Skip to comments.As Towns Say No, Signs of Rising Resistance to Smart Meters
Posted on 05/28/2013 7:21:52 PM PDT by opentalk
BRADY, Tex. In October, the City Council of this Central Texas town voted unanimously to purchase advanced electric meters, known as smart meters, for the city-owned electric utility. But some residents resisted, and the smart meter vote played a large role in last weekends recall of the citys mayor and the electoral defeat of two council members.
Voters here passed a referendum last weekend to enshrine in the City Charter the right of residents to refuse the installation of smart meters on their property. Sheila Hemphill, an organizer of the effort, called the victory her San Jacinto.
The reaction in Brady could signal a shift in the debate over smart meters, which collect detailed data on electricity use and transmit it to the utility using radio frequencies.
The ultimate goal of the smart grid, of which smart meters are a part, is to connect us internationally to share the power we generate with the world, she said. Having its own grid provides the state with autonomy it would not have otherwise, she said. Weve survived all these years without being connected to another grid, she said. Why should we change that?
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Three months ago my bill was $145. This month it is $31.57.
My electric meter was inside a locked fence on my back deck.
Now I don’t have to unlock the gate to let them in, and I have an accurate bill.
Wow! The operative word is “meter”. The smart meters allow large staff reductions at the utility company. You complain about your bill but tie the hands of engineers trying to make the system more efficient and cheaper. The smart meters themselves cannot disconnect electric power to your home. Disconnecting power needs a properly rated breaker — there is a manual disconnect in your house switch box. The next one back is at the transformer serving you and your neighbors. The smart meter would need to have a relay to trip an expensive replacement of your manual disconnect molded case circuit breaker and another relay to re-engage the breaker. The liability associated with such a device controlling all power to your house would be uninsurable at a reasonable cost.
What about those gadgets the utility companies are pushing that allow them to remotely turn off your heating, AC and hot water heater?
‘_______opt out of Big Brother meters.’
Here in So. Calif, we also opted out, and have to pay monthly for that ‘privilege.’
For all these 44 years, the original meter is just a few feet from the head of our bed - - - z~a~p!
That’s the only way the bed fits in the room.
Sounds like they are losing a lot of revenue by doing this. Just wait, your rates will be going up to cover their "shortfall"
All they need for that is maps. Smart meters don't change that.
Then you'll like my story.
Decades ago, when I was still single, I rented an apartment. The apartment had its own electric meter, which I soon found out, did not work. I got a bill every month for $2.75, which was the minimum charge for having electricity.
I ran the air conditioner full blast night and day throughout the summer, even if I did occasionally have to wear a sweater in the house in the summer time.
Unfortunately, the apartment was heated with gas, the gas meter did work. I found a solution however by buying electric space heaters for every room and turned the gas off.
I did this for 2 full years and the electric company never noticed or didn't care that I had no usage at all, ditto for the gas.
The only reason I reluctantly moved was because I got married and needed a bigger place. If I hadn't gotten married and had children, I'd probably still be there.
You should make your own power if you are serious about that.
I have seen reports that installation of a smart meter is immediately followed in many or most cases by a large increase in electric bills.
You could have fixed that by reading your own meter and calling the company. On months that we get “estimated” instead of read we bitch and the bill gets adjusted. Once in a while we have to send a couple of dollars more but we bitch then, too, to be consistent. Most of the time it is way high.
That’s certainly been true in my case but I’m not sure whether the cause is the meter or endless rate increases approved by the state PUC. They’ve concocted an extremely complicated “base use” mechanism that applies exorbitant charges for every kwh used above the stingy “base” amount of electricity some bureaucrat has decided is the maximum I should use per month. I’m beginning to feel like a character in a Franz Kafka novel.
Southern California Edison installed Smart Meters in our area last year. They initially said we could opt out but when it came to it the State Utilities Board allowed them to charge us a monthly $75 fee to have our meter read and $150 per year fine. Who could pay that? So we were forced to have the meter. Our bill jumped 10%. Meanwhile, because of the glut of solar panels companies are springing up to lease solar systems. So we are having a solar system installed on the house which will cut what we pay SCE from $200/month to $40. We will still have a Smart Meter but it’s a little of our own back. I’m sure Edison will make the State outlaw this before long. You all should look into it where you live. Ours is called Solar City.
Our solar guy told us they will be increasing revenue because they charge on a 3 tier system. The more power you use the more it costs per kwh. The new meters measure more accurately so you are put into a higher tier faster. In our area it’s pretty much the norm for the bill to go up when the meter is installed. There were lawsuits in Bakersfield over it.
I’ll bet they don’t have fluoride either.
The first thing you know, they’ll have cell phones
I thought we all already paid for meters with stimulus hand outs.
When the utility is able to set up interrupt-able service to your AC (or hot water heater), that circuit is separate from the main circuit feeding current to your house. That circuit will have a remotely re-closeable breaker in the substation, or an extra gadget at your house. We had such service in Sacramento in 1986-1987. The utility company only needs to engage the interrupt-able service provision during peak loads on that part of the distribution system — peaks last only a few hours at most. The tactic is only useful when a bunch of folks opt for the alternate circuit to the AC (or hot water). The governing PUC forces utilities to have installed available capacity for well over 100% of estimated peak load. Thus, there is no incentive for the utility to shut off service except in extreme circumstances. Responses to extreme circumstances would otherwise require amperage reduction (brownout — damaging equipment by overheating) or selective blackouts.
It will take all of 30 seconds before the police are monitoring electricity of ‘targets of interest’ in real time, most likely without warrants.
Or some other aluminum object?