Posts by Bart Janssen

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to linger,

    something that was not generally well-understood 20 years ago

    I agree, with respect to the risk from weather. Although I'd note that climate change and its effect on extreme weather events was well known 20 years ago - it was however loudly denied.

    But that doesn't alter the discussion with respect to cars hitting power poles, or maintenance/replacement costs associated with over ground lines.

    The idea that cities should move infrastructure underground has been around longer than 20 years.

    Vector's reluctance to push undergrounding has had much more to do with giving the appearance of making a profit than with providing the best possible infrastructure for the city.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to Neil,

    It’s the problem with hindsight

    WTF. It's been known for decades that undergrounding protects the lines and reduces maintenance costs and reduces road accidents.

    It's not hindsight, it's an utter failure of management.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    And yet again Vector is blaming the customer's trees for the problems.

    And yes it will cost $3 billion to underground now.

    But that cost only exists because of mismanagement for the last two decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The lines don't blow over - but the trees do blow over onto the lines.

    This led Vector management to blame Aucklanders for having trees that could blow over onto the lines that Vector should have been putting underground for the last two decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    I’m willing to lay odds that whatever money Entrust has set aside for undergrounding of power lines amounts to only a tiny fraction of the cost of undergrounding the 45% of the city that still has overhead lines

    And you're right.

    But it isn't as straightforward as saying it wasn't enough money to prevent the chaos of his week.

    If, as should have happened, each year that dividend had been used to underground lines, then each year there would have been fewer lines to knock down and repair each year and fewer power poles for drivers to wrap their cars around.

    That reduces repair costs each year leaving more operating costs to invest in more undergrounding.

    It's a virtuous cycle.

    Stack that up over a decade and while we still would have had a disaster last week but it would have been 10 or 20% fewer lines down. And that makes a huge difference to recovery.

    But instead we've had management teams more concerned with this years KPIs and getting their bonuses than with providing a service to their employers - because that's what the public is - we are their employers - we pay their salaries and we have a right to expect better of them.

    Of course that's all moot now - now we have an urgent disaster. And every useless councilor we've had in the past shares the blame for that. They should all be ashamed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to John Farrell,

    Gas can be a problem for cooking....a lot of hobs have a mains connection to power igniters

    Yeah our gas hob needed matches but otherwise was a dinner saver.

    USB rechargable bike lights provided all the light we needed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    One more comment.

    Next day I read and heard Vector management blaming Aucklanders for having too many trees that knocked down all those power lines.

    So here's the thing, I still have my Vector shares and I still get dividends from them.

    What the hell is the company doing giving out dividends when the basic network infrastructure is so vulnerable?

    When undergrounding was suggested (well duh) the response was "ooo that's a bit expensive".

    How much money was just spent repairing all those downed lines???

    And how many of your shareholders would prefer to have underground robust power supplies rather than a dividend.

    Classic short term cost savings creating a huge liability, frankly the board of directors should be delivering a major "please explain" message to the management and none of the management should be getting their bonuses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    In Mt Roskill our first indication it was really windy was hearing the old UHF aerial coming down off the roof. I had been meaning to get it down sometime but frankly I don't like heights so having the wind helpfully uninstall it wasn't the worst news.

    Then about 9:30 pm the power went out. We had the same problem as everyone else, the vector app wouldn't accept our outage and never ever acknowledged our outage. The web page wouldn't even load the map. Kinda silly that the management at vector had obviously ignored the IT people who certainly would have told them they need to plan for high load events.

    We have -80 C freezers at work so we know the first thing you do with freezers in a power cut is make sure nobody opens them. Even after a 22 hour outage the ice cubes hadn't melted.

    The extra insulation and double glazed windows proved again to be a good investment on a cold Auckland where the temperature dropped to below 20 C!!!!

    We had dinner out the next day and fortunately had power back on when we got back home.

    Like most folks the biggest frustration was just not getting information from vector, either their app or their webpage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to Patrick Xavier,

    Wellington’s CBD and inner suburbs, streets are cleaned nightly, including by mobile vacuum cleaner; drains and pavements are maintained; and fallen debris is removed promptly. I am quite surprised, on my return to Auckland, to discover that basic level of civic civility is absent.

    Essentially Auckland has been under constant pressure to keep rates low. The classic C&R package is all rates are evil especially those levied on rich people.

    The consequence is sequential councils keep pressuring departments to meet ever more stupid budgets. What happen is maintenance is the first "cost-saving".

    Try riding any of the white line cycle lanes which are usually covered in detritus from the roads.

    Compound that with the CCOs which are run to make "profits" who also believe cutting costs (aka services) is the best business model.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We should stop being…,

    Alternative title could have been

    Well duh!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

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