1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Electricity Supply
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY (see 9.198).—United Kingdom.—In its commercial aspects the history of electricity supply in the United Kingdom from 1910 to 1914 was comparatively uneventful. No fresh legislation was passed; no new supply schemes of the first magnitude were brought forward. The supply undertakings were in the main content with steady development among both industrial and domestic consumers. Advances were more rapid in the lighting field on account of the appearance of the drawn-wire tungsten lamp, first in the vacuum type and later in the gas-filled type. Improvements in cooking and heating apparatus also stimulated the domestic day load. The war, however, arrested the growth of the domestic demand and brought an urgent and practically unlimited call for electric power in factories and workshops extended for war purposes and in new factories erected for the production of munitions of war. During the first months of war the need was met by running all the plant (including reserves) available in public generating stations to its full capacity. The margin of power thus pressed into service was of great value in accelerating the output of munitions, and when the Ministry of Munitions was formed—in the spring of 1915—no special department to organize the supply of electric power was thought necessary. Within a few months evidence of the vital importance of electricity for almost every war demand had become so strong that a department was formed to deal with all electrical engineering questions. All proposals for the extension of generating stations and mains had to be brought before the Electric Power Supply Department of the Ministry, which issued priority certificates for those judged to be most urgent. The output of electrical manufacturing firms was likewise controlled, so that the production of both electric power and electric plant was centrally organized to meet the ever-increasing demand for current.
Between June 1914 and Oct. 31 1918 the plant capacity of 327 municipal undertakings rose from 705,000 kilowatts (K.W.) installed to 1,490,000 K.W. installed or on order, and of 230 company-owned power stations from 430,000 K.W. installed to 788,000 K.W. installed or on order. Thus the additional generating plant installed or on order during the war aggregated 1,143,000 K.W., and was almost exactly equal to the total plant capacity existing at the outbreak of war. Further, considerable orders were placed for private electric generating plants, particularly in connexion with the extension of iron and steel works, where waste heat was available. All of the additional power was required for power, smelting, and other industrial purposes. New connexions for domestic purposes were not made, and owing to military requirements, coal shortage, and other causes restrictions were placed on public and private lighting and on the general domestic consumption of electricity. Exact statistics of total domestic demand are not available, but in this direction there was a substantial diminution in output during the war.
The capital cost of these extensions, including mains and substations, was about £23,000,000. They were financed, where necessary, by Treasury issues of interest-bearing loans, repayable by annual instalments over 15 years or so. Further, the Ministry of Munitions was empowered to guarantee to bear the difference between the cost of carrying out extensions during the war and the estimated cost of the same work if carried out at a period, generally one or two years, after the period of hostilities, and also to meet the cost of any portions of extensions found to be in excess of the post-war needs of the undertaking. The object of this arrangement was to put the undertakings in the position they would have occupied if they had not extended during the war, but had waited until their post-war requirements had to be met. About £3,150,000 out of the total of £23,000,000 was thus advanced by the Ministry of Munitions. Some applicants pressed for definite Government grants, but these were refused on the ground that electric supply undertakings enjoyed a monopoly with perpetual or lengthy powers for the supply of a commodity required after the war, and were therefore in a different position from manufacturers called upon to undertake a form of production not needed under peace conditions.
The general policy of the British Government was to encourage power users to take current from the public mains rather than to erect separate small generating stations. Even where private plants were sanctioned, as in the special cases mentioned above, linking-up with an adjacent public service undertaking was arranged wherever possible. Public supply undertakings were also in some cases linked together for mutual assistance.
During the war there was a marked increase in the average size of generating units, an improvement in load factor, and a reduction in the costs of generation. Before the war the average size of generating unit installed was 522 K.W., with 8,000 K.W. as the capacity of the largest unit. At the end of Oct. 1918 the average size was 7,044 K.W., and units of 25,000 K.W. and 30,000 K.W. were being built. In 1914 the coal consumption per unit sold was 4.1 lb.; in 1918 it fell to 3.75 lb. in spite of the very inferior fuel then in use—an improvement due to the larger and more efficient plant and the rise in load factor resulting from concentration of load.
Two special control orders were imposed on the industry by the Ministry of Munitions. The first—Converter Plant Control Order, 1918 (issued April 5 1918 and cancelled Feb. 28 1919)—was designed to reduce the demand for converter plant and to assist supply engineers in persuading customers (especially shipbuilding firms) that the alternating current available was quite suitable for their requirements. The second was the Electricity (Restriction of New Supply) Order, 1918, issued on Nov. 8. A shortage of coal had arisen in the early part of that year owing to large withdrawals of miners for active service, and from other causes; and the coal controller accordingly rationed the use of coal. As the Ministry of Munitions undertook to limit new electrical connexions to consumers wholly engaged on urgent munitions work the rationing was not applied to power stations. Concurrently with the issue of this order the coal controller rationed the use of both electricity and gas for domestic purposes. On Jan. 10 1919 the order was revoked.
In spite of the enormous increase in output, which made the four years of war equivalent in electrical growth to the previous 32 years of industry, the financial condition of the undertakings did not on the whole improve. Very few undertakings paid excess profits, and most of them had to raise their prices substantially in order to keep receipts above the rising tide of costs, due to increases in wages and the higher cost of coal, stores and repairs. The position of the smaller provincial undertakings, which had practically no industrial load, became especially difficult. Maximum prices are scheduled in every provisional order, and in many cases they proved too low in the abnormal circumstances created by the war. The Statutory Undertakings (Temporary Increase of Charges) Act, 1918, was passed to afford relief. The Board of Trade was empowered, after inquiry into applications for relief, to permit increases in maximum charges sufficient, in the case of companies, to enable three-quarters of the pre-war dividend to be paid, and, in the case of municipalities, to not more than 50% above the pre-war charges, or more than sufficient to enable the undertaking to be carried on without loss.
Committees on Electricity Supply.—The proof afforded early in the war of the great national importance of electricity supply led to a series of official investigations into the question of reorganizing the industry on broader and more efficient lines. The Reconstruction Committee (later the Ministry of Reconstruction) formed a Coal Conservation Sub-Committee which discussed the subject chiefly from the standpoint of the more economical use of fuel. The supply industry was also touched upon by the committee formed by the Board of Trade to consider the position of the electrical trades after the war. As the result of a recommendation by this committee a Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade on electric power supply was formed. A report on the same subject was prepared by the Committee of Chairmen of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Reconstruction. These reports, particularly that of the Board of Trade Committee on electric power supply, led up to the appearance before the House of Commons in the 1919 session of the Electricity (Supply) bill. In its original form the bill provided for the appointment of electricity commissioners and for the constitution of district electricity boards to secure a cheap and abundant supply of electricity by: (a) the acquisition of generating stations, (b) the acquisition or use of main transmission lines of any authorized undertakers, (c) the supply of electricity within their district (including the construction of generating stations, main transmission lines, and other works required for the purpose), and (d) the acquisition of the undertakings or parts of the undertakings of authorized distributors and power companies. At dates to be specified all the public generating stations and main transmission lines in a district were to vest in the board subject to the payment of the “standard price.” In the case of municipal undertakings the standard price was defined as one or more annuities sufficient to indemnify the local authority against their liabilities for interest and sinking fund. In the case of a company it was to be “the cost of and incidental to the construction of the generating station or main transmission line, and the acquisition of the site thereby, less depreciation.” Boards were to be empowered to borrow for these purposes on terms to be fixed by the electricity commissioners, who were also to be empowered to lend to boards or authorized undertakers, subject to Treasury approval, money up to a total of £25,000,000, if they were satisfied that the boards or undertakers could not otherwise raise the money on reasonable terms. A sum of £20,000,000 was also to be made available out of the consolidated fund to enable the Board of Trade to construct interim works during the first two years.
Opposition to the bill was directed chiefly against the compulsory character and operation of joint electricity control, the magnitude of the sums of public money involved and the inadequacy of the “standard price” in the case of supply companies. In order to meet the first point clauses were introduced by the House of Commons to enable joint electricity authorities to be constituted on a voluntary basis to undertake duties similar in the main to those of district electricity boards. The formation of a board with compulsory powers was retained as an alternative to an authority where voluntary action failed to carry put the intention of the Act.
As the bill did not reach the House of Lords until shortly before the end of the parliamentary session, the contentious parts of the bill were withdrawn by the Government.
Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919.—The Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, was therefore essentially a voluntary measure. It provided for the appointment by the Board of Trade of not more than five electricity commissioners, three of whom were to be selected for practical, commercial, and scientific knowledge and wide business experience, including that of electrical supply. The five commissioners appointed were Sir John Snell (chairman), Mr. W. W. Lackie (formerly chief engineer and manager of the Glasgow Corp. electricity department), Mr. A. Page (formerly general manager of the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Co.); Sir Harry Haward (formerly comptroller of the L.C.C.), and Mr. H. Booth, of the Board of Trade. Their general duties are defined in the Act as “promoting, regulating, and supervising the supply of electricity”; and they are empowered to conduct experiments for the improvement of electricity supply or the utilization of fuel or water-power, and to appoint committees to advise them on matters connected with the general improvement and development of the supply of electricity. Their first specific duty was to determine provisionally “electricity districts” for the purposes of the Act and to hold a local inquiry in each suggested area to determine the area finally, and to hear and consider schemes for improving the existing organizations for the supply of electricity. Such schemes might provide for the establishment and incorporation of a district electricity authority representing authorized undertakers in the district, county councils, local authorities, large consumers of electricity, and other interests within the district, and for the exercise by that authority of the powers of the authorized undertakers, and for the transfer to it of any of the undertakings by consent and on terms provided by the scheme. Effect is given to a scheme by its embodiment in an order presented to the Board of Trade for confirmation and, when confirmed with or without modification, laid before Parliament for approval, whereafter it has the effect of an Act.
The duty of a joint electricity authority is to “provide or secure a cheap and abundant supply of electricity within its district,” and for that purpose it shall have such powers as may be embodied in the scheme as regards: (a) the supply of electricity within the district (including the construction of generating stations, main transmission lines, and other works), and (b) the acquisition of supply undertakings. No generating station or main transmission line can be established or extended without the consent of the electricity commissioners, except in the case of a private station, which must comply with regulations as to the type of current, frequency, and pressure laid down by the commissioners. Each joint authority is given power to supply electricity within its district except in the area of an authorized distributor or a power company for any save certain specified purposes, unless consent is given, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. Local authorities are given power to transfer their supply undertakings or their rights of purchase over supply companies undertakings to joint authorities by agreement. Similar provision is made for the transfer of company undertakings to joint authorities. Under the heading of “Transitory Provisions” the Act enables the Board of Trade, at any time after an electricity district has been provisionally determined and until two years after a joint authority has been established, to carry out interim works, for which purpose the Treasury may issue out of the consolidated fund sums not exceeding £20,000,000 in the aggregate, such works to be vested later in the joint authority on repayment of capital cost and interest. Several amendments to the Electric Lighting Acts are made, notably with regard to overhead lines and wayleaves, all absolute vetoes being abolished. Joint authorities and municipal supply authorities are authorized to provide, let for hire, and connect, but not to manufacture or sell, electrical apparatus.
The Act applies to Scotland and Ireland with slight modifications, and provides that all the powers of the Board of Trade relating to electric supply shall be transferred to the Minister of Transport, to whom the electricity commissioners shall be wholly responsible. (These powers were formally transferred to the Minister of Transport on Jan. 23 1920 by an Order in Council, entitled the Ministry of Transport [Electricity Supply] Order, 1920.) In the 1920 session, and again in 1921, the Minister of Transport brought in a bill—the Electricity (Supply) bill—to amend the Act, with the chief object of conferring financial powers on joint electricity authorities. These authorities are to be empowered to borrow on the security of their revenues and property; and authorized undertakers, county and local authorities, and any local authority, company, or person receiving or intending to receive a supply of electricity are to be authorized to lend money, subscribe for securities, guarantee payment of interest, or give financial assistance in any other approved form to the joint authorities. The prices charged by a joint authority are to be so fixed that the receipts shall be sufficient to cover expenditure with such margin as the electricity commissioners may allow; and the commissioners may require such modifications in prices charged by authorized undertakers as will secure that the benefit of any reduction in the cost of electricity to the undertakers or in the capital employed shall accrue to consumers. Clause 14 makes the ordinary period of revision of maximum prices three years (instead of five under the Electric Lighting Acts, 1882 to 1909), and the provisions are extended to local authorities.
In pursuance of Section 5 (1) of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, the electricity commissioners issued, during 1920, notices of the provisional determination of 13 electricity districts, as follows:—(1) Lower Severn; (2) Mid-Lancashire; (3) S.E. Lancashire; (4) W. Riding (Aire and Calder); (5) Mersey and W. Lancashire; (6) N. Wales and Chester; (7) London and Home Counties; (8) N.W. Midlands; (9) N.E. Midlands; (10) S.W. Midlands; (11) E. Midlands; (12) S. Wales; (13) N. Lancashire and S. Cumberland. For the guidance of organizing committees of supply engineers and representatives of local authorities and others interested, the commissioners had previously issued a statement on the procedure to be adopted at local inquiries into the delimitation of areas, and a memorandum setting out the technical and other particulars required in connexion with proposals for the formation of joint authorities. The holding of local inquiries was begun in 1921.
Growth of Associated Effort.—Apart from the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, and the changes wrought by the war, the most notable feature in the electric supply industry was the growth of representative associations. The municipal undertakings are represented in the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Assn. (founded in 1895); the electric power companies by the Incorporated Association of Electric Power Companies (registered in 1905); and the provisional order companies outside London by the Provincial Electric Supply Committee of the United Kingdom (formed in Jan. 1917). The majority of the metropolitan electric supply companies are represented by the London Electricity Joint Committee (1920), Ltd., and there is also a conference of local authorities owning electricity undertakings in Greater London. Similar associated effort has been manifested in other branches of the electrical industry, and the Institution of Electrical Engineers has provided a common platform upon which all sections could meet for the discussion of legislative and other problems. In June 1919 the British Electrical Development Assn. (director and secretary, Mr. J. W. Beauchamp) was formed (incorporated Jan. 17 1920) to further the interests of electrical progress by means of organized propaganda. This association is supported by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the main associations representing the electricity supply industry, the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers' Assn., the Electrical Contractors' Assn., and kindred electrical associations. During 1921 the British Electrical Development Assn. submitted to the electricity commissioners a lengthy memorandum on the subject of tariffs for electric supply undertakings. Multi-part tariffs, in which the flat rate per unit is replaced by a fixed charge intended to cover the capital cost of service and by a running charge, were strongly advocated as a means of stimulating the use of electricity for cooking, heating, and other purposes apart from lighting, and also of putting the finance of supply undertakings on a more satisfactory footing in view of the abnormal increases in the cost of plant, fuel, and labour brought about by the war. The commissioners were asked to include in the Electricity (Supply) bill a clause authorizing multi-part tariffs. At present such tariffs cannot be enforced, as the undertakings must offer, at least as an alternative, current at a flat rate with a maximum charge.
Joint Industrial Councils.—For the purposes of “Whitley” Councils to deal with questions of wages and conditions of labour in electric supply undertakings, the country has been divided into 13 districts, each with a district council representing employers and employed. The district councils are in turn represented on a national joint industrial council for the electricity supply industry (formed May 1919). There was also instituted, on Dec. 12 1919, a national joint board of employers and members of staffs for the electricity supply industry, to deal with all matters affecting salaries and conditions of employment of technical engineers. This board proposed to set up 13 district joint boards corresponding to those constituted by the national joint industrial council mentioned above.
Statistics.—The total British capital involved in 1920 by 334 electricity supply companies (this being the number for which returns were available) is given in Garcke's Manual of Electrical Undertakings and Directory, Vol. 24, as £72,812,872. In 1910 the corresponding figure for 239 companies was £47,047,847. Loans authorized to be raised by municipalities for electricity amounted to £70,836,470 (308 undertakings) in 1920 and to £42,617,969 in 1910 (316 undertakings). Over the same period the average dividend (on the whole of the capital) of electricity supply companies rose from 4.32% to 5.58%, the major part of this increase being due to the ordinary shares, which returned 6.51% in 1920 as compared with 3.91% in 1910. During 1920 the municipal undertakings showed a trading balance of £5,828,432. After providing for special charges, interest on loans, sinking fund, and depreciation and reserve, there was among the more successful undertakings an aggregate surplus of £621,385 and among the others a deficit of £260,850.
The total capacity of plant installed by companies and municipalities was, so far as could be definitely ascertained, 2,546,000 K.W. in 1920, with a load connected (equivalent 30-watt lamps) of 144,274,800, and an aggregate maximum load of 1,372,548 K.W. The Board of Trade units of electricity are recorded for 1920 as 3,086,382,748, and in 1910 as 1,027,420,254.
Further information on the above subjects may be gathered from the following publications: “Electric Power Supply during the Great War” (Part I.) by (Sir) A. B. Gridley and A. H. Human (Jour. Inst. Elec. Engrs., vol. lvii., No. 282, May 1919); Interim Report of the Coal Conservation Sub-Committee of the Reconstruction Committee on Electric Power Supply in Great Britain (Cd. 8,880); Report of the Board of Trade Committee on the Electrical Trades after the War (Cd. 9.072); Report of the Board of Trade Committee on Electric Power Supply (Cd. 9.062); Report of the Committee of Chairmen of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Reconstruction on Electric Power Supply (Cd. 93); The Manual of Electrical Undertakings, vols. xiii-xxiv.
- (A. G. W.)
United States.—The decade 1910-20, perhaps not so rich as its predecessor in fundamental electrical invention, showed so greatly increased a demand for electric current that much effort was applied to improving methods of production and supply. In many sections of the country all sources of water-power nearby were already employed so that it was necessary to transmit power two and three hundred miles. The highest voltages used in 1910 would be too low to be economical for such distances; during 1910-20 the use of transmission voltages in excess of 100,000 became fairly common; in 1921 220,000-volt lines were being completed. Larger generating units also became necessary. There were in operation in 1921 35,000-K.W. water-wheel units, and 50,000-K.W. units were to be used in Canada in 1922. Steam turbines of the multiple-unit type as large as 72,000 H.P. were operating in New York City and single-unit types up to 35,000 H.P. were operating successfully.
Because of the better light and smaller consumption of the tungsten lamp, which was made practicable by the discovery of a process for drawing tungsten wire, the demand for electric current grew rapidly. This lamp, by using less current, reduced the expenditure of every establishment using electric light, and it became necessary to develop a commercial organization to sell service. By 1921 virtually every electric light and power company maintained a selling organization. Much of the new demand was due to the war. The orders of the Allies for munitions in and after 1915 found the factories of North America ill-equipped to undertake so sudden an increase of production. It was quicker to buy electric power than to procure and install additional generating equipment. Then, later, a serious coal shortage made it apparent throughout the country that a central power-distributing organization was more economical and reliable than a number of small isolated plants. Added to the industrial demand thus suddenly thrust upon the power companies came a heavy demand from households for current for appliances. Domestics had been enticed from service by the munitions plants and electric labour-saving devices replaced them.
There were in 1921 nearly 7,000,000 homes in the United States wired for electric service, served by 5,600 electric light and power companies, the output of which for that year was expected to be about 42,000,000,000 K.W.-hours. From the sale of this current $1,050,000,000 would be obtained. The capital invested in these plants then amounted in round numbers to $4,500,000,000. The growth of retail outlets per capita for electrical merchandise increased nearly 400% during 1910-20, and the output of central power plants nearly 300%.
In spite of the lower consumption of current by the tungsten lamp the prices for electric current decreased steadily until 1916, when higher wages and costs of materials offset economies of efficient operation. About that time a number of supply companies initiated what is known as the “coal clause” in their contracts with consumers, under which the rate varied in a fixed ratio to the fluctuating price of coal. By the end of 1921, however, these clauses had begun to disappear. Household rates were not raised during the war, but later there were many increases. There was some urging of the London sliding scale of rates but in 1921 only two or three companies were using it. In fact, while during the first ten years of the century a great variety of rate-schedules was proposed and put into use, the second decade was free, comparatively, from such activity except perhaps for a form of household schedule which based the rate on the number and type of rooms plus a charge for current.
State regulation, which had appeared in a few states before 1910, by 1921 was found in nearly all states, and any attempt to substitute local regulation was opposed bitterly by the power companies. State regulation did more than anything else to free electricity supply from political interference. As a result term franchises were fast disappearing and were being replaced by indeterminate franchises.
No review of the decade's progress of electricity supply would be complete without reference to the great expansion of syndicate operation and management. Through the control by one company, usually known as a holding company, of numerous properties, a great saving was made. Central organizations have applied to small properties better engineering and management than they otherwise could have had. This also resulted in the discontinuance of small uneconomical plants and the substitution of large unified systems supplying many communities.
The advantages derived from unified systems became so significant that “super-power” projects began to be agitated. The United States Government became interested and an appropriation was made for an investigation of the power resources of the industrial region of the Atlantic seaboard, from Washington to Boston, under the auspices of the U.S. Geological Survey. This report was not yet published in Oct. 1921. It was known, however, that a vast network fed by a number of “super-power” plants would be recommended. Other surveys were being made by those locally interested in the South and in the North-West.
A little more than half of the current sold by power companies in the United States is generated by water-power. The development of the water-power resources of the country, however, was greatly retarded during 1910-720 by the threat of unfavourable Federal legislation. Congress considered for twelve years a water-power bill which was finally passed in 1920. Since its passage there has been a water-power stampede similar in many ways to the 1849 gold stampede to California. Applications were on file in 1921 for more than 51,000,000 H.P. and preliminary permits and licences had been granted to develop 2,255,696 H.P. The bill creates a Federal water-power commission, comprising three cabinet officers, the Secretaries of War, Agriculture and the Interior, to which is given authority over all matters over which the Federal Government has jurisdiction, pertaining to the development of water-powers in navigable streams, on the public domain and in the national forests.
The features of the bill are: (1) the erection of a commission (The Federal Power Commission); (2) the granting of a 50-year lease; and (3) the ability of the Government to resume control of the project on the payment of just compensation at the termination of the lease. Priority is given to national, state and municipal governments. On the Colorado river alone one company was planning to develop between three and four million H.P. of electrical energy.
In order further to assure continuity and reliability of central service, and also to make certain economies possible, the interconnexion of large power systems was introduced. One such system extends along the Gulf states, from Alabama to Georgia, through the Carolinas and into Tennessee. Another interconnects most of the important New England systems, and a third covers the great industrial region of Pennsylvania. California is connected from end to end, and the Rocky Mountain states are similarly linked. In addition there are other important but less extensive interconnexions; it would be possible by spanning a few gaps to interconnect almost the whole country.
Embraced in these interconnexions are certain large industrial plants. They interchange current with the public utilities under an arrangement beneficial to both. The tendency, however, is unmistakably toward service of all manufacturing plants by central stations. The only reason this has not gone further is that the power companies during 1915-21 were generating to their full capacity.
A survey made by the Electrical World of New York City shows that in 1920 there were 326,840 consumers of electric power in the United States. These were divided by sections as follows: New England, 35,300; Middle Atlantic, 50,950; South Atlantic, 19,200; North Central, 133,730; South Central, 22,370; Mountain, 10,690; and Pacific, 54,600.
Seventy-one central power companies had in 1921 an output of more than a hundred million K.W.-hrs. and nine in excess of a thousand million K.W.-hours. The three companies having the largest output were in 1920 the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Power Co., 2,328,326,064 K.W.-hrs.; the Commonwealth Edison Co., Chicago, Ill., 1,883,570,000 K.W.-hrs.; and the Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Francisco, Cal., 1,475,678,673 K.W.-hrs.
Municipal ownership sustained a great setback during the war because high costs of production added too much to city budgets. As a result a great many municipal plants went out of existence, their service being replaced by that of large transmission systems. Just before the war, however, there were some important additions to municipal operation, particularly in California and Ohio.
Another activity curtailed by the war was the organized sale of electric ranges. The provision by central stations of current for cooking before the war was becoming extremely important. Many cities had established a special range rate as low as 3 cents per K.W.-hour. High first cost, however, interrupted this activity, but in 1921 it seemed to be reviving. The practice in street lighting had been that the public utility service should own and maintain the lighting system, but during 1910-20 there was a marked tendency toward municipal ownership of the system. The energy is purchased at the substation in bulk.
The latest statistics available for Canada are as of Jan. 1 1919 and show 795 central electric power stations in which the capital invested was $401,942,402. The total revenue from the sale of power was $53,549,133, for lighting purposes $16,952,512, and for all other purposes $36,596,621. The generating capacity at that time was 1,433,722 kva.
In Canada private operation seemed to be gradually giving way to provincial operation. The largest single system was that of the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission which with its latest acquisitions supplied about 1,000,000 horse-power. In 1921 this, the largest single electrical system in the world, developed under the direction of Sir Adam Beck, was being copied in other parts of Canada and was finding admirers in different parts of the United States, particularly California, where a similar system was proposed. The provincial systems were equivalent in effect to municipal control. The domestic rates were very low and as a result electricity was used quite extensively in the homes. A rate as low as one cent a K.W.-hr. was charged for electric cooking.
- (S. B. W.)