Utility Exercise Credit

Mark
Sodderhamn, SE

Here’s a crazy idea I just had. You register at an official gym where they have exercise machines that generate power to the electrical grid, like a treadmill or lifting machine, etc. Feedback from the machine tells you how many calories — and how many watt-hours — you produce.

Now when you login, your electrical utility can monitor your contribution and discount your home billing by an automated credit. The more you work out, the more you save.

The credit could be slightly lower than the normal rate to offset administration and maintenance costs of such a system, resulting in a break-even scenario for the utility.

Where I live, both health care and electrical power are supplied essentially by the government through taxes. A lot of money is spent on both promoting fitness and energy conservation. A program like this could accomplish both at the same time and have a real impact.

There — that’s my idea.

MagLev Highway

Glenn Streiff
California, USA

Instead if using 100 billion dollars to build a high speed rail system that will serve a limited pool of Californians, we should explore the possibility of creating a maglev rail system (MLRS) adapted for use by the majority commuters who still drive in single occupant vehicles. Existing vehicles could be retrofitted and new vehicles could provide the feature as an option.

The Department of Transportation could choose an existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane to begin a pilot program. Existing internal combustion engine vehicles that have been retrofitted with a MLRS skid underneath the chassis would access the lane just as they do a traditional HOV lane.

The rail gently sloped in the center of the lane would be oval shaped (similar to Bott dots but continuous and larger surface area). Once a vehicle gains access to the MLRS its speed, load and lift would be centrally controlled, creating a truly intelligent highway that is commuter friendly, green and cost efficient.