I received an email of anguish from a friend of mine who is in business creating small and mid-size storage / warehouse type buildings. His business is local. His problem: A new edict from above on NC State building codes.

This building code was passed by the legislature in the State, but did not originate there. It was created by the Building Code Council and based on the International Code Council. Within this construct is something called the NCECC ( North Carolina Energy Conservation Code) that regulates energy conservation in new construction. This NCECC edict was funded by the Federal Department of Energy (DOE). The book on this 2012 Building Code can be bought here. The first line of the description states: "The 2012 North Carolina Building Code is based on the 2009 International Building Code."

Can you tell where this is going? The mandates in this NC 2012 Building Code, according to my businessman friend, are draconian. One example he gave to me was the requirement for higher cost, higher temperature containment insulation for even the simplest buildings such as he creates for his customers. Why is that draconian? Because it causes costs of these buildings (using a pun) to go through the roof!! This prices out some of his customers. Either he eats the increase or the customer eats it. Both ways, this is bad for business viability. (stating the obvious) Could the marketplace decide this on its own? Yes. Could there be options? Yes. But no....the Code is a mandate. Building and Construction businesses will have no options. They are told what they must sell. Customers are told what they must buy.

Who is driving this mandate? Is this like GE lobbying congress to eliminate the incandescent light bulb in order to force sales of compact fluorescent light bulbs?? Yes, exactly.

Another example of this is the Smart Meter technology now being foisted upon the unsuspecting public. Duke Energy and other energy companies across the country are forcing people into Smart Meters using Federal money and the attached mandates that come with the money. The joke is on you. You see, the sales pitch is always about saving you money and saving the planet by less energy use. But the punch line is that the energy companies stand to rake in untold fortunes from the public by raising the consumer prices for their commodity, not to mention the TOU (Time Of Use) charges for using energy at "peak hours." This saves you no money, but makes one heck of a lot more money for the energy companies. Worse than this is the monitoring of your energy use in real time. Every time you open your refrigerator door, a message is sent to the energy company. Turn on your dryer? They know it. Are you saving the planet by allowing them to do this? Nah.

Energy codes are becoming a tsunami of mind boggling control over what you can and cannot do in both your business life and your personal life. All of this is driven by two types of zealots. First, it is the environmentalist orgs, who, like Al Gore, are trying to make you believe that you have no right to purchase and use the energy you wish. They have huge buckets of lobby money. Second are the corporations who are queuing up to cash in on the environmental crisis peddling to the public...also, lobbying and using campaign war chests.

Do the large corporations control the legislatures of our States and our nation? Are the global environmentalists forcing their will on us through our legislatures? Lobby money is powerful. We are not. Free market nation? Not any more.

Hat tip: Consumer Reports

Aside, from California on Smart Meters:

PG&E's electric rates are the highest in California, much higher than non-profit utility companies.
PG&E's high rates keep stockholders like Barclay's Global and JP Morgan Chase happy, with plenty left over to fund excessive executive salaries and purchase political influence.
Since 2000, PG&E has spent your money on:

Overpaid CEO: Peter Darbee has received $48,560,044 in salary, bonuses and stock options and pension benefits
Political influence/lobbying: $69,240,759
Dumb Smart Meters: $2.2 billion
Deregulation bailout: $9 billion
Fighting public power: $25 million in local elections � and PG&E has already spent $9 million of a projected $35 million to defeat public power statewide with Prop 16

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