Electrical Neutrality

by @edent | | 2 comments | Read ~188 times.

There's a new energy provider launching in the UK soon, Elektrique Power. They've got an innovative pricing structure that I'd like to discuss.

As a base rate, they charge 12p/kWh - that's one of the cheapest on the market. But that's where the good deals end.

That 12p is only for domestic 13amp sockets. For a 32amp socket - like your oven - that will cost you 17p/kWh.

To be clear, you can use exactly the same amount of electricity from two different sockets and be charged different amounts. Their argument is that "faster" power costs them more to deliver and, by charging more, they also encourage energy efficiency. OK...

That's not all. Elektrique have done a special deal with Samsnug. If you use a Samsnug fridge, you'll only pay 10p/kWh. Use a competitor's fridge and you're paying 14p.

It gets worse. Samsnug are entering the vacuum cleaner market, so Elektrique won't let you connect any other vacuums to your electricity supply. If it is a Hoover or a Dyson, it simply won't work. Sorry.

I know, I know! It's your electricity, you should be able to use it how you want. But there are no regulations around electrical neutrality. Your energy supplier is free to vary the pricing, block appliances, and discriminate at will.

So, would you sign up for this electricity provider?

Elektrique are a fictional company. In case you haven't guessed. But this sort of pricing model is very real.

This is the choice many of us are faced with today. Net Neutrality guarantees that we can use any service we like with our Internet connection. Neutrality means your provider cannot arbitrarily block services which compete with them or their partners.

Neutrality means innovation can flourish. You do not have to ask the network providers for permission to launch a fantastic new service. We cannot let the future of our Internet be held up by old-fashioned companies seeking control how we live our lives.

Fight the power!

2 thoughts on “Electrical Neutrality

  1. Neil says:

    For any bored readers interested in the EU position, see Articles 3 and 4 (in particular) of https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32015R2120&from=EN

  2. Šime Vidas says:

    Maybe it just me being dumb, but if my electricity provider told me that electricity is more expensive via 32 Amp sockets, I would probably not see that as an issue. My mind would go: faster electricity hence more expensive, got it! 😅

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