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The Nelson Photo News



Power and the Consumer

The chap on the left, examining his mid-winter power bill received from the Nelson City Council, has received a shock sufficient to stand his hair on end. No doubt, similar scenes have been re-enacted throughout New Zealand, especially in the colder South Island centres.

Because power plays such a tremendous part in the country's internal economy (and especially the domestic economy), we've taken a hard look at power usage and charges. To do this we sought the cooperation of the Nelson City Council's electricity department. This was readily given, for the department feels that consumers should be made aware of the major factors influencing the use and charges of power.

The major criticism we've heard of late concerns the scarcity of electrically-heated hot water during the cold weather. No doubt the electricity department has been blamed for this, since the department controls water heating by means of the ripple control system. Below: Sub-station operator Cyril Flowerday at the control point at the council sub-station. His control of water heating is determined by the load gauge just above his head. When peak load is reached, water heating in some areas is shut off. But the amount of load is dependant often on the amount of use we give the electrical equipment such as those shown below left.