Thursday, 18 January 2018

MF INQUIRY COULD BENEFIT FROM WORKERS' STORIES


The January 1st, 2018, Post reported the Top Ten Posts of 2017 and indicated, among other things, that a future post would report a small sampling of emails received from workers on the Muskrat Falls project.
Sometimes the public is better served when the “news” they receive is the "raw" material - neither analysed nor edited. It is tough to improve on a worker’s personal experience especially when they are assessing the work space, the management, Q&A or some other issue from the perspective of their experience at Muskrat Falls and on other projects. 

What follows are the verbatim emails of two people: one from a professional engineer and another from a surveyor; each offering insights into a poorly run project. 
As the Commission of Inquiry gets ready to assess the project the Commissioner, Judge LeBlanc, might benefit not just from a forensic audit or from an examination of witnesses. He and his  two Co-Counsel could be schooled first-hand by those who came face-to-face with a range of issues including management, Q&A, safety, cost controls, nepotism and corruption. While workers operated under the threat of dismissal if they divulged the problems and conditions to which they were witness, the public inquiry hopefully will offer them an opportunity to tell their stories and not be threatened.



The many engineers and others who advised or wrote on this Blog were instrumental in bringing to an otherwise uninformed public some of poor management and construction practices that were fast drivers of cost overruns, adding to a falsified system of project estimates and budgets.  

While many chose the Uncle Gnarley Blog to describe their concerns - truly aghast at the enormous waste of tax-payers' money - others suffered silently or just shared those confidences with friends - all knowing that some day the bill would arrive and Newfoundlanders would be paying for a very long time. They need to tell their stories. Judge LeBlanc, and the Inquiry, needs to hear some of them.  Undoubtedly they would influence the examination of witnesses at the Inquiry. They also deserve to be part of the public record.
The names of the two writers (below) have been omitted to protect their identity.  
- Des Sullivan
Email from a Professional Engineer: October 9, 2017


"...I have worked on large industrial projects world wide so I have plenty of experience on cables.

"I know that all cables need to be examined on the truck when delivered to look for damaged reels, broken wood slats, protruding nails and damaged cables, because once it is off the truck then you have a devil of a job getting back on and sent back.

"It is not just damage on route or even during manufacture that you can have damaged cables but also if they are not stored correctly especially in cold damp climates then you get ingress of moisture which also cause damage.
"Even then any test/inspection document was only valid at the time it was tested in the factory, before stringing that cable it should have been tested, even a basic test should have shown up any damage, and any basic electrical tech/engineer on site is capable of carrying out the test.
"By not carrying out basic testing before stringing the cable means there is negligence on someones part, and negligence on Nalcor for signing off on the lift.

"Considering the pay on this project was well above global rates I would have expected the best management money could buy but there seems to be no basic management procedures in place, again it is not just the EPC management but Nalcor for not enforcing standards.... the final responsibility rests with the client which is the government to ensure that those sanctioned to carry out the project not only had sufficient and extensive procedure, but that those procedure were being followed. The client CAN NOT pass on the the client responsibility to others.

"There seems to be no basic project management checks and balances or over sight on this project and the EPC and their contractors have made the most of it. The EPC is not the clients friend, I have been EPC and client rep and our roles boil down to the EPC getting as many changes or additions as possible and the clients to give away as few as possible.
___________________________________________________________
Engineering, Procurement, and Construction" (EPC) is a particular form of contracting arrangement used in some industries where the EPC Contractor is made responsible for all the activities from design, procurement, construction, to commissioning and handover of the project to the End-User or Owner.  See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering,_procurement,_and_construction
__________________________________________________

"The more the project gets screwed up the more the EPC makes clearing up the mess as it is the clients fault, even if it is the EPC mistake.

"I learned the black art long ago on how to progress the job but without giving instructions, too complex to write down here, but a good client on gives objections or does not object, it is the contractor as the EXPERT (who is responsible) to tell you how they will achieve the project goals...once you start telling them...to use specific equipment or processes then if anything goes wrong the EPC is in the clear because they were acting on instructions of the client. I loved my job if nothing else it kept your mind sharp.

"We do need an investigation, and we certainly need an audit done now on the EPC and contractors project management control procedure, otherwise the project is just going to hemorrhage money before it finishes."

***************************************************
Email from a Surveyor: July 7, 2017
"(In) my thirty five years as a surveyor I have not seen as many things done backward and often wonder if it is by design or is it a total lack of professionalism within the ranks of Nalcor.

"In addition to the backward sequencing of the critical path workface there is a blatant disregard for safe work practises.

"On at least two occasions I have been expected to work under the live load of a tower crane without any warning.



"The first time I reported it directly to Nalcor yet nothing was done

"On the second occasion I reported it to my direct manager and was told to keep working.


"I proceeded to video the practise.

"On another front I was perplexed to discover that there was no controls on the expenses for consumables.


"This resulted in a $10 master lock being billed out for $60.


"The same story for survey equipment / consumables - $350 actual  - $1000 claimed cost.

"In Alberta it is pretty much a standard to be remunerated at cost plus 10%. Often you have to provide three quotes.

"When I think of the overall consequence and effect on the project bottom line it is startling.

"Enjoy your blog, thanks for keeping people informed."

57 comments:

  1. These first hand accounts of management incompetence leading to hemorrhaging costs and safety violations are troubling but not surprising.

    Most troubling the engineer points out that the "client", the provincial government, is completely hands off. Nalcor still has zero oversight or concern for the incompetence or safety violations. That the province is hiding behind Nalcor rather than dealing with the problems and stopping the madness must not stand.

    The half baked "inquiry" by a political appointee without technical or economic experience and a truncated political mandate, is much like the PUB and JRP that were is designed to fail, not find the truth. There is still no guarantee a forensic audit will be conducted, never mind hearing first hand accounts from employees.

    The time to be patient and watch the train wreck continue is long past. It is time to demand this inquiry be put on track and the government finally institute oversight over the gang that can't shoot straight at Nalcor.

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    1. Yes Bruno --- "The ... 'inquiry'... is much like the PUB (least-cost review) ... designed to fail, not find the truth".

      Having recently re-read the Inquiry terms of reference I concluded in part that

      "... the commissioner will have little choice but to stick closely to a TOR that has been purposely designed to achieve political as well as existing and future project completion benefits.

      In essence, the inquiry TOR is designed to work against the best interests of the people and the province."

      Delete
    2. Maurice:

      I am of the other opinion---there is enough latitude for LeBlanc to execute the inquiry properly; IF he is motivated honorably he can uncover what has gone wrong, if politically motivated we might as well not waste the money. I am OK with the timelines but would like to see intermediate reporting (Berger took a couple years as do most).

      The info is available publically to subpoena witnesses as required (org charts etc)---but this will only happen if the desire is there and an analysis completed before hand to determine what witnesses have something of value to provide.

      PENG2

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    3. PENG2, There are enough "ifs" in your claims that any outcome can be rationalized. If pigs can fly and LeBlanc uses his discretion and if and if and if.

      You rationalize the boondoggle as usual and care not a whit for the rate or taxpayer as long as the gravy train continues for insiders until the treasury is completely looted.

      The terms of reference are inadequate and designed only to give cover to impotent government and sycophants that don't care the power is unneeded, the spur will likely fail and the asset rendered worthless and that LeBlanc does NOT have the latitude to do a complete analysis.

      Your self serving rationalization is ill informed at best.

      Delete
    4. Bruno:

      You consistently spout your drivel and slander those who don't conform to your ideology--maybe thats because you have shown little understanding of the real underlying issues and only use 'buzz words' to try and create confusion.

      As I have explained several times and you(nor anyone else for that matter) have not refuted, the time to alter the path of how/if MF is executed is long past---it will be a $13-15B expenditure either way and must be completed, there is no changing that. From a technical standpoint I have stated there is an insufficient database to determine what the correct soil parameters are--your fear mongering of failure is just that, an uninformed opinion with no technical background or understanding of the subject.

      As mentioned by AE almost 1 yr ago, an inquiry is the 'gold standard' to determining what went wrong---and we now have that inprogress.

      In reviewing the terms of the 100 or so inquiries completed/ongoing in Canada:
      1) the 2yr time frame is reasonable
      2) the ToR are fairly consistent (findings of criminality are generally excluded as are indepth technical examinations)
      3) a forensic audit is a more basic analysis than the analysis that will be required by the Inquiry
      4) the only article of the inquiry order paper that means much is 4c---this is what will guide future direction into Nls participations into megaprojects

      As I have previously said, IF LeBlanc is politically motivated, all this is a waste---I have no basis to assess his CV for this task and wont go into that. If he has the interests of the NL populace at heart, then this is a worthwhile exercise.

      PENG2

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    5. My "ideology" is informed by the facts while yours is motivated by self interest and greed.

      Every check on the spending and engineering has been been undermined by interference by government to protect the details of this hideous arrangement. Many of the principles are convicted fraudsters with a history of corrupting politicians.

      Pointing out the logical fallacies in your self serving and uninformed analysis is not slander, it is bitter realism. I saw through the boondoggle before the rampage of the treasury got underway and have pointed that out consistently.

      Your claims are so divorced from reality to be laughable.

      1. A timeline beyond the next election is a political determination, nothing else
      2. the ToR are "fairly consistent" with what exactly? No need to look at criminal behaviour? Why would we do that, we might get to the genesis of this abomination called MF!

      3.a forensic audit is "more basic" than what LeBlanc will conduct? This is complicity with an ongoing fraud, nothing more. Your unbounded faith in the single political appointee to get to the truth is unsupported. How can you have any faith in a single political appointee given the recent history with inquiries in NL? The Dunphy inquiry conveniently ignored evidence tampering at the scene to come to a "convenient" conclusion unsupported by the glaring contradictions.

      4.None of the articles of the order paper that look at MF are useful but you have absolute FAITH that this inquiry as constituted is legitimate and does not need a forensic audit. How convenient you run this interference for a fraud that will sink NL and cause untold suffering from the comfort of anonymity so you need not look anyone in the eye when you postulate incoherent positions unsupported by the facts.


      It is never too late to stop a political boondoggle, especially one that will LOSE 800 million a year for 57 years to operate. I can see nothing but self interest to support your position.

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    6. Bruno:

      At least take a couple minutes to check some of the previous inquires in Canada---there are some 400(I checked into about 100 of similar scope before posting) you should probably research before letting out a non-fact based opinion.

      Slandering jurists and others adds nothing to the conservation.

      My previous comments stand as you have not refuted anything.

      PENG2

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    7. Your non sequiturs are getting tiring PENG2. There have been hundreds of inquiries, so what? Some have had a single jurist, so what? You have said and proved nothing except you love the status quo.

      Delete
  2. Good to see this blog up and running as an unofficial inquiry before any info from Leblanc, who will likely conduct the CUI ( Cover UP Inquiry)
    Watched the video, the guy having to work under the swinging crane, with a load dangling.....anything could break or a component drop off.......and I am reminded of Ed Martin`s words that always were part of his propaganda.... `with Nalcor it is Safety First`
    Sure Ed, I mean Edmond, sure Edmond, Safety First.........exposing these guy to serious risk, as you made off with 6 million, and bring debt of 12.7 Billion, that is Billion with a B.......upon the backs of your fellow citizens.
    Tar and feather would not do justice. Hope Leblanc shows this video and asks you how this represents Safety First. I want to watch your turtle face expression, if this is broadcast.
    PF

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  3. "EPC"?

    Avoid acronyms and explain any that you use.

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  4. All jobs are not created equal, even though it is really all from the same pot...the givernments pot ...or mine and your pot. First think of the teacher that has to account for every pencil used, or use to be every piece of chalk, or a teacher will sometimes buy certain thinks that are "not covered", for the class from their own pocket, or the poor child that can't afford an extra pair of shoes for the gym, or can't be picked up by the bus, because they can walk the 1 km to school, all in the name of cost to givernment, we can't afford it, or to keep the cost down. I am sure as citizens having or raised children we have experienced these things or heard of them. And am sure there are similar things in healt care, other government services, and municipal services. So just compare that to muskrat and nalcor operations all paid for by the same givernment or same pot. Heavy equipment idling for days on standby, with no work to do, at full cost. And the many unbelievable stories that have and will be reported by on site workers of waste in the hundreds of millions. Even the waste that is still occurring as I write this. Yup, penny wise and pound foolish is the thing that comes to mind. Guess the bottom line is governments should never take on maga projects using public funds. If big business like oil, or mining, or heavy construction wants to invest their money, let them do it, and they will either make a profit or go under, but they won't be in direct competition for the same dollar, as the young or elderly and other disadvantaged in our society. Where is the conscious of a society that operates that way, yes uncousionable.

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    1. `The poor child that can`t afford an extra pair of shoes for the gym`.
      I was once that child, `me and me bruther` about the age of 8 or 9, received a prised Christmas gift of a pair of LOGANS each, I believe from our generous aunt in Gander. They had rubber bottoms, then leather that continued up, well lined and very warm and the upper part tied with laces.
      After Christmas we wore these to school,a half mile walk from Bishop Cove t upper island Cove..... only to be expelled.
      Most kids wore zipped gaters, over shoes. The rule was you could not wear such Logans in school,I suppose it tended to carry some moisture in . You needed other footware of slippers for in school. We had no such foot ware for school. And so we were expelled. This went on for a week, and we stayed home, and I do not recall minding that, it was like a holiday.
      Finally we got notice that there would be an exception to the rule, and allowed to wear our Logans in school.
      So, the poor will be impacted by this boondoggle. I have experienced being poor, and would not wish it on anyone. Our leaders will soon make many more poor to suffer in this province.
      Winston Adams

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  5. I recently put my eyes on Nalcor's Muskrat Falls employee manual.

    There's a whole section in there banning the use of still or video cameras, including cellphone cameras, and outlining the process by which anyone who needs to take photos or video must seek and obtain permission.

    "Why", I wondered, "is Nalcor so anal and uptight about this?"

    This is why.

    Keep those videos and pictures coming. Oh - and someone should leak the employee manual, including previous iterations of it.

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    1. Handbook version B1 dated Feb 2014 and B2 dated Sept 2016---I got B2 last summer, not sure if changed since.

      There are differences in the camera policy between the versions--in the mean time, a policy on cameras isn't unusual on large industrial sites and this one is comparable to Long Harbour, Bull Arm , Voisey's etc. Other than a few quirks, the LCP handbook/guidlines is comparable to others I have worked under---seems to be more oil industry driven though.

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    2. Does anyone have workers on site data? Interested in following this, where the trend is, have we hit peak? trend to substantial completion? Is NALCOR not required to make this public?

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    3. Robert:

      That info is available but I would suggest not really relevant due to the way it is compiled.

      A more realistic number of how many people are working would be looking at flight availability, accommodations and other services availability in Goose.

      PENG2

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  6. I ran crane for over 30 years in Alberta. The swing radius was roped off and no-one was allowed to work inside the roped off area except the p[people who were offloading the load from the crane, This is such an unsafe practice I can't believe any company would condone this. This is like how operations are carried out in a third world county. No wonder this project is so over budgeted. Surprised there wasn't many more death's on this job.

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    1. Good on ya Ron.

      What do you make of the general lax attitude on Safety issues on site nowadays?

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/searose-suspend-cnlopb-1.4491787.

      Also at Suncor, a trench cave in of one of the surveyors working for AMEC?

      Delete
  7. Not unusual, no... but the camera policy is more strictly enforced than the friggin' health and safety regulations. That tells you something.

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  8. And consider that the near iceberg collision with the offshore rig last spring was kept out of the media until this week (VOCM story). And Husky too says Safety is number one. The berg came within one quarter mile and they were about to abandon the rig, but were supposed to have disconnected and moved out of the way of the berg.

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  9. Having been occupied by pressing family matters, I have not even updated UG readers on my good Dec attic mounted heatpump energy use.
    After 3 weeks, Only now have I resumed reading God Guard Thee Nfld:
    Interesting on the important role of the Newfie Bullett here in WW2, the USA loaning a broke Nfld about 2 million for rail upgrades, necessary for their bases here, and the commission of govn giving mother England 7 million I think,of Nfld money, because our economy was then doing good from war. Never was it so easy to make money in business, I guess, until the boondoggle came along.
    And of course, my wish to understand how a woman`s mind works, and why so many women likes Trump: some 30,000 US and Canadian troops occupied Nfld. Up to 1990, some 25,000 Nfld girls married Americans! The Americans called it The Friendly Invasion. If we didn`t mind that, why should we mind 57 years to pay off the boondoggle to benefit others outside the province.
    Winston Adams
    Winston Adams

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  10. It never ends... it just never ends.... the entire operation has become a farce of epic proportion.

    The only good that might come out of the bankruptcy is that those bloody culprits responsible will lose their pensions.

    http://www.thetelegram.com/business/heaps-of-overtime-paid-at-newfoundland-and-labrador-hydro-178229/

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  11. If this is the way the enquiry is going to proceed then decommissioning of Nalcor would be in order.

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  12. Why is NL GDP the worst in Canada? Why is your provincial government lax on Carbon pricing? What is in your Budget for carbon reduction? Can't you just shut down Holyrood now?

    http://www.pembina.org/op-ed/carbon-pricing-economic-growth

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    1. Robert, I can see no way we can shut down Holyrood given the unreliability of the MF to NL link especially on the Great Northern peninsula. In the event of another "dark NL" when MF power is cut, we need backup. What Holyrood needs is a changover from Bunker C to Gas or solar/wind and we are looking at another very significant cost.
      Either way we look at it, we're screwed.

      Delete
    2. Wayne, are you saying that an aggressive shift to Demand Management on the Avalon, combined with some introduction of Renewables, would not restore a balanced Supply from the island Hydro? What has the NL Budget included to create jobs with such a shift?

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Robert,DSM would work (and should have been looked at long ago) but this Government and past Governments are and were incapable of getting it right. First off, Nalcor would be in charge as they control Hydro (and the Government)and look where that got us. If this were to be on the horizon, there would have to be an entity which could plan and execute it---not the idiots we have in charge now. This Government does not look at the "long term" as they are in it only to get re elected to ensure their gold plated pensions, nothing else. If the real facts concerning MF costs were disclosed in the beginning and anyone with an inkling at all looking out for NLs future, heat pumps could have been provided to every household free of charge and we would have been money in and not had to face what we are now facing. Even if they provided heat pumps at half the going rate as they could get "best price" deals considering the volume we would be money in. Having said that, someone in there would screw it up in looking out for themselves and their buddies. Then, having Nalcor as overseer God only knows the shemozzle we would be in.
      The enept people we elected and will continue to re elect leaves us in nowhereland.
      Holding people accountable with recall legislation and/or the real possibility of jail time after mandatory public inquiries would see qualified people in positions of trust.
      No one that I can see is trustworthy---just look at the NAPE agreement just signed off on and we have CUPE, NURSES and Teachers who are all going to be expecting the same as what NAPE hoodwinked Osbourne on and they will get it.
      In my lifetime I cannot think much that we benefitted from that was not screwed up by enept politicians.
      NL has no future whatsoever unless Government has the balls to take the bull by the horns in cleaning up the sewer we are living in.
      Goddamnit! I am really pissed off and disillusioned. My grandchildren don't have a future here given the way we are being governed and no one on Confereration Hill gives a damn about anyone but themselves.
      Je--s Chr--t! we still have the master con-artist DW who still defends MF for gods sake and former Premier Kathy who has locked herself into solitary confinement when it comes to discussing MF. What about Tom Marshall who hasn't commented publically and the brave media who can't find
      a story here and stick to it without cowling away with threats of lawsuits.
      I should stop before I say something I shouldn't say.

      Delete
  13. Nobody paying attention again?

    http://www.tomadamsenergy.com/2018/01/19/top-website-posts-tweets-and-facebook-posts-for-2017/

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  14. What kind of a scuffle is the union and board of trade engaging in now. Think it is like dog eat dog. Some knew this would happen, the chickens are coming home to roost now. Where were all these guys when we were being saddled with a 12 to 15$ billion boondoggle called muskrat/nalcor? Sitting in their smug little offices, saying giver, or that got nothing to do with me. Yep, we are all in this together, and when one goes down we all do. There will be no winners. As I always say don't have the ability to govern ourselves, too many egos and ideologies, rather than what best for the people and the province. It's what's best for me and my gang, or party.

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    1. Neither side is going to they duped us again. The "No layoff clause" has Government's hands tied and effectively pushes the problem out for another 4 (or 2/12?) years---they don't want to deal with the problem while we go further and further in debt. To hear Jerry Earle say that employees can still be laid off ( and he gave an example that summer maintenance staff can still be laid off when winter approaches (which almost made me puke)is disingenuous of him. Seasonal employees are just that --Seasonal.
      The Public Service is way to large. Everyone knows it from Govt to the Unions and the can keeps getting kicked down the road.
      Another sour point is that our "great" Opposition has not taken a stand on this at all.
      How does Osbourne and Earle think we can pay back the bondholders when "crunchberry" time comes?? get advice from Mary Shortall???

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    2. Wayne: there were 14 managers laid off from NL Housing. Miller Centre in St. John's had two nursing positions made redundant before Christmas. Layoffs are coming in one form or another whether you aor Jerry Earle or the Board of Trade like it or not and it ain't going to be pretty. The civil service is like Muskrat Falls which is like the Hebron GBS which is like Come by Chance-another failed mega Project of mammoth proportions. me? I am hoping it drives the price of housing down by about 50% or more
      so I can snatch up a few to rent out to the unemployed at low rents along with a few closed commercial buildings and then auction them off in about ten years to the highest bidder. Money to be made on other peoples misery.

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  15. As to Robert Holmes repeated calls for power grid Demand management and Wayne saying we need an independent agency for that: its called Efficiency NL............what other jurisdictions have had for a decade or more and now Ont and Alberta going big on this........but a foreign concept here .......... Robert screaming this to us from his home in BC, but seems to reach Wreck House somewhere and bounce back, as few citizens here understand the workings of power systems,or heat pumps, and the power companies and govn have intentionally avoided it, and will not allow it. Rather than save households a thousand dollars on year on heat, they want to have them pay 2000 dollar a year more for heat.
    Here is my on-going monitoring and power consumption for heat for Dec 2017: 438 kwh for heat, so at 10 cent power , $43.80.
    So far for Jan : $31.00 and projecting $51 for the month.
    The highest for a single day in Dec : $1.95
    The highest for a single day in Jan so far, $2.10
    The lowest temp so far was -11 C, however this did not cause the highest power consumption, the highest was on a milder day, but when relative humidity was higher. Avg night time jan temp for St john`s is -8.6 C. historical data. My unit now into its 8th year. Nfld hydro avg power outages is 2.8 hrs per year, failures of this unit ZERO hrs after 7 years, attic mounted of course, so weather protected, blizzard and sleet proof, but outdoor mounting gives only a little trouble.
    Max power on a single hr so far this year used 74 percent of its rated capacity, so seems -20C would not be a problem.
    Seems to be on target for $300.00 for a full year, having previously posted results from April to Nov.
    This is data that the scallywags at Take Charge wish to avoid knowing, wish the public do not know it. This for 1000 sq ft never less than 21 C indoors.
    Winston Adams

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    1. If we tapped into enough energy wasters Winston, I think we could render Holyrood redundant. We don't need the gov. agencies to do it for the wasters. Continue to help where you can to spread the good news. It is a noble cause which you do.

      I preach from the land where 9cents buys a KWH. Luckily we have cheap natural gas, and we keep our electrical below 625KWH/month. Not into Bitcoin mining yet, I keep my real currency warm and await the bubbles to subside.

      Robert

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    2. Winston, I always follow your numbers so I am familiar with what you post. These numbers are for heat only, how do you separate out hot water for example and other electrical gadgets you have, like cooking and boiling water etc. So guess that's an additional cost, that you have and then substract. Just wondering how you do it.

      Delete
    3. Robert. each circuit that you want to monitor you install a small clip on current transformer, about the size of a cotton reel. So i have one feeding the heat pump, ( a 20 aamp circuit) and one feeding the main 150 amp breaker. So the main one records all the loads, water, lights fridges etc. My main concern is heat load,, so that one records separately. Each CT costs about 25 dollars, so one can monitor fridges, hot water tank etc separately if you want to. This CT plugs into a transmitter, which has a battery, and about the size of a pack of cirarettes, which wirelessly sends a pulse every 6 seconds to my internet connection, so i monitor from Logy Bay, the house which is at Bishop's Cove, 60 miles away.
      The monitor package with 2 CTs is about $300.00, so not expensive for any home to monitor for them self. The time is coordinating with Torbay Air port weather data, so typical 1 hr each night about midnight , and assessing different effects of weather, including wind effect, relative humidity, blizzard, or sunny days, and occasional comparisons running baseboard only to see the COP.
      I do prints out each night, but data also held in a server, I believe in England.
      Winston Adams

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    4. Thanks Winston for your time and explanation, you are a genius, and I am not a technical person, but I am interested in such things and like to follow them, so see how they work. I am inquisitive by nature, not only in technical things but in most things, even including, like what the hell did they have in their heads, so called intelligent people or others call them brilliant, besides rocks to go ahead with muskrat. I would like someone to explain that one to me, but not you Winston, as I followed muskrat right from the beginning, and all I could hear was lies and half truths, they were worst that Trumpie. Lol, that's my rant for today, but thanks anyway.

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    5. Anon, if your Google Efergy, it will show you the components, and the units indicated as an "engage hub", has accessories, which show the little devices that sense each load, the CT, and the accessory cost 22.00 for one that can measure up to 100 amps
      For your info , Nfld Power took 3 years to do a report for the PUB on HP performance for Nfld, and when questioned , they admitted that their report was not reliable.
      On reading their report, I, with an engineer that assisted, had shipped in such a monitoring system and had good reliable data and filed a written report to the PUB , all within 2 weeks.
      Nfld Power acknowledged our data was impressive, and said that they too could have done that, 'if they had a million dollars to spare"! This a part of the the PUB public record.........and shows that they had little interest in obtaining such information for the public good.
      I addressed you as Robert, but see you are anonymous with a keen interest. Of course, others have done research in other jurisdictions, but not climate related as I do, to my knowledge. Our climate is rather severe, and such data is important for real field operating conditions.
      Winston

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  16. https://goo.gl/bJucWD Labrador Leads the World in Opposition to Hydro Dams. Please join our International Campaign against the Government of Canada's Nalcor Crown Corporation, Unsustainable Boondoggle Hydro project, Muskrat Falls, Grand River Mishtashipu [lower Churchill] Newfoundland and Labrador [NL] Canada [CA]

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    1. the Terms of Reference were written by the Government, i/e/ Dwight Ball's crowd... not the Judge... He is told what he must follow. It does leave him a little leeway, and it's up to him how much rope he will take.... lets hope beyond hope that he is willing to think "outside the BOX of the TOR"

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  17. The St. John's board of trade continues to help the Liberals gain support in rural ridings

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    1. The St John's Board of Trade helps no one but themselves.

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  18. Hi an 09:30, can you enlighten, explain so that we the readers are informed. It's like if I make a statement that the moon is made out of green cheese, it doesn't mean anything to the readers, unless I give evidence, or explain why I say that, or how I know it.

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    1. this is a political opinion blog. I can provide a detailed reference to many English language books that can provide evidence to demonstrate that evidence is not needed to form opinion ever. the moon could be made of cheese. but that's not a political comment relevant to political topics.
      this blog has used vocm question of the day as 'evidence'. the poll allows users to vote five times. so when 10000 people are upset and vote on vocm, its actually 2000 people on coffee break that managed to fly past the exciting news stories about break ins around the metro area. I could provide a reference for 'statements' as well if you like. however, they do not require evidence either.

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    2. Anom at 18:22VOCM is the cheesiest form of reporting there is. A contest for weekly news stories? Daily court reports from a written court decision? Police reports of an accident? Open Line Opinion polls? Yup there are right up there with the new York Times, BBC and Washington Post.

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    3. Agree this is a political opinion blog, among other things and opinions, and we are free to post whatever we want, as long as it gets by UG's approval. And we are not required to give any evidence or facts to support our opinion, but it enlightens the readers, and is educational to the readers, otherwise we just all become all like Trumpie and make statements that have no basis in fact, is totally false, but a lot of people swallow it hook line and sinker. Some call it fake news, or fake opinion, but we are all certainly entitled to our opinion, but not our own facts.

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  19. Robert Holmes; your call for aggressive energy efficiency and DSM falls on deaf ears here.
    My HP monitoring: 438 kwh for heat for Dec ,so $43.80 at a rate of 10 cent power. So far for Jan , $31.00 , so projecting $51.00 for Jan month.
    Lowest temp so far -11C, (the avg night temp for St john`s historically is -8.6 C. My little minisplit has hit 74 percent of its rated capacity so far, so likely can do -20C without exceeding its rated capacity, which guarantees high coefficient of performance (COP), reducing power more than 50 percent at severe low temperature.
    Recently some scallywags asked I report once we hit -15C. I look forward to that also, as it seldom gets that cold, but those conditions tell how well we can reduce peak load at Holyrood at even the worst winter temperatures.My unit has run well in past years at -19C
    Winston Adams

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    1. Jan 8, 2018: 2,763 kWh
      Jan 9, 2017: 5,498 kWh
      The difference is this: last year multisplit with two heads mixed with baseboard heat. This year, baseboard off and heat pump now with four heads. Daytime 23C. Nighttime 18C. Daikin 4MXS - quality pump but not the latest cold weather model. A new pump would be better.

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    2. Anon: your results show a 50 percent decrease in energy used. I assume this is your total billing kwh. As this also included hot water, TV , lights, dryer etc, which would remain constant , it suggest 65 percent or more reduction on the heating component, which is very likely. A COP of 3 would be 65 percent reduction.
      What is important is that installations and correct operation like yours should be assessed by the power companies as an example and guide for proper sizing. model selection, and installation, since many low quality installation achieve saving of 25 or 30 percent on total bills vs your 50 percent. Nfld power Take Charge says you may save up to 40 percent on heating.....whereas you save about 65 percent on the heating component..............so they intentionally misrepresent the ability of these units for our climate, least more jump on the bandwagon. Besides Daikan, there are 3 or 4 other quality brands, and perhaps 10 low quality brands that should not be used.
      You see dollar savings, and most just look at that, but here are three other benefits:
      1 . Your house reduces peak load and therefore less oil burning at Holyrood.
      2 As this year our rainfall is low, you help conserve our water for generation.
      3. about 25 percent of our energy cost is for the capital cost of Holyrood and gas turbines , maitenance etc, so..... as heating loads are reduces , these costs come down incrementally, and reflected on your power bill.........but many need to do what you are doing. This was the main alternative to MF, to which they are now locked in to the boondoggle.
      Robert Holmes suggest aggressive energy savers can shut down Holyrood. Indeed, my analysis in 2012, indicated this could have been achieve within 8 years, so if started in 2012, it may have been achieved by 2020, before MF comes on..........and saved 13 billion! And now with MF, and higher power rates, all the more reason for customers to TAKE CHARGE themselves, and cut their energy use, and damn the scallyways who continue to mislead us.
      Winston Adams

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  20. We have a culture run by sociopaths and their sycophants NOT a culture of safety. Government loves phrases like "safe and caring" but the phrases are meaningless.

    The crane video was disturbing. I can tell similar stories within government. The most important deliverable from a safety meeting is the attendance sheet. If a manager misses a meeting, they sign it afterwards. The topics are trivial -- like warnings about potato salads left out at room temperature or washing your hands. What is not talked about are the real safety problems. For example, next to no safety gear for a department so the chances of finding equipment that works or fits is slim. Safety equipment is often out of date. Public buildings are open for months without working fire prevention or fire alarm systems because nothing was ever tested before occupancy. Opening a building and avoiding having a minister complain about a delay is worth far more than the lives of the occupants. The safety of others means nothing to these narcisists, sociopaths and their sycophants. The same company that operates a crane over the heads of workers cares not how many due under the mud flows of the north spur collapse. These people are evil. Yet we do nothing.

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    1. So where are the Unions in all this? Sorry but the blame for Muskrat Falls falls as much on the workers as anyone. They are quite content to dig into the borrowed funds as much as the contractors and the managers. Everyone has a finger in this mess of a pie including me and you because we all turned a blind eye let it happen when we should have been demanding answers from the Williams administration. the complacency in western democracies is astounding. The general populace is more concerned about the price of a coffee than the cost of government.

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  21. I agree with you the blame for muskrat falls on all of us, "because we let it happen " , but I would not single out the average worker at muskrat for any additional blame, because he is just taking a job that is available, if he does not, them other Canadians or non Canadians will simply take the job and vamvoose with their pay checks, at least the local guy will pay his taxes here and spend his money here. Just saying....

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    1. The workers from elsewhere wouldn't be taking jobs if the project hadn't been built in the first place and that is where the problems started in the first place. These huge Mega Projects are not sustainable in NL and we need to find alternative economic systems than borrowing our future away for a few jobs. This is not the first time this scenario has played out in this province and I bet it won't be the last.

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  22. Which would you prefer, Astaldi or this Chinese takeover?

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/01/22/Chinese-Firm-Site-C/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=220118

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    1. Yuk Robert! With the ISDS mechanism this Site C arrangement is worse than the SNC Lavali/Astaldi axis of evil.

      Secret courts that sidestep national law gives up sovereignty. A corrupt partner that can sue governments in secret courts is nominally worse than MF. I have no doubt that Canada and BC will cave to the Chinese money.

      Robert the Westphalian system of democracy is collapsing. Tough times ahead!

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  23. Bruno, this is for you. Democracy, trust is sliding with truth towards the Trump society.

    Note where Canada has joined in the sad trend. Pearson, where are you?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/trust-trump-america-world/550964/

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