Access by Various artists

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Access: How many agencies does it take to change a light bulb?

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  • Angela Hart, in reply to TracyMac,

    I’m amazed that in-home medical equipment actually comes without a battery backup – even if only half an hour’s duration. I’m even more amazed that the health authority has no guidelines or provision for recommending/providing additional backup equipment for precisely this scenario.

    It is odd. We regularly point out to various medical professionals that the feed pump we use has a battery built in but the respiratory equipment has no back-up. They think it's odd too. But nothing changes.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart, in reply to Angela Hart,

    The craziest thing about solar at the moment is that if mains power goes off and you’re grid connected, you loose your solar as well. Because of risk to linesmen if there is unexpectedly power on the line when they try to fix it. You’d think the system could be rigged to automatically disconnect from the grid and be reconnected, possibly manually, when power is restored.

    [Grumps] That's the only disappointment with my recently installed solar. (Excluding the circus of actually getting it installed, certified and an appropriate meter.) I can understand why, but I'd be perfectly happy to have to throw three big-ass switches in three different locations around the house to make sure everything was isolated before drawing directly from the panels, even if it was to a single power point. It undermines half the reason for getting it in the first place [/grumps]

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    dammed if do...

    There’s rather a lot of sunk cost in dams, windfarms and geothermal. Are you suggesting we demolish them all in favour of home solar panels and wind turbines?

    That's pretty heavy duty reading between the lines, there!
    Not sure where I suggested or even implied any of the above...

    All I'm suggesting is that we are putting all our eggs in the one basket.
    Be it with home generation, community or corporate.
    While it is all working fine, all is working fine, and I'll use it along with everyone else, but...
    ...much of what we take for granted depends on supply chains beyond our control with their own vulnerabilities.
    That which we consider archived, is merely electronically latent in someone else's shed, somewhere on the planet. (Remember Mega Upload).
    No machine, product, software, lasts forever
    no company lasts forever either...

    as you point out the frontier silicon chip crofters cottage industries ain't gonna thrive...

    I'd just like to think there was a Plan B,
    and C, D,...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I’d just like to think there was a Plan B,
    and C, D,…

    I'd be quite happy if I thought there was even a plan A in this context

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    We regularly point out to various medical professionals that the feed pump we use has a battery built in but the respiratory equipment has no back-up. They think it's odd too. But nothing changes.

    Not. Their. Problem.
    #pffft

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    What did the people of Chch who were in this predicament do apre boom boom crash bang?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ross Mason,

    What did the people of Chch who were in this predicament do apre boom boom crash bang?

    Good question. Unlike enlightened places like Wellington, Chch doesn't have a free ambulance. Even if you've made your way to the doc via your own transport, if you're deemed to be hospital fodder the rule is you'll travel by meatwagon, with an $85 bill from St John to follow. That's a flat charge, regardless of whether or not they run red lights or sound the siren on your behalf.

    Recovering your vehicle can be a minor nuisance. When I got caught that way my GP let me stash my bike in her practice's storeroom.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Another opportunity to comment if you have the time and fortitude http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-health-strategy-consultation

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Unlike enlightened places like Wellington, Chch doesn’t have a free ambulance.

    So, are ambulance services in Wellington free to people being transported? They're not in Auckland.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Yes as far as Otaki and the Wairarapa. Great tradition of the Free Ambulance Service. They also give free advice and come and attend to accidents in the home all no charge. Wellingtonians fundraise hard to keep the service though.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Yes as far as Otaki and the Wairarapa. Great tradition of the Free Ambulance Service. They also give free advice and come and attend to accidents in the home all no charge. Wellingtonians fundraise hard to keep the service though.

    A little bit of background here. A civic dignitary who seems to have left the world a better place.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    last time they winched me onboard.

    Bloomin heck! I'm not religious, but I have more than once been in a boat in a 3m sou wester aiming for the Kawhia Bar. Singing under my breath...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to ,

    The helicopter was free north of Auckland, last time they winched me onboard.

    Bloody hell! and you still sail?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    I’ve only once called for an ambulance, for a friend who’d been assaulted and concussed, but they were busy so the police, whom I had called about the attack on my quiet suburban street, took him in to A&E.

    We think twice about calling an ambulance because of the cost and because they don’t always take kindly to a wheelchair and a caregiver going along- these things are not negotiable for us.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    I’ve read through the posts and the general opinion seems to be that responsibility lies mainly with the health people providing the equipment. I will put forward some of the suggestions for a flexible back-up system if and when I get the opportunity.

    The other angle that occurred to me when this all happened was the database of medically vulnerable people. We had completed the forms and were on our retailer’s list, but I realised afterwards that Vector did not have the information unless it was accessed through our retailer.
    I contacted Vector but they appear to have no provision for a database of their own. They put my query in as a complaint, which is still grinding through their system.
    The retailers don’t do the work on the system, it’s the lines companies, so shouldn’t it be the lines companies who hold the information about vulnerable customers? Anyone know more about this?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    There's a website!

    https://www.ea.govt.nz/operations/retail/retailers/retailer-obligations/medically-dependant-and-vulnerable-customers/

    AND....Guidelines!!!!

    file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Guideline-on-Arrangements-to-Assist-Medically-Dependent-Consumers.pdf

    BUT....

    (d) the Guideline does not imply a guaranteed supply of electricity. Temporary
    electricity outages do occur from time to time. It is expected that:
    (i) MDCs note that retailers cannot guarantee the supply of electricity at
    all times. Therefore MDCs need to take responsibility for ensuring that
    they have an emergency response plan in place to respond to any
    electricity outage;
    (ii) such a plan will be particular to the MDCs affected, and may range
    from ensuring that a stand-by battery is always fully charged, to
    relocating to a friend’s or family member’s premises which has
    electricity at that point in time, or even calling an ambulance to be
    taken to hospital;

    So, there you have it...the Electricity Authority say's you're on your own.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Thanks Rosemary.

    I was thinking that where there’s a fault requiring the linesman to have power turned off to a street or two, that if he was expected to check a readily available (to him) database for medically vulnerable customers, that would offer some safety options. He could phone the customer and give warning, check that they could cope, perhaps give them time to prepare by cutting another street first. But if the information is only available through electricity retailers, then it may be too difficult to access by frontline staff.

    I guess I’m saying what is the point of a list of medically dependent customers if it isn’t/can’t be used effectively?

    Both of the notifications we got, Powershop and Vector, were generic, went to everyone affected by this planned outage. The MDC list wasn’t used. Which is probably a good approach since not everyone who should be is necessarily on it.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    What if we all had solar panels on the roof or our own wind turbine in the garden?

    It would cost much, much more that $120?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    What if we all had solar panels on the roof or our own wind turbine in the garden?

    It would cost much, much more that $120?

    Yes, but, once up and running a solar (and maybe wind) powered system is so liberating.

    All up, our solar power system in our Bus cost about $2000 dollars. We could have spent less. We could have spent way more. What we have got is freedom from having to be hooked into the grid. Its kinda like cutting the umbilical cord.

    AND...in our situation....provides a much better quality of life within our very restricted income.

    Speaking of contingency plans, our Bus is ours. We realised that if/when we sold the family home after the Young People left home (hahahahaha) we would have considerable trouble finding somewhere to live that was wheelchair accessible....that was in a location that was life sustaining to us. The whole of the country is potentially our home. And we carry all our required infrastructure with us.

    And...two people plus wheelchair can live comfortably in a 7x2 metre space. ;-) ;-)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    What if we all had solar panels on the roof or our own wind turbine in the garden?
    It would cost much, much more than $120?

    Whole different question :)

    That is really a "who pays" question, in Australia for a while the upfront payment for renewable energy certificates was enough to cover the cost of many PV systems. Basically, you could sell the carbon credits to pay for the system. And a lot of people did, because a PV system now is worth more than paying carbon tax later. Or not, if you follow Australian political shenanigans.

    New Zealand could do something similar, and come up with a way to have the people with money pay for a distributed generation system located on poor people's houses. It might end up cheaper than building new power stations and upgrading the grid. Or not. But until you do the research, you don't know. In Australia Beyond Zero Emissions did a study that found that it was cheaper to expand the power system using wind and PV than coal. Then the government commissioned a study to demolish that nonsense, which found that BZE were right. So they commissioned another study... anyway, moving right along.

    A second problem is that if there are batteries involved they need more maintenance than a simple PV system. But without batteries a lot of things simply won't run off most PV systems because they need more power to start than to run (anything with a motor), and if there's not enough power to start bad things can happen. Fridges are probably the easy one to understand - most people have a fridge, most fridges use less than 500W while running... but at least three times their running power to start up. So if your PV system can't deliver 1500W to the fridge... the motor won't start properly, it'll just sit there stalled and trying to start until it burns out.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    All up, our solar power system in our Bus cost about $2000 dollars. AND...in our situation....provides a much better quality of life within our very restricted income. Speaking of contingency plans, our Bus is ours.

    Yep, that's a good solution for you. But it doesn't really generalise except in the "self-contained solar systems can be relatively affordable". I've looked at building a housebus, and you really do have to change what you expect from "where I live". A pool, or even a pool table, is right out :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Of course another approach would be to recentralise and renationalise electricity generation and supply including lines so there would be one centralised provider, database etc etc. And much cheaper electricity and incentives for solar and wind too. After all New Zealanders built the system so we shouldn't be paying a whole lot of money to middle people or overseas corporates.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    or 'investors' seeking dividends

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Moz,

    Solar PV with no batteries and no grid tie would be fairly useless (except for special purposes), not least because you generally want lights on during the hours of darkness.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Solar PV with no batteries and no grid tie would be fairly useless (except for special purposes), not least because you generally want lights on during the hours of darkness.

    I went to a fascinating talk last week in Lower Hutt (run by Cafe Scientifique) which was all about solar/wind power, particularly the system they've set up on Somes Island for the DOC people there. It's a combination of a wind turbine, solar panels, batteries, and I believe some natural gas (for a stove, that sort of thing). Apparently it works really well because the wind in Wellington Harbour tends to rise around sunset, which is when the solar cuts out, and they can reliably switch to turbine generation for night stuff - otherwise they'd need more batteries.

    The thing I also remember from the talk is that they've found for more remote Pacific islands switching from diesel generation to solar/wind can be a problem because the regular diesel deliveries are also how other stuff is delivered (presumably it's otherwise uneconomic to ship the other stuff without the diesel) - taking away those boat runs can cause more problems than generating their own power solves.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

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