How Long Has That Engine Trouble Light Been On?

checkenginePerhaps you are guilty of this, or have noticed this in others. Rather than attend to indications of engine trouble, people will put tape over the light or place a picture of their loved ones in front of it so they don’t have to look at it any longer.

Why is it they won’t bring the car in for servicing? Is it just because they are financially strapped, or is that they are fearful something really terrible might be wrong and it is better not to know it? I remember getting into one of my daughter’s cars and noticed that the low engine oil light was on. I asked how long that was showing and she said about two years … oh my … not good.

I think we have a lot of “energy business trouble lights” showing these days, yet no one seems interested in fixing them. Ours seldom show through to key officers in our companies because they tend to shoot the messenger you know. Yet, they are glowing brighter and brighter these days.

Here are my favorites for the moment:

Energy efficiency is more than a resource, it is a relationship we have with our customers. You can’t simply say you want more or less of a resource without damaging relationships. We must separate out the goals and objectives we have from the opportunity to be at trusted energy advisor to our customers.

Renewable energy sources are just that … energy … they are not capacity. If we are going to have more and more renewables, we will still need the same amount of capacity resources to keep the lights on when these resources are not available. Given that our capacity resources will be used fewer and fewer hours a year, the cost for that capacity will rise per kWh. So, renewables raise costs and are not substitutes for capacity. Build new gas plants for capacity if you want, but build you must because old coal plants make lousy standby power plants.
Least-cost and integrated resource planning have to evolve with all of this. We need a new regulatory framework to accommodate this and we must reinvent our traditional thinking around cost effectiveness to reflect today’s world.
The trouble lights are glowing brightly. It is only a matter of time before the engine fails. That is not prudent. That is irresponsible.

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