {State how the frame will support fairness in society and address equity issues} Consistency. {State how this frame will support consistency of the advocate's position.}

It's sopkoy how clever some ppl are. Thanks!