Sunday, February 14, 2010

So, What’s Next?

That’s always an interesting – and necessary – question. Time marches on and progress or lack of it leaves a mark. It’s all up to the human race to provide the answer; well, most of the time.

Of course, nature has its way whether we like it or not, but in many cases we are able to use nature’s functions to our advantage and occasionally for our survival. All of which leads to the questions, “What have we learned?” and “How will we use this knowledge?”

It wouldn’t hurt to start with another question: “What happened?”

In a few words: The Industrial Revolution - generally considered to have happened between 1820 and 1870.

Using a few more words, consider it the conversion of the “western world” from an agrarian world to an economy based on human labor and fueled by energy from the ground and rivers. One source uses the analogy of “a change from hand and home production to machine and factory.”

And what happened was that all the new activity required major uses of energy that in the past had been ignored, unknown or underdeveloped.

And now the world ecology is in shambles. In varying degrees from “fair” to “very bad” everywhere you care to look. And there is only a beginning to the recognition of the problem and the need to make corrections.

Granted, some major corporations in the US are making promises to “contribute to the greening of America.” And some world governments are beginning to enact laws that will limit the use of contaminating fuels. These are good signs but, again, only a beginning.

So what’s to be done? Must humanity revert to an agrarian society? Close the factories and resume the hand-making of needed products? What about heating homes in the winter? And cooling needed areas in the summer?

What about transportation? Can we only travel as far as our horses can carry us? Or bring our meager products to town in horse-drawn carts?

Actually, none of the above.

Our regular readers, and students, have seen our clear vision of a clean and green future based on water power providing clean, efficient electricity to provide all the human needs now provided by the fossil predators and their supporters.

Be of good cheer! The realization of our vision is not impossible and can be achieved within the next thirty to fifty years – BUT we must get started now!

Now We’re 102!!

Not many business continuums can say that. And being able to say that means that a lot of our contributions have been recognized as meaningful and forward thinking.

Of course we do get a lot of friendly joshing about our age too. “Aren’t you getting tired?

“Do you remember gaslight?” Well, in addition to being the major energy utility at the beginning of the 20th century, it also turned out to be a marvelous motion picture starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

We’ve told our story before but it’s worth retelling – especially at anniversary times.

Our founder, Frank Edward Lorson was a young man in 1908 working for the president of the innovative Edison Company in New York City. A lot was going on in the growing metropolis - most important, to us, was the recognition that electricity was going to be the preferred energy for use in industry and homes. The supply and delivery of natural gas had grown to public utility status and had become the standard for the lighting and heating of homes and businesses.

In 1882, Thomas Edison’s Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York started service to 59 customers in a square-mile area in lower Manhattan. At that time most buildings, both commercial and residential generated their own power by burning coal or oil. This was the beginning of the end for gas for lighting the city.

Edison found that while most multi-tenanted office and residential buildings in NYC that had electricity made the power in their own with generating plants. He developed a way to induce the owners to buy their power from him – meter each tenant’s usage, master meter the entire building power, provide separate tenant bills for Landlord to collect and bill the Owner for the total building usage at a bulk (reduced) rate. The profit for the buildings was too good to be ignored. And it wasn’t.

All this was well and good and Edison’s load was building steadily. But the newly formed Public Service Commission found that while selling wholesale to Owners for resale was approvable, the Owners, not the utility, should service the tenant meters and so the business that came to be known as Submetering began in NYC.

And in 1908 Frank Lorson was the first to organize a company devoted to providing the meter reading and billing services for Owners. That firm, New York Supply & Inspection Co., Inc is still in business in New York.

There have been a number of “spin-off” companies from the original. Those are in the construction, maintenance and utility management fields. And our endeavor, Lorson Energy LLC continues the traditional pursuit of excellence in the field of energy conservation, controls and ecological care