Stunning note on power usage

Wow, I had no idea about this:

Raise your hand if you knew that streetlamps accounted for 38 percent of all energy used on lighting in the USA.

That’s amazing.

(Side note: I’ve been mysteriously absent from the blog (and responding to a few emails that are hanging in the back of my inbox) the last few weeks.  More on that later, but for now, you’ll have to accept this).

Update: Wow, I forgot to link back to the source article from this with more information about it, and a possible solution.  Bad Marius.

Power – It’s a good thing

As many people have blogged about in the past few days, the Seattle area got slammed with a massive windstorm last Thursday. Winds peaked out at 69mph at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and were clocked at 118mph near Mt. Rainier.

We lost power at 5:51pm that night. I called [PSE]( and was told we were the first ones to call with an outage report. 6 days, 12 hours, and 57 minutes later, we got power back this morning at 6:48am.

Kudos to all the linesmen and power crews that have been working around the clock to bring electricity back online.

What’s the most impressive is that you don’t realize just how dependent on electricity you are until you go without for more than a day or two.

Power Outage Notifications

So, tonight at home, we had a multi-hour power outage. [side note: it really is boring without electricity]

I called our electric company (Puget Sound Energy [S&P400: PSD]) to report the outage, just in case no one else had. I started off with a phone tree, that usually drive me nuts; PSE surprised me with a really slick automated system.

I hit 1 for power outages or gas leaks; 2 for power outages; and finally 1 because I didn't know where the outage was from. It read me back the first 4 digits of my address to confirm (by matching the number I called from with my account), and I hit 1 to confirm. It read back that my outage report had been received, and that 25 other people in my area had called, and that an estimated 695 homes were without power. This was approximately 5 minutes after the power failed.

All this, automated. Wow.

I called back a couple more times, and it knew that I had already registered the outage (“You have already reported an outage, please hold for more information.”) and gave me updated statistics: 30 minutes later, 52 people had called it in, and an hour later, 75 people called it in. Quite an impressive system, overall.