If the electric company ran a tool rental center:
Guy: I’d like to rent a nail gun.
E.C.: Sure, what for?
Some projects around the house.
But what projects? I need to know specifically what it will be used for.
Why does that matter?
Our rates are different depending on what you do with it.
Umm…I’m going to be installing highly-efficient thermal windows.
Okay, you qualify for our air conditioning and ventilation rate.
Great! And I just bought a hybrid car, so I’m going to build a thing in the garage for it.
You’ll need to rent a separate nail gun for that.
What? But I’ll use the same nails. I don’t need a separate nail gun.
Corporate policy – the nail gun in the ACV plan can’t be used for an activity that qualifies under another plan.
What’s the other plan?
Our electric vehicle rate.
Oh. What’s the cheapest rate plan you have?
That would be the interruptible off-peak rate.
I’ll get that one.
Sure, but you can use the nail gun only between the hours of 8 PM and 8 AM.
And somebody else might need to use it too, so we may borrow the nail gun from you for a little while.
Could I rent that one then?
Only for heating or cooling – your window work qualifies.
Okay, I’ll take it.
That will be $30 a day.
Would you like to pay $3 a day extra for a nail gun made from renewable resources?
I could keep going, but I’ll end it there, somewhat ungracefully.
Stay tuned next week, when the electric company runs the gas station (“What vehicle do you have and what is your destination?”), followed by what happens when an airline sells cans of paint (“You’ll be painting today? That’s about double the normal price. But if you buy today and don’t paint until next month, it’ll be cheaper.”).
And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.”