I was reading this interesting catalogue of telco-powered products which rely on the ultra-reliable batteries in telephone exchanges in many countries including the UK.  In my imagination, after the apocolypse, as we’re all sitting in our cellars drinking the best bottles of wine, but we can’t find the corkscrew because the lights have all gone off, we will rig up lights powered from the telephone line and everything will, somewhat briefly, be all right.

But then I had this fantastic idea.  Where I come from, there’s a trend to solar power and micro-generation with the government subsidising technologies and products which allow locally generated electricity to be sold into the national power grid, at really good prices too.  But why wait for the solar panels and micro-generation? We have a great source of local power already: the phone company!  I now plan to develop a gadget that takes power from the phone line and sells it to the power company.  OK, so the amount of power available will be very small, but it will always be there!

Another idea would be to take cheap energy in the night time, store it in hot water tanks, and generate electricity from it again in the day, selling it back to the power company at a better rate later.  Could this be my future income stream??