I think I spent the two days off from work in an enjoyable way. First on saturday, I went to that Ecopower meeting, where some interesting points were brought up (especially near the end, the start was the all to common and boring legal crap), although I must closely monitor what direction the company heads off in. I invest in and use green energy because I believe in it, but also because it offers a nice profit. That profit is an essential part of the equation for me, as I always intend to do things that both benefit me, as well as others.
At one point during the meeting, the board of directors brought up the idea to research (and thus possibly start I suppose) a Social Energy Office, which would allow people that currently have no means to buy (cheap) green energy to participate in the project and the idea. I'm all in favor of some socialism, and I'm prepared to carry a fraction of the cost of it all, but I wonder why a new player on the market, with in more ways than one a possibly troublesome future with quite some insecurities would attempt to tap into a very difficult market which basically offers no benefits to the company, just additional risks.
Mind you, I know I'm talking as a shareholder here - remember my posts about The Corporation? - and not as a sympathetic human being. Anyway, as the proposal was explained, they asked for feedback and I gave it. Maybe it all came over a bit harsher and rude as I intended it to, but this is more or less what I said :
"We, as a company, have an obligation to produce and sell green energy to our cooperating members/shareholders. I have no problem in itself with a linear price, even if the costs are not equal all over the territory where we operate, but I do have a problem with including a difficult market with known problems when we - at this point - can't even deliver green power to all those that are already cooperating, or waiting to become cooperant. We are not the Salvation Army".
Oh, the shock that went through the auditorium. I would say that it was filled with hippies, but it wasn't, although some were present, and no response came from the board of directors either. They just stood there and looked. Then went to the next person to ask for feedback. All other feedback of course opposed my outburst and was in favor of researching the idea. I think I'll sit and wait to see what happens over the coming year.
If this "research project" is evolving into something I cannot support, I might step out completely, or seriously diminish my investment. If it doesn't affect the bottomline, things may remain the same.
After the meeting, I called Eva (mpatshi) and we hung out on the Korenmarkt in Ghent. Had a spaghetti in "De Kastart", which was pretty yummy indeed and had lots of fun. Later on a drink in "Zatte Beurs" (not sure though) and around 20h30 or so I left for Mechelen to go to Peter & Veronique's wedding party. That was fun too, small venue but exactly the right amount of people to make it enjoyable. Had some drinks, goofed around and talked with all the friends. Fun times.
Left around 3 or so, went back to Antwerp, had a Pita and then went to bed for a short sleep. Slept around 5 hours or so and forced myself out of bed, otherwise I'll never make the early shift tomorrow (and the rest of the week for that matter). Off to Joco's place next week to chat.
My mind says explore, but my heart says LWW.