Well, you don’t need a smart meter to save energy. If you perform any number of the actions listed in this article, you will save energy and money. By reviewing your next monthly utility bill, you’ll get an idea of how much you saved.
Tiered pricing automatically penalizes the elderly, the self-employed, the infirm, the unemployed, stay-at-home parents with young children and anyone else who functions on a normal daylight schedule.
San Antonio’s municipal utility says smart meters are a boon to the city and customers. Opponents say the devices are a boondoggle. “While utilities promise the ‘smart grid’ will solve climate change, no independent evidence of energy savings have been demonstrated,” says Josh Hart, director of the California-based group Stop Smart Meters.
Who needs to rub two sticks together to build a fire? I just use a smart meter!
Consistent with the Congressional testimonies, I found a peer-reviewed paper published earlier this year that provides substantiating evidence for cyber threats posed by utility smart meters. The paper is entitled, “Resiliency of Smart Power Meters to Common Security Attacks.” Unfortunately, the title of the study is misleading since its content actually concludes that current smart meter technology is not resilient to common security threats.
There are several concerns with this new ‘smart’ meter. First, the Itron representative made mention that the new meter polls data once per second. The frequency of this data collection would enable the ultimate in consumer privacy invasions in that the more frequent the data collection, the more precise one can analyze exactly what is going on inside the home.
‘Smart’ Meters are expected to occasionally fail catastrophically while analog meters do not have that failure mode. This was the information presented by an industry representative at a recent conference sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).
“These devices are now computers, and so they have to be maintained. They don’t have the life of an [electromechanical] meter which is 20 to 30 years. These devices have a life of between 5 to 7 years..."
This paper presents evidence based on manufacturer specifications and field measurement that the switching frequency of a smart meter switch-mode power supply is about 130 kHz. Further, that this creates a harmonic-rich signal that is readily induced in the hot legs of a 100-amp residential service entrance. Evidence from field measurement is also presented showing that this harmonic-rich switching frequency is radiated from the meter. Studies are coming out that show these frequencies, sometimes called intermediate frequencies, from common devices can do biological harm, especially if there is direct contact between ones body and the device.
Smart meters should not be ‘trusted’ or ‘accepted’ by consumers for a number of reasons. Within the context of privacy and security, it is quite easy to demonstrate why.