One Hundred, Twelve Months, Thirty Cents discussed on Stuff They Don't Want You To Know Audio


Know even if you think i'm camping somewhere and there's clearly marked trail and i can walk half a mile to the parking lot. Just take some water with you. You know what i mean. And we'll last thing to add here. My uncle lives in a very nice area and on our previous episode. We'll be talking about this situation. It was mentioned at least rumors that power was being sent to very wealthy communities before it was going to be sent to anywhere else or like diverted. Well we're there was an inequality in in power distribution depending on essentially zip code or a neighborhood or something like that. I can't speak to all of those. But i can tell you been my family's house it is lovely isn't a ridiculously nice area. And they still lost power justice frequently as everybody else share. And i don't know exactly where senator ted cruz lives. But his house apparently got cold enough that they decided to piss off to What is it came coon. Yeah and we'll We'll look into that a little bit later in the episode to before we move on. I wanna thank Miles be nathan g jacob d and a number of other people who reached out to us to give us their experience a during this massive catastrophe jacob Especially noted noted something that one of by relatives in austin noted which is that people's odds of having power did seem to be better if they were if they were around something like emergency responder building or a hospital something like that jacob. You also noted that the story from urquhot kept changing as as wind power would be restored how rolling blackouts would work. Excetera of the said encore was giving updates like oh power is going to be on fifteen minutes. Your powers on not power was not on right. And there's there's kind of a fog of war with this to you. Know are so many moving parts. but here's what. When the power outages began natural gas plants utility scale wind turbines coal and nuclear plants. All of those started detroit meaning. They fell off the grid because they didn't have the investments necessary to keep them online during sustained low temperatures. They just couldn't function this way. Even if there wasn't a surge in demand for power like that's an important note even if it had just been the storm and dare had not been an increase in demand for energy. A lot of these facilities still would have failed just because they could handle it. That's why urquhot that's their logic for ordering utilities to institute rolling blackouts Which are probably familiar to enron fans in california if there are any ron fans left after after their massive debacle. And this is a big note that been mentioned here. I just want to make sure we're not going to go over too quickly. These were all sorts of different types of energy generating plants if no matter what you're reading online or what anybody is saying this is it is affecting all parts of not just the green sector. It's not just coal or natural gas or whatever it's everything across the board was being affected so the logic here is theoretically sound urquhot says look we have to. We have to kind of cut off arm to save the body temporarily right. We're going to strategically reduced temporary demand through a somewhat arcane process that is very vulnerable to corruption. Or maybe some phone calls from powerful people asking little favors anyway. They said by reducing demand at certain times in certain areas that would be able to prevent the entire circus tent of texas electricity from collapsing. And that's a rock and a hard place. Honestly if the entire grid failed then texans would have been without power for weeks even months and it could have affected All the other pieces of infrastructure right including water treatment. But that's a hard thing to square when you are in the midst of a ruling outage that was supposed to last for like a couple of hours and it lasted days at a time that happened to millions of people. We're gonna pause for a word from our sponsor and then we're going to dive into the unpleasant story of people who did keep their power for at least part of the time doesn't in the way you suspect pay i'm gabrielle collins period drama nerd and you're behind the scenes guy richardson on brigitta the official podcast. We're learning how this fantasy world dipped in history. Came to life daphne. Her costume design really is about the elegance of simplicity. It's just color and shape. We went old school and we got to see me cardis and who painted the backings floors by hand. These dukes are all like in their late twenties early thirties. Almost all of them are unmarried. Really good looking at none of them have syphilis time you management. He looks into your eyes and then he this you. 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Or wherever you get your podcasts back. Ok so imagine you are one of the lucky few who threw accident. Fate or design managed to keep your power for some or all of the winter. Outages you're not a super great place because the people who did have power found that their bills skyrocketed skyrocketed is not the right word gerbils launched into orbit they space rocket. Yeah and you know it it. It follows the concept of supply and demand. But you don't typically think of that in terms of like things that people need to survive as as that being a calculus and yet here we are. There's a little bit inside baseball here. But here's what having one megawatt of hope was called. Wholesale power went from fifty bucks to nine thousand dollars of wholesale power. Something that business will buy and then they will sell it provided to consumers. So this wouldn't affect you if you add what's called a fixed rate plan. That's a very common thing here in the us. You're basically as a customer forced to gamble with power company. And you you can make one of a couple of you can make a couple of types of bets. One of the bats is saying. Hey i will pay this much per unit of power all the time. And i'll do that for twelve months so if there's a surge in price or demand i won't have to pay more than my you know thirty cents or a buck thirty five or whatever but if the price goes lower than that dollar thirty five i still have to pay the dollar thirty five. So you're kind of in a casino with the power company. I always wondered. I mean i guess it really is up to the individual but dc about the benefit here was was alarmingly apparent but in general What would you recommend. Then i'll tell you all. I'll give you my opinion i've been i've been officially paying power now since two thousand in four so i've been paying separate power bills since two thousand four I have attempted to the variable style once. And it's the only time i had to pay ridiculous amounts of money for power And did the same thing with heating bills. Only once you got me once never will do it again. I've always felt that fixed rates seemed like the safest bet. And i'm a fixed rate man myself. Yeah agreed again. These are personal experiences. Mileage may vary but there are power monopolies here in georgia. So you ha- you are forced to deal with them. And they want you to gamble on and i i personally am not a big fan of gambling and i do think you could say nbc hyperbolic or whatever by describing it as this but it is. It is gambling. And i had experienced like you matt Variable can work if you like astutely time it and you pay attention. Close attention fixed rate. It's kind of like you're just paying more for the certitude in the predictability so Fixed three is pretty good. I think a lot of people in texas were unfixed rate too. So let's talk about the people who will with a variable rate I don't know what the smallest of place all of us Listening today have ever lived in his but there was one woman in texas who had a seven hundred square foot apartment pretty small. She was keeping it at sixty degrees. She didn't lose power for very long when she got her power. Bill it was one thousand dollars. This is this like a by design. Are they really thinking. People are going to pay this. Are they really going to hold people to these absurd bills. Is it supply and demand or is it price gouging. It's always an accident like let's just. The bill is not an accident. That's how much the energy costs when they were attempting when they're going through this crisis. If energy was being supplied to your home the supply demand. Baby it's messed up. It's really messed up. We can get into that a little more as we get to the conclusion here but yeah the the big thing is that a lot of people dealt with something like that huge in the thousands bills that were coming due and ultimately as we'll see this will have to be decided in the courts i think one guy was talking to nbc news. And he said. I have a two bedroom home. My power bills usually one hundred twenty five to one hundred and fifty bucks but this it's more than three thousand dollars which caught me by surprise. I am editorializing a little another family. One really extreme example. Another family told the same team at nbc that they were able to keep the power in their home which had three bedrooms and then they found their bill ended up being ten thousand dollars and the price. Gouging didn't stop. there didn't stop with power bills because remember. This is a crisis it will. Yeah and i get that. And i understand that this crisis for the energy end of it to the provider but again it's it's kind of their fault So it doesn't seem fair that they would pass this onto the consumer. But i guess that's what utilities do But would they have been notified. Would they have just known this happening from. Maybe the news. Like like i just i just feel would have been in the responsibility of the energy coming to say. Hey heads up. The this is about to get real expensive right. Yeah it's tough and also we have to remember. It was happening so quickly. You know what. I mean zero. Prep time but as we record today. Texas officials are cracking down on businesses. That have been accused of hiking. The prices of food and water and hotel rooms especially while the state is still battling through the shortages That were caused by these storms. Like people were going to hotels not even nice hotels. They're finding the the price of been hyped up to nine hundred bucks because folks who pay it There was like there was something. I found especially wholesome in a very disturbing way. There was a store like you know like little grocery store or a gas station that had closed down because of the storm and because they didn't have and some locals have been like breaking into this place to get but then they started paying on an honor system. And so there's like this pile of cash on the floor and a nice little like a nice. Not which i thought was a really. I thought that was a really human thing of a compliment but back to the water. More than twelve million people found water service disrupted more than two hundred thousand people in texas live in areas where water systems were completely non. We've got especially in rural texas. We've got a lot of people who have wells and generally. I think that is an awesome idea. But we had some folks contact us and say you know we thought we'd be okay but our wells are wells. Were frozen nord. I mean we're not on the grid. So what can we do can access.

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