As I’m sitting here reading about topics including electricity prices, electric cars, and utility innovation in Public Utilities Fortnightly, it occurs to me: why are so many organizations and companies in the utility industry named after Edison when the electric car company is named after Tesla? This makes no sense, whatsoever. Edison was the vehement direct current advocate, and Tesla was the alternating current advocate. They were fierce rivals. But the car uses Edison’s direct current, while the utilities, of course, produce and deliver Tesla’s alternating current. I can only conclude that Edison was a better marketer, but I’ll bet he didn’t get naming rights.
Tesla seems to be very full of himself. No wonder Edison is bitter.
Steve Mitnick from Fortnightly writes an opening editorial for each edition and a daily email to subscribers. In the recent January article, he again, after quite a few daily emails on the subject, wrote about record low electricity prices as a percentage of consumer spending. August 2004 saw the lowest electricity cost of all time at 1.3 percent of consumer spending. That was the summer before Hurricane Katrina, after which prices shot up because of disabled natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Natural gas prices drive electricity prices, now more than ever. The following chart, showing data from the Energy Information Administration, is an interesting plot of spot natural gas prices and annualized prices. You can see the Katrina price spike in mid to late summer, 2005. The next price spike was the summer of 2008 – the commodity and housing price bubble that went ploink in the fall and triggered the great recession. Since then, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas seems to have put a long-term, strong downward force on prices.
 You know, DC, like with batteries, not utilities
 AC power that utilities generate and deliver
 He probably would have agreed back in 2012 too.