Monday, 22 December 2014

Electrical consumption meter failures.

All houses have electric consumption meters that measure current used for billing purposes.  Over the last few years I have seen two metering failure that have worked for the benefit of the householder. I report these here in the light of open disclosure. Neither are things that were deliberately done and cannot be replicated except in special circumstances especially if you want to remain honest.

1) After the fitting of a set of solar panels the consumption meter was not upgraded. The meter that was in place was one of the older rotating disk types. As the solar generated power was exported to the grid the meter unwound the previously recorded consumption.  The householder was paid for the power generated via a generation meter and received a discount as the previous consumption was unwound. That is double accounting.  For one summer quarter the total electric bill was 1% of the normal/expected amount.   The situation was unwound when during another summer the consumption bill reading was negative and the electricity company realised the mistake.  

2) After moving house into a slightly larger house, it was found to have a dual rate meter.  These meters known as Economy 7 are matched with a special tariff arrangement where by the cost of electrify at night is cheaper than the day rate.  The day rate is higher than than the normal day rate. The meter shows three numbers in sequence labeled 1,2,T   The 1 & 2 numbers are the two rates and the T number is a total of the two rate numbers.  After a visit from a real meter man a letter was received from the utility company sating that the number types from the meter had been entered round the wrong way and would be corrected in future.  Turns out that the day and night number had been reversed and the house had benefited as a result of that.  Like most houses we use more electric in the daytime despite my (now futile) efforts to put the dish and washing machines on at night.  There are solar panels to cover some of the daytime consumption and under floor heating to eat that up.

That was two metering errors that worked out in the houses favour, most certainly an unusual sequence of events.  

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Peter Gabriel - Why he is the best rocker in town.

I saw Peter Gabriel live in concert last night and it was a great show. Booked up in March this was a long anticipated treat.  The songs were great, the band focused and engaged, staging compact and driven.  Over all that great lyrical voice with distinctive edge. Awesome show.

Looking back there are lots of other reasons that I am a solid PG fan.  Over his long career his has driven for the democracy of world music as well as oppressed peoples. His early forays into CD-rom multi media and the music downloads biz opened doors that whole industries have followed through.

A creative force right from the start of his early music days with Genesis, PG has built an impressive opus of solo albums, live work, film scores, music vids and political influence. This is celebrity status built on a long solid foundation of delivered greatness.

PG resonates with me because:

  • His concerts rock and surprise and lift and deliver as only the best live gigs can.
  • He looked after his Dad
  • Innovated beyond the stage and on the stage.
  • Reinvention of himself but still dug back to the glory days
  • Take time to get it right
  • - lets see how that delivers
  • Took a year out to travel with his family
  • Does his own bootleg albums ( Encore series ) 
  • I so wanted to sing that duet (or just be next to) Kate Bush

Personal favourite album & track is "I have the touch" on the Security album. A real HiFi tester with a subtle influence of world rhythms in a tasty rock shell. Was used as the sound track for the feature film Birdy.
A story of post war PTS recovery told through the eyes of two friends.  PG songs integrated into sound track. His other movie scores have been more mood music orientated.
Many concerts available as "bootleg" recordings direct from the house sound deck and sold via the Encore series.

Sledgehammer - most played MTV video ever

Go see a PG concert if you ever possibly can. Or check out the footage on