Sunday, March 17, 2013

Electricity As Currency? 10 Reasons It Could Work

Energy-backed currency concept
Activist Post

Remember the good old days when gasoline only cost $1.50/gallon way back in the ancient times of 2000? Why does it cost more than double that today ($3.71)? A gallon of gas is still a gallon of gas, so it seems obvious that the dollar has lost value.

This rapid devaluation of the U.S. dollar makes it an unstable medium of exchange and certainly not a good store of value -- two aspects considered to be the main functions of money. This has led many to examine the flaws of the current monetary system and search for possible alternatives.

Some have suggested that returning to the Gold Standard (pegging the dollar to gold) will help control the fraudulent expansion of the money supply and protect the value of the currency. Others say eliminating the interest attached to each dollar created will get rid of scarcity and provide abundance. Each of these ideas has merit since they correct some of what's broken, yet they both also have flaws which make them difficult to fully support.

One interesting alternative that has been proposed is using an energy-backed currency. The idea is not new. Thomas Edison envisioned an "energy dollar" after seeing the value of electricity, and Henry Ford also conceptualized backing a currency by a "unit of energy" instead of gold. Motivated by the failed monetary system during the Great Depression, Ford even planned to support the idea with his own electric dams. Of course the central bankers scolded Ford's idea because it threatened their schemes.

In more recent times the idea of using electricity as a currency has gained some traction. An online ebook Energy Backed Money was published in 2009 supporting the concept of backing the dollar with electricity. Kilowatt Cards were introduced as gift cards for electric power meant to be a transferable means of currency. And former NASA scientist, Michael Rivero, proposed the Lectro, a universal electricity based currency whose supply is controlled by production and use of electric power.

Currently, Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) are not backed by anything valuable and their value is determined primarily by how much supply is in circulation. The supply of money under our current system is lent into existence as fast or as slow as the bankers or the government determines, leaving a lot of room for manipulation.

Dees Illustration
Significantly, all money is lent into existence with interest owed to central bankers. But this interest is money yet to be created in the system so there are never enough dollars in the system to pay off the debt accrued from the creation of the dollars themselves. This creates a false scarcity and the perpetual need to expand the money supply, which then breeds inflation. This simultaneous scarcity and inflation have a tremendously negative impact on the economy, especially for the poor. Ultimately, it's this interest on every dollar created that inherently enslaves us all to the central bankers who hadn't produced anything of value to demand our servitude.

The only way to solve the inefficiencies of the current system is to use a currency that has real value, whose supply is tied to an accurate economic indicator, and doesn't need interest attached just for the sake of creating it. Electricity has measurable value in our society and since everything in our modern world runs on power, it may be the most accurate gauge of economic activity we have.

An electricity-backed currency would not be nearly as complicated as our fractional reserve system. It could work something like this: electric producers could issue certificates (money) as kilowatts are produced and they would be removed from circulation once the electric bill is paid (redeeming their receipts), thus always maintaining a consistent and stable supply.

Here are 10 reasons for an electricity based currency:

1. It Has Real Value: Electricity has recognizable value for every person on Earth, as opposed to gold or silver which are just pretty metals with some minor industrial uses.

2. Easily Measurable Units: A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is an absolute unit that can be measured easily and is impossible to counterfeit. The average cost of electricity in the United States has remained relatively stable (mainly due to regulations) over the last few years at around $0.13 per kilowatt hour. But we must stop thinking in terms of measuring things in dollars for this concept to become clear. This currency would represent a kWh, not a dollar amount.

3. Universal Flexibility: An electric-backed currency can work just as well as a local competing currency or as a global medium of exchange. Since a kWh of power has the same value all over the world, a kWh certificate issued in Hawaii could theoretically be redeemed anywhere.

4. Supply Can't Be Manipulated: The electric money supply would naturally be tied to population growth and economic productivity because electricity is an indicator of those measures. Money (kWh notes) would be created when new electricity is produced and eliminated from the economy when electric bills are paid, maintaining a stable balance.

5. Cannot Be Monopolized: Central banking monopolies are at the heart of many economic problems around the world where entire nations are held hostage by these singular entities. Even though electricity has a universal global value, it would be impossible to monopolize the production of kilowatts.

6. Decentralized: Literally, anyone can produce electricity if they choose to do so. Although larger organizations may be necessary to handle the issuance or certification of kWh notes, independent energy producers would compete to produce electricity as efficiently as possible.

7. Spurs Innovation: The incentive to create electricity would spur incredible innovation in technology. Rivero, of the Lectro, suggests perhaps more valuable certificates could be issued for electricity derived from clean technology to incentivize its expansion. And if by some chance a source of "free energy" is discovered - fantastic - it could still be measured and used to control the supply of money.

8. Spurs Conservation: When electric power literally equals money, everyone will immediately become more conscious of their energy use. This alone would have a tremendous benefit on the environment.

9. Transportable: Pure gold and silver (commodity money) are not practical physical currencies because large quantities are not easily carried in our pockets. kWh notes would be a paper form of "receipt" or "representative" money where the note can be redeemed for something real and measurable. Fully-backed receipt money is historically viewed as the only form of honest paper money.

10. Creates wealth instead of poverty during the transition from human labor to machine labor. As we move towards more automation, we become more reliant on electricity and less on human labor. Rivero postulates "At present, human labor precedes all capital, payable in a monetary system that pays primarily for human labor. In switching to a monetary system that pays for machine based power production, we evolve towards a society where machines become the primary creators of capital, and all humans shift towards the demand side of the economy. Instead of creating poverty, the push towards automation creates more wealth."

Does a currency backed by kWh's of electricity seem viable enough to be used as a possible alternative to our broken monetary system? Tell us what you think in the comments.


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Edward Buchman said...

What also is not spoken of in the press is the shut down of oil refineries by the companies since the 1980's.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Whoever it is, has a great idea!
You just betrayed your own People, the Masses to the Congtrolled, the Feds.

Electiricity is nothing more than concentrated ENERGY!

It is a Current of Energy.

So now, electricity that is something just floating around in the air, FREE...FREE ENERGY should be used as money....currency!

If so, the Feds can criminalize : Generators, wind-up radios, batteries, all items producing electricity, and even go into criminalizing the brain, that produces electricity.

Good going, there!

Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest idea ever.

I might never follow this site again this idea is so stupid. I mean it is the definition of moronic thought.

If you can't see the obvious problems with this ridiculous idea than why should I listen or read anything else you post???

Anonymous said...

Point no. 4 is good - ''Money (kWh notes) would be created when new electricity is produced and eliminated from the economy when electric bills are paid, maintaining a stable balance.''

It's a unit of energy that has an intrinsic value, common to everybody and less likely to be monopolised.

King of the Paupers said...

Jct: Using Jct: Using electical energy as the basis for currency is such a good idea that using human as the basis for currency has already been done. Timebanking is spreading around the world. But what's going to offer the greatest collateral base, kilowatt-hours or human hours at labor. Fortunately, human Hours are already working but Kilowatt-Hours can easily be fit into the network as a valuable commodity we can measure as easily in labor hours as labour can be measured in kilowatt-hours.

mijj said...

.. and if we need to get something from the store, all we need do is get on the exercise bike connected to the battery charger.

ps. why restrict the currency to a particular form of energy .. just have energy (Joules) as the currency. The basis of the price of anything will be the *total* amount of energy (Joules) needed to create it (including the energy needed to feed and clothe all the non-productive parasitic intermediaries)

Of course, the store keeper needs to be able to ascertain how much transferable energy is stored in the form the customer's handing over (gasoline, battery, stick of dynamite, etc)

Jon said...

What would an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) from a solar coronal mass ejection or a nuke explosion in the atmosphere do to such a monetary system if it knocks out most electrical transmission and electronic devices?

Anonymous said...

If an EMP hits, any form of money will disappear including gold and silver. Knowledge and skills will be the only currency then.

For now, this is the best out-of-the-box idea I've heard to date.

Anonymous said...

This idea has been floated by the's called 'technocracy'. It's a terrible idea designed to enslave people by rationing necessities. Why do you think that SmartMeters have been installed against people's wishes? Find out more from Patrick Wood:

Padma said...

Excellent idea... an easily bartered commodity that everyone will value and whose value will always remain stable... could be traded for other commodity-based notes, but nothing is as easy to quantify as electricity...

Anonymous said...

Power is already the global currency:
the "petrodollar"....

Anonymous said...

this idea is bad. electricity could be totally free since it is around us. real technologies are being surpressed. the problem is not the currency folks. it is the evil people run by SATAN behind it.

Anonymous said...

It represents human labor. What do you need electricity for? So humans can produce. Human energy is the only wealth there is.

This is another Cartel red herring to place the medium of energy exchange in their control. They will do with it what they've done with currency. Money is paper that now represents debt into the next decades, not worth. Get rid of money, it's the psychopaths' enslavement mechanism of choice.

Anonymous said...

This idea is even BETTER if there is free energy!

If energy is free, then overall abundance would flourish worldwide. Additionally this scheme incentivizes innovation to find free energy, while the current system does everything it can to squash it.

The use of electricity is still a good measure for economic/population growth and is still a good way to determine monetary supply. And it still has value even if the cost of production went to almost zero.

Seen said...

As good as this idea sounds on the surface, it's not a good idea in the practical sense. Unfortunately, these reasons aren't even functional reasons, and these reasons aren't even very accurate.
Carbon Taxes, Cap and Trade, and electricity or even broadening it to energy as currency would be even more corrosive than fiat currency as these not only centralizes control of energy production among the plants and fuel source producers and the government. Considering, power sources are vital to in particular heating with increasing number of houses using all electric homes that being rendered a human resource and capital for a public-private partnership becomes inevitable, and this same PPP then taxes your waste aka pollution to garner revenue as well as tax the sale of exchanged. Additionally, whether it's digital notes or physical if it's a currency; it can be diluted/debased with complete availability to centralization.
I've already seen what PPP do here without adding the benefit being required aka legal tender to pay for it:
Electricity and energy in general are within the same pillar to civilization bracket as food, water, and shelter. Considering, electricity is produced through these, which counting solar includes shelter, these produced currency would thus be required to be exchangeable, which in point. As a currency, this means the government can centralize, tax, regulate, and etc its usage and permit producers capable of aka issuing KWh notes. Not to mention, it will be broadened to energy in general to encompass license and registration of any and all energy production, which is simple eating to as strenuous as sex. Kiss the Bill of Rights Goodbye.
'So long
I hope you say goodbye
Good-bye. Good--byye' "Sound of Music"

Effectively between electricity or worse assuredly broadened to energy as currency on top of cap and trade and carbon taxes, there is full and utter precedent to cement control. As such I can only view this as an open-ended and deeply exploitable idealist ideological fantasy, it is neither workable as a viable stabilizer to fiat currency nor is it an improvement over the Gold and Silver Standard in the sense at least fiat redeemable in gold and silver at least are not necessities to live let alone anything else outside as a storage or medium of exchange.

CJ said...

For anyone with a grid-tied solar system, it already IS money.

EB said...

Anybody heard of Technocracy Inc.? This idea of energy distribution to replace the money/dollar system has been around since the 1920s and is still valid. It's the only viable solution to the artificaial scarcity that exists in the money system. See it at

Anonymous said...

NO NO NO NO NO! Do not ever turn something so necessary to everyday life as energy into a monetary-type resource, or you will end up with "energy barons" controlling how much a person can make (or what tech they'd have access to) to ensure only the barons have the most access! Please, this idea is very foolish! Energy should be free, to put any value like this to it will not work in the long run and there will be people with very little (restricted access/ restricted technology) and people with great deal of it (access and tech to create it)!

I am not sure how else to explain this, but my instinct is that this will be bad. Consider how much electricity we use for almost every aspect of our day to day lives, and imagine people who want the value of that electricity squeezing out by hook or crook (like now with business ie corporations) your ability to generate/tap into it... but you need it for most of the appliances for your home, for heat and refrigeration, light, communication ie even land lines, radios, etc. Corporations started small in the beginning and now they crush everything around them that would cause them to lose a little money but those they are in competition with are often with little money to begin with (small businesses)... Do you really want to open up such competition with a resource everyone needs for survival? Electricity as money? So more monopolies can show up over time and people become starved for energy where they can't even cook their food or heat their homes, or even light up a room?!? Incredible foolish I say!!!

Dirk Diggler said...

i think legislation could aleviate many of the problems listed in the comments here. something broad and sweeping like no restrictions of any kind by anyone ever! on production, storage, transmission or usage. this would tend to saturate the market at first anyways i think. also i think some r failing to see the watts themselves arent the money. the watts back the money. much like gold isnt actually exchanged during a transaction. but it garners trust in the paper. ur not going to give a few watts for a drink. still paper money. but instead of trusting u could buy gold with that money. ur trusting that u can buy watts with that money in a sense all money is now is a trust issue. we accept it for our time and effort cause we all trust that the rest of us will give time and effort for it. u couldnt dream of enough gold to cover whats out out there im not sure how to deal with zeropoint. also (as i argue with myself here) if watts were like money so everyone spent all there time making watts who would do the rest of the shit that needs done seems like we'de all be outside all day fighting for space for our solar pannels instead of going to our jobs. i dunno if any of this is right. pros and cons i guess

Anonymous said...

this most admirable idea presupposes an intelligent and moral social and political structure. there is not enough potential energy to electrocute all the fools and reprobates to begin to make this work.

Anonymous said...

The best way, I believe, to cut the bankers off at the knees is to run competing legal currencies. Likely not energy. Too dirty still and far to susceptible to corruption and monopolization.

Anonymous said...

Beppe Grillo is a comedian, blogger turn politician who is causing a lot of distress in the fake facade of the monetary system in Europe!

abinico said...

You are an idiot looking for publicity for lunatic ideas.

Anonymous said...

Buy energy stocks. They are a very stable investment.

Anonymous said...

This of course would engrain us in the resource based scheme of energy creation as opposed to the Nicola Tesla manner of Free Energy from the space around us. Bad idea. Propose another one please.

Anonymous said...

My Lectro got shorted. This lectro idea is from a man who does not fully understand what, how and why gold and silver have been the best form of money for the past 5000+ years. Here are some reasons why we have stuck with these precious metals.
First, it can’t be a gas – gasses simply are impractical as a medium of exchange. That immediately knocks out many elements on the periodic table from contention as money, like the noble gases on the right side column of the periodic chart.
* Secondly, it can’t be reactive or corrosive. Many metals are highly reactive when exposed to air or water – lithium or sodium for example. Pure iron will rust and corrode away. This knocks out 38 more elements from contention.
* Third, we can’t have radioactive money. Not only would the radiation be potentially lethal, but your money would eventually radiate away to nothing, or to something completely different. This eliminates another row of elements.
* Finally, they must be rare (but not too rare). Any of the 30 or so remaining elements might quality for a decently stable form of currency, but some are simply far too common or too incredibly rare to be practical as a store of wealth and medium of exchange. Copper, for example, has all the properties of money. However it is too common a metal to be used as the only metal currency because you would need tons of physical metal for even medium-large transactions.

john said...

If you read the Bilderberg document 'Silent Weapons for a Quiet War' you will note that the elite quantify human behaviour in electrical terms.

berealtruth said...

For energy to work as "money" - a phenomenon that is at least transforming in our minds if not disappearing entirely, it must remain scarce, which can only continue through mind control. And, this IS the core idea behind Technocracy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gary North when he says "The anonymous person who wrote this essay was wise to remain anonymous."

Anonymous said...

This article is playing right into the Technocrats!

Bullshit theoretical philosophy for control and theft by the "deciders" - the elite technocrats!

Move right along - nothing to see here - except for you to notice this for the BS that it is!

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of B.B

Jig Dickly said...

What an IDIOT! CRackpot - I will never read this site again. If something is cheap, we use MORE of it. dumb ass.
"If an EMP hits, any form of money will disappear including gold and silver." he says Gold disintegrates when put near an electromagnet. I had no idea.
Here's the fraud: Govt prints money out of thin air. Govt FORCES you to use their fake money by TAXING you. If you don't use their money, you have no house. (thus, giving the money "value" - you MUST have some or die)
How about we simply take away the FEDs Government license to fraudulently create money out of thin air, and let anyone who wants to come up with any kind of money they want to come up with. Competing currencies.

Anonymous said...

This is a completely moronic idea. The writers and supporters of the concept need to read some basic economic theory. This idea is a demand-side economics scheme. It is not a sound-money concept and is really no different than the Keynesian system we already have.

Anonymous said...

The writer of this essay doesn't even grasp the most basic principles of economics. There are numerous problems with this idea. First of all they don't seem to grasp the fact that all economic values are subjective. Nothing has inherent value - if it were otherwise, trade would be impossible. Then there is the complete naivete on display in thinking that such a system wouldn't be susceptible to fraud and manipulation. How exactly are you going to know how many KWh you are going to get besides the power company's say-so? And "impossible to monopolize"? - what do they think utilities are?

Perhaps the most glaring error of all, though, is the total failure to see how the need for an expanding energy supply and a stable currency are at cross purposes in this proposal. There is no magical optimum quantity of money for a given size of the economy. Virtually any arbitrary quantity will do. The important thing is that the supply remain relatively stable and that no one person or group is able to control or produce it. As the economy expands, the quantity of goods relative to the money supply increases, which is reflected in an overall decline in prices. This is a good thing. On the other hand, an expanding economy needs an expanding supply of energy. We want energy to become cheaper. If electricity were also the currency, that would mean that the currency is also getting cheaper - i.e. inflation, which was ostensibly a problem that the author was trying to solve in the first place.

In short, this is a terrible idea. What you should be pursuing instead is a repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and removal of the legal tender laws so that there may be a free market for currency.

LXIX said...

Perfect ! Here is why.
Every physical thing of human (and others') value in our known universe is energy based. The only other determinant besides physical energy for "value" are its attributes - how that energy is described. Determined by
A. intrinsic character (like gold or oil or electricity have a unique energy structure) and
B. added value as perceived by the two negotiators - supply and demand (the information-fed brains).
For those familiar with Claude E. Shannon (Nobel laureate and father of information theory) intelligence stems from change which in this universe is all energy-based. In short, energy determines all value. So, if you want to measure anything of human value then using energy as the core currency describing its value attributes kinda makes way too much sense.
Economists hate that entropy reality because they are put out of work by those who know how energy economics really works - scientists..
The Fed hates it because they can't feed their banker buddies any more imaginary or derived value without paying for it.
Big Oil hates that reality because there are cleaner, more pragmatic ways to generate new money which they have little profit-control over..
The petro-dollar economy is now collapsing (in case you didn't hear) and the erg-o-dollar or one of its structured subsidiaries (like gold) is in force - as it has always been. LXIX

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