Triple Digits Expected


Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on June 20, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day of summer and with it comes the heat. MyMotherlode reports in part…

According to the National Weather Service, the hottest days in the Motherlode will be on Tuesday and Wednesday before a cooling trend begins on Thursday.

Cone Queen Ice-Cream Truck with Owner/Operator...

Image via Wikipedia

This will be the first significant heat spell of 2011 so residents are urged
to follow these heat tips:

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea.

3. Limit outdoor activity between noon and 6 p.m.

4. Stay out of the sun.

5. Use sunscreen.

6. If available, go to air conditioned places during maximum heating

7. Dress appropriately with light colored clothes.

8. Use wet cloths or blue cooler packs on the face, wrists or neck for a
quick cool down.

9. Never leave children or pets in the car.

10. Pets need plenty of fresh drinking water and shade to be protected from extreme heat.

11. Check up on an elderly family member or neighbor twice a day.

12. If heat illness occurs, contact your family physician or call 911

These are all good suggestions but I’d like to add to their list…

If you must be out in the heat, try rubbing a little peppermint oil to the back of your neck. When the air hits the peppermint it provides a natural cooling effect and helps to make you feel cooler.

Years ago, I passed by days driving an ice cream truck from neighborhood to neighborhood. I can tell you from first-hand experience, those ice cream trucks can get pretty hot inside. So, I would dampen a couple of hand towels, shape them in the form of a U, then freeze them.

When the temperature went up, I could pull one out and lay it across the back of my neck. It was amazing. Once that towel became warm, I would swap them out, so that I had a nice frozen towel whenever I needed one. Worked like a charm.

Stay cool folks, summer is approaching.

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Smart Meter’s Hidden Costs


Posted by Annie in Twain Harte News on August 2, 2009

I spent over an hour on hold waiting for someone — anyone — to answer the phone at PG&E. After the customer service representative patiently listened to me strongly complain, he basically said, “We don’t care. Deal with it,” and passed me off on someone else.

Devvy Kidd fights the TPUC and Smart Meters

I was informed that my call was recorded but that until I sent a written complaint my words were falling on deaf ears; Nobody was going to hear my complaint, save the flunky answering the phone, who was very polite if completely ineffective.

smart_meterIn the meantime, I’ve been reading up on these so-called “Smart Meters.” They are smart alright, they are going to make PG&E untold billions of dollars off consumers, because while they taunt the savings and controls consumers will have — notice the future tense.

The immediate payoff will be for PG&E, these new Smart Meters will allow them to accurately measure our usage and charge accordingly.  Currently, our bill is measured in “tiers,” which basically means, once I reach a certain point of usage, I start paying more.

With the new Smart Meters, the “tiers” will be based on the clock and the season. Those who use more electricity during “peak hours,” will be charged more. No wonder people are complaining about their bills going up.

Since we don’t have air conditioning and I do all my laundry in the middle of the night, I’m thinking our bill won’t go up too much, but I’m certain everyone’s bill will go up with these new meters installed. Why else would PG&E invest in so many, so quickly? They haven’t even been properly tested.

The best website I found that explains the way it works in Ontario was created by Northern Ontario Wires. They offer a great deal of helpful consumer information. This is what they have to say about California’s new technology:

Other jurisdictions such as Californiaare actively pursuing the same technology. On July 20, 2006, California’s energy regulators approved a program to roll out of conventional meters retrofit with communications co-processor electronics to 9 million gas and electric household customers in the Northern California territory of PG&E.

These meters report electricity consumption on an hourly basis. This enables PG&E to set pricing that varies by season and time of the day, rewarding customers who shift energy use to off-peakperiods.

The peak pricing program will start out on a voluntary basis, and the full rollout is expected to take five years.. The smart grid also allows PG&E to give customers timing and pricing options for upload to the grid.

Learn more about Smart Meters

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