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(Breitbart.com)   Two suburban housewives are led away in handcuffs for refusing to let smart meters be hooked to their homes. Carry on, citizen   (breitbart.com) divider line 318
    More: Scary, smart meters, handcuffs, energy meter, Chicago metropolitan area, The Blaze  
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18907 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jan 2013 at 8:08 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-27 09:56:14 AM
some suffer from DNA breakdown.

What the hell is that? I guess you wake up one morning and find out that you've just mutated into a Neanderthal.
 
2013-01-27 09:57:44 AM

Warlordtrooper: This About That: Good grief.

My fellow conspiratorialists: I love the idea that it is only healthy for one to distrust Big Money and Big Gummint, and believe you me I am sensitive to eavesdropping issues and the loss of our personal privacy. But this ain't it. Smart meters allow the power company to do two things:

1. Collect your power bill without sending the meter reader out to your house. This is a tradeoff, from our standpoint, between meter reading jobs and the price of our utility service.

2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.

Another little issue is that the utility company really does own the meter and really can do whatever they please with it. Threatening a meter installer is just plain stoopid, and I don't care what your local fearmongers are selling. They aren't always right, as they aren't in this case. The low power RF needed to drive-by read your meter is not going to affect your little bear cubs. Also, if you quote Sarah Palin, you should go to jail in handcuffs.

Even if they own the meter they don't own the property. It's trespassing for them to come on someone else's property without permission



Utility workers are often exempt, especially on newer properties. That eavesment on your plat (usually 3' from each line) is there specifically for utilities. If they crossed a fence line, or any other area that would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, then you'd have a possible trespass. Good luck winning that case if they were in the line of duty though.
 
2013-01-27 09:57:49 AM
I'm happy with the concept of smart meters-- it's just the implementation that has me concerned.

 Wireless for sending/receiving data-- INCLUDING the ability to shut off power? Jesus, what a bad idea.  I'm sure it was MUCH cheaper than designing the meters to do signaling over the power lines themselves (which IS doable BTW, especially for the tiny amount of data being sent/received) but this will come back to bite people in the ass someday.

Sooner or later some self-proclaimed member of Anonymous is going to be shutting off power across huge residential sections of a city with a hacked Wi-Fi router and a Dixie Cup. Just because he can. Then the plans for his little gadget will be posted on 4chan and we're going to have a real nationwide nightmare on our hands.

Yeah, I have no doubt the power companies will claim that their wireless security is top notch. The best ever developed.  Yeah, right.

And what happens when something breaks/gets jammed and the signal can't get through for an extended period?  Does the meter shut off power to the house on its own after a certain duration of no contact?

Right now the "demand" pricing scheme is optional -- at least in my area.  How long before somebody decides by fiat to force everybody to live with it?
 
2013-01-27 10:01:19 AM

This About That: Good grief.

My fellow conspiratorialists: I love the idea that it is only healthy for one to distrust Big Money and Big Gummint, and believe you me I am sensitive to eavesdropping issues and the loss of our personal privacy. But this ain't it. Smart meters allow the power company to do two things:

1. Collect your power bill without sending the meter reader out to your house. This is a tradeoff, from our standpoint, between meter reading jobs and the price of our utility service.

2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.

Another little issue is that the utility company really does own the meter and really can do whatever they please with it. Threatening a meter installer is just plain stoopid, and I don't care what your local fearmongers are selling. They aren't always right, as they aren't in this case. The low power RF needed to drive-by read your meter is not going to affect your little bear cubs. Also, if you quote Sarah Palin, you should go to jail in handcuffs.


You make this sound like a good thing. These new meters can pick up very detailed real time information. It knows when you are sleeping, it knows when your awake, it knows when the grow lights are on, so be good for goodness sake... And when peak power comes rolling around every day it will charge you more, and you will then get hit with a bigger bill at the end of the month. I don't want these things. The old meters are tried and true and have never been a problem.
 
2013-01-27 10:04:50 AM

WhippingBoy: Marcintosh: Broads ? Jesus man, who calls women "Broads"? Seriously, it's just this attitude that keeps you going home from the bar and humping your fist night after night.

This. Everyone knows that broads prefer to be called "dames" or "dollymops".


Whatever happened to the more genteel term "Spunk dumpster?"
 
2013-01-27 10:06:42 AM

mr_a: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-24/news/chi-naperville-sma r t-meter-arrest-20130123_1_meter-opponents-smart-meter-wireless-meters

Seems legit.  And Jenny seems hot.

//not subby


And then FTA: Malia "Kim" Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court was charged with two misdemeanors - attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

"Attempted eavesdropping"? How hard do you have to work to get busted for "attempted eavesdropping"?
 
2013-01-27 10:07:54 AM

steveGswine: mr_a: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-24/news/chi-naperville-sma r t-meter-arrest-20130123_1_meter-opponents-smart-meter-wireless-meters

Seems legit.  And Jenny seems hot.

//not subby

And then FTA: Malia "Kim" Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court was charged with two misdemeanors - attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

"Attempted eavesdropping"? How hard do you have to work to get busted for "attempted eavesdropping"?


You don't.  This and the other charge are when the cops just make shiat up.  No way in hell they'll actually be convicted of either count.
 
2013-01-27 10:09:09 AM

italie: Warlordtrooper: This About That: Good grief.

My fellow conspiratorialists: I love the idea that it is only healthy for one to distrust Big Money and Big Gummint, and believe you me I am sensitive to eavesdropping issues and the loss of our personal privacy. But this ain't it. Smart meters allow the power company to do two things:

1. Collect your power bill without sending the meter reader out to your house. This is a tradeoff, from our standpoint, between meter reading jobs and the price of our utility service.

2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.

Another little issue is that the utility company really does own the meter and really can do whatever they please with it. Threatening a meter installer is just plain stoopid, and I don't care what your local fearmongers are selling. They aren't always right, as they aren't in this case. The low power RF needed to drive-by read your meter is not going to affect your little bear cubs. Also, if you quote Sarah Palin, you should go to jail in handcuffs.

Even if they own the meter they don't own the property. It's trespassing for them to come on someone else's property without permission


Utility workers are often exempt, especially on newer properties. That eavesment on your plat (usually 3' from each line) is there specifically for utilities. If they crossed a fence line, or any other area that would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, then you'd have a possible trespass. Good luck winning that case if they were in the line of duty though.


This. When you signed your contract with the utility company, you were implicitly giving permission for their agents to go onto your property to the extent needed to read the meter. Probably explicitly, too, most utility companies would likely put it in the contract somewhere to avoid some dumbass suing for trespass. Any attempt to bring a case against the utility company for trying to access the meter would be highly unlikely to survive summary judgment.
 
2013-01-27 10:09:41 AM

homelessdude: WhippingBoy: HoneyDog: How do you know that? Or is it something you just made up?
GOOGLE IT.
You made the claim. You supply the evidence.

You haven't done your homework buddy.....


rationalwiki.org
 
2013-01-27 10:12:56 AM

This About That: The low power RF needed to drive-by read your meter is not going to affect your little bear cubs.


Yeah. That point they were trying to make doesn't hold water, unless they also want to stop everyone in their neighborhood from having wi-fi networks....
 
2013-01-27 10:13:21 AM

Maul555: It knows when you are sleeping, it knows when your awake, it knows when the grow lights are on, so be good for goodness sake...


So it's like Santa Claus? And people who are opposed to it are part of the War on Christmas? Got it.
 
2013-01-27 10:14:19 AM
Wonder how many people who are scared of RF listen to FM radio, or even better XM or Sirrius radio that run at a frequency just above these smart meters.

These smart meters run around 900MHz to 2GHz which is in the range called Ultra High Frequency or UHF for short...UHF...why does that sound familiar?? Something tells me that millions of Americans have been exposed to these frequency for generations w/o any issues.


/god people are stupid.
 
2013-01-27 10:15:31 AM

GoldSpider: This fight against smart-meters is a new form of weapons-grade stupidity that I'd never heard of. These are probably a lot of the same people who complain about how vulnerable and primitive our power grid is.


In my experience, these the same Nobel prize winners fighting the good fight to save incandescent light bulbs.
 
2013-01-27 10:17:13 AM

udhq: GoldSpider: This fight against smart-meters is a new form of weapons-grade stupidity that I'd never heard of. These are probably a lot of the same people who complain about how vulnerable and primitive our power grid is.

In my experience, these the same Nobel prize winners fighting the good fight to save incandescent light bulbs.


But don't you dare call them luddites.
 
2013-01-27 10:18:36 AM

udhq: GoldSpider: This fight against smart-meters is a new form of weapons-grade stupidity that I'd never heard of. These are probably a lot of the same people who complain about how vulnerable and primitive our power grid is.

In my experience, these the same Nobel prize winners fighting the good fight to save incandescent light bulbs.


While at the same time endorsing the Patriot Act as necessary for our "war on terror."

Yeah, the abuses of our rights in that piece of shiat are far worse than not being able to buy a certain type of light bulb, buddy.
 
2013-01-27 10:18:40 AM

This About That: Good grief.

My fellow conspiratorialists: I love the idea that it is only healthy for one to distrust Big Money and Big Gummint, and believe you me I am sensitive to eavesdropping issues and the loss of our personal privacy. But this ain't it. Smart meters allow the power company to do two things:

1. Collect your power bill without sending the meter reader out to your house. This is a tradeoff, from our standpoint, between meter reading jobs and the price of our utility service.

2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.

Another little issue is that the utility company really does own the meter and really can do whatever they please with it. Threatening a meter installer is just plain stoopid, and I don't care what your local fearmongers are selling. They aren't always right, as they aren't in this case. The low power RF needed to drive-by read your meter is not going to affect your little bear cubs. Also, if you quote Sarah Palin, you should go to jail in handcuffs.


Very well written. I guess people don't understand that the outside of your house is the demarcation point for services, and that if you choose to use those, all utilities providers have the right to hook whatever the hell they feel like hooking up, irregardless of your personal feelings.
 
2013-01-27 10:19:04 AM

WhippingBoy: KrispyKritter: You may not agree with these broads but they have a right to their opinion. Just because you are glad to drink the no frills Kool Aid is no reason to be stupid (or ignorant). There is nothing natural about the plethora of corporate/government transmissions through our environment. Every year there is more uninvited corruption of our air, water and earth. Where is Billy Jack when we need him the most?

Everything has a price. Your cars pollute. Your TV's rot your mind and waste your time. Your cell phones and microwave ovens have side effects. Just because you all want to be willing pawns does not mean everyone has to go silently into the night. Corporations don't give a damn if you die tomorrow or if your children are born all farked up. Look at what they did to the Indians. Don't forget about the Dutch, too. Not to be trusted, none of them.

Don't forget cameras. Everyone knows that if you get your picture taken, the camera steals your soul. Yet the government does nothing to stop them.


So THAT'S why they arrested the woman for videotaping the police.

Also I'm wondering if (in this thread) there might be some smart meter confusion over the second meter some people get installed. Apparently you can get a second meter installed connected to your AC/ water heater/ appliances/ whatever that allows the power company to remotely shut them off whenever they want, usually during peak times.
 
2013-01-27 10:20:13 AM

Do_wacka_Do: According to the Chicago Tribune, Malia "Kim" Bendis was also arrested on two misdemeanors for resisting a police officer and attempted eavesdropping, when she filmed police on scene, despite a recent federal court ruling that the state of Illinois's ban on recording police officers in the line of duty was "unconstitutional." The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling in November.

No comments about this? You are slipping FARKERS.


The attempted eavesdropping charge was probably thrown on because she really pissed off the cops. The cops know that the charge will get tossed, but they also know that she has to show up in court to get it tossed.
 
2013-01-27 10:21:51 AM

udhq: GoldSpider: This fight against smart-meters is a new form of weapons-grade stupidity that I'd never heard of. These are probably a lot of the same people who complain about how vulnerable and primitive our power grid is.

In my experience, these the same Nobel prize winners fighting the good fight to save incandescent light bulbs.



In all seriousness, CFLs do suck...


//and LEDs wil eat your braaaaaaaiiinnnnsssss
 
2013-01-27 10:24:39 AM
When you signed your contract with the utility company

What contract? I didn't say a contract for any of my utilities.
 
2013-01-27 10:25:44 AM
I don't see the need to for police. Here is the simple solution:

Power Co.: "We want to replace your electric meter with a new digital 'smart' meter."

Home owner: "NO WAY!"

Power Co: "OK, boys, disconnect this house."

Problem solved, and everyone is happy.
 
2013-01-27 10:27:15 AM
My smart meter keeps asking me to kill.
 
2013-01-27 10:27:30 AM

HighlanderRPI: Lsherm: I'm sure I'll work it out over the next 20 years or so. ...

I have a c1780 farmhouse. Made a huge difference when I rolled out unfaced R30, 2 layers worth - at 90 degrees to each other, on top of all the old floorboards in the crawlspaces & did 12" of blown-in for the attic space. All I had was old insulation of 3-6" below the old floorboards. For storage, I used 2x4 to frame out a platform just above the R30 layers and screwed to the rafters for one side and put plywood over top. You might consider the same in your attic - you will lose storage space but the energy savings would be tremendous.


Thanks for the suggestion.  My wife uses the attic(s) heavily for storage, but it might be worth having her move stuff out to keep the bedrooms cooler.
 
2013-01-27 10:27:33 AM

HoneyDog: When you signed your contract with the utility company

What contract? I didn't say a contract for any of my utilities.


Are you a customer of theirs? Then somewhere along the line you probably did sign a contract without even realizing it.
 
2013-01-27 10:27:53 AM

Fissile: I don't see the need to for police. Here is the simple solution:

Power Co.: "We want to replace your electric meter with a new digital 'smart' meter."

Home owner: "NO WAY!"

Power Co: "OK, boys, disconnect this house."

Problem solved, and everyone is happy.


Seriously. Buy a propane tank and a solar array and shut your mouth.
 
2013-01-27 10:30:32 AM

eggrolls: Fissile: I don't see the need to for police. Here is the simple solution:

Power Co.: "We want to replace your electric meter with a new digital 'smart' meter."

Home owner: "NO WAY!"

Power Co: "OK, boys, disconnect this house."

Problem solved, and everyone is happy.

Seriously. Buy a propane tank and a solar array and shut your mouth.


==============

Or be really boot strappy, like Ayn Rand, and build your own generating plant in your backyard, supplied by coal from your own coal mine. People today are such whiny slackers. Gimme, gimme, gimme.....that's all they know.
 
2013-01-27 10:31:14 AM

Lsherm: This About That: Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day.

Our house is crazy old (152 years) and it was retrofitted with air-conditioning in 2002.  Since we couldn't run continuous duct work all over the house like you can in a new build, we have three zones and three heat pumps with programmable thermostats.  I made an uncomfortable discovery this summer - if we shut off the air conditioning for the zone that handles the upstairs bedrooms and the temperature goes above 97 that day - the heat pump can't cool down the upstairs overnight.  It tries, but it just can't do it.  The inside temperature upstairs creeps well above 115 even with an attic fan running.

I tried fiddling with the time it was turned off, then I tried leaving it on but setting the temp absurdly high (85 degrees - the highest the thermostat will go), then I bumped it down, and bumped it down, and bumped it down again until we at last got to a point where the overnight temp could drop to at least 75.

The biggest problem is that it's an old farmhouse, so the walls aren't insulated that well and the roof is black-tar painted tin.  I'm getting the roof painted with silver reflective paint this spring, so I hope that takes some of the heat load off the house.


Couple of things here,

First, no matter what the numbers say, a heat pump DOES NOT cool as well as a regular a/c. Once the outside temp drops below a certain point, it won't heat as well either.

Also, be careful about insulating, if the house has Knob and Tube wiring, it can be a fire hazard.
 
2013-01-27 10:33:27 AM

Bad_Seed: Now, the other point about real time information that the utility company can really see what's going on inside your house. They know when you wake up, they know when you leave the house, when you come home, when you watch TV and when you go to bed. Different appliances have slightly different load characteristics, especially when starting up or shutting down, so you can tell whether somebody has just turned on their TV or they microwave, even if they both draw the same amount of power. What are utilities going to do with all that interesting data?



Maybe my imagination is failing me, here, but I can't conceive of any reason how a power utility could possibly benefit from a.) collecting and b.) paying attention to that kind of data on an individual house basis. Since that kind of data is the exact opposite of "interesting", why bother to collect it at all? Also, supposing they *did* do that, wouldn't they need some kind of super secret department with all its workers sworn to secrecy to make sure the embarrassing info doesn't become public? It makes more sense to me that a smart meter only keeps track of the Watt-hours used during the various billing periods.


Bad_Seed: so the utility (or a malicious 3rd party) can, for example remotely shut off your power, because fark you, they can.



I'm an electrical engineer, but my area of expertise is industrial controls & instrumentation as opposed to utilities and services, so I *could* be mistaken here -- any good Electrician should be better informed on this than I am, hopefully there's one on Fark who can weigh in and confirm or deny what I'm about to say -- but the component you'd need to remotely disconnect a 100A or 200A electrical service would be either an electromechanical or solid-state relay, either one of which would be physically large at those sizes - at least as big if not bigger than a traditional residential Watt-hour meter. Alternately they could mount these remotely somewhere, I guess. Me, I haven't noticed power meters suddenly growing twice as big as they used to be or brand new enclosures containing switchgear suddenly appearing for every handful of houses. And as seldom as the power to any particular dwelling is connected or disconnected I can't imagine how replacing all the existing manual disconnection hardware with relays would make economic sense for any power utility.

If I'm wrong and you actually have evidence that new power metering technology allows for remote disconnection, as opposed to speculation, please point me to the evidence and I'll happily stand corrected. (I'll also be surprised as hell, too, since it doesn't make any sense...)
 
2013-01-27 10:33:59 AM
In las vegas they were pushing thermostats that the power co. had override control over. As an example, they could raise your temperature set point remotely in the summer if they felt there was too much power being used in the area. It was a voluntary program and I never signed up for it.

Thermostat set at 71 in the winter and 72 in the summer. Setbacks at night, summer and winter. I don't want somebody else deciding I should sit in an 84 degree house in the summer.

And smart meters/data loggers can collect a lot of data. There seems to be an increasingly blurry line between using any data collected in any setting for good or for evil. And as this scenario illustrates very well, it is becoming more and more common to see what amounts to a surcharge placed on a persons privacy. From something as simple as swiping your grocery store card to get discounts at the register in trade for giving up a complete list of what food your family eats, which you can avoid if you pay the surcharge in extra food costs, to this type of meter/data logger which can paint an incomplete but interesting picture of a households lifestyle if analyzed that way, or by paying the surcharge so some other piece of the puzzle of your private life remains private. All this increasingly more common stuff leads to a world where more and more only those with enough money can live a private life and the rest of us live under the potential to be analyzed by unknown parties for unknown purposes, good or bad, at any time.

I don't worry about it much, but I see it and don't really like it just the same. Can't fix it. Can't afford to avoid it.

If you want to pursue your experiments with the goal of creating a human/dirty sweat sock hybrid that's yer biznezz. .
 
2013-01-27 10:35:16 AM

Lsherm: This About That: A whole-house extractor fan would help, too. The extractor pulls the hot air from the upstairs after it cools off outside after dark, and sends it into the attic to displace the even hotter air up there. Open windows downstairs and start it up after dark.

Yeah, I have one in the attic above the bedrooms.  Once again, the problem is that it's an old farmhouse, so it was built in stages (whenever they needed more room, they just built another room) - so I have 4 attics.

I'm torn about installing vents in the bedroom ceilings to pass air up to the attic to let the fan work better.  It would let the bedrooms cool off faster from the attic fan, but it would be a nightmare in the winter unless I closed them off tight.

This About That: Have you investigated how long it would take to recoup the cost of insulation? Hint: Start with the attic.

That's the thing - the attic above the bedrooms IS insulated.  It has blown insulation between the bedroom ceilings and the attic floor (it's a walk up attic) and rolled thin foil insulation on the floor.  The only other thing I can insulate is the clapboard roof the tin is nailed to, presumably with hard foam insulation, but I'm worried about doing that because it would make water leaks harder to find.  Also, since either end of the attic has a full size 4.5 foot window on it, I'm not sure if it would do any good.  Insulating the attic floor seemed like the best option at some point, and I'm inclined to agree with whoever made that decision.

Here's a picture of the bedroom attic with an inspector and our real estate agent during a walkthrough.  You can see the blown insulation, the back of the tin from the roof, the floorboards, and you can barely make out a window behind the inspector.  The only thing we've added since this picture was taken was foil insulation on top of the floorboards, but it didn't seem to help much.



I'm sure I'll work it out over the next 20 years or so.  What made the house tolerable when it was built - 19 million windows, works against it now.


Have you sealed where the wall cavities meet the attic? I know if air can move between the attic, walls, and crawlspace then rising air in the walls will draw cold air up from under the house in the winter, making even insulated walls cold. In the summer it lets hot attic air surround you bedrooms, rather than just sit on top.

The current recommendation in our area would be at least double your current attic insulation depth, too. Just because you have insulation up there doesn't mean it's enough. And fixing air penetrations between house and attic would do more than insulation if no one's bothered to on past improvements.
 
2013-01-27 10:45:46 AM
Are you a customer of theirs? Then somewhere along the line you probably did sign a contract without even realizing it.

Yes, I am a customer and I pay bills every month. No, I didn't sign a contract. I made a phone call, gave them the address and our names. I signed nothing.
 
2013-01-27 10:49:15 AM

phaseolus: Maybe my imagination is failing me, here, but I can't conceive of any reason how a power utility could possibly benefit from a.) collecting and b.) paying attention to that kind of data on an individual house basis. Since that kind of data is the exact opposite of "interesting", why bother to collect it at all? Also, supposing they *did* do that, wouldn't they need some kind of super secret department with all its workers sworn to secrecy to make sure the embarrassing info doesn't become public? It makes more sense to me that a smart meter only keeps track of the Watt-hours used during the various billing periods.


You can't see the benefit of what amounts to a real time surveillance system inside people's homes? Well for one, lots of companies are willing to pay good money for that sort of information. You haven't noticed how all sorts of corporations are busy collecting every single scrap of data they can on people? You used to have to buy something by card, or type something into Google for them to get something. Now every time you switch something on, they get more info on you. Instead of a super secret department, there's a fine print clause in your contract saying they can use or sell your data in any way they wish.

I'm an electrical engineer, but my area of expertise is industrial controls & instrumentation as opposed to utilities and services, so I *could* be mistaken here -- any good Electrician should be better informed on this than I am, hopefully there's one on Fark who can weigh in and confirm or deny what I'm about to say -- but the component you'd need to remotely disconnect a 100A or 200A electrical service would be either an electromechanical or solid-state relay, either one of which would be physically large at those sizes - at least as big if not bigger than a traditional residential Watt-hour meter. Alternately they could mount these remotely somewhere, I guess. Me, I h ...

The manufacturer says they can. They don't go into details on how they do it.
 
2013-01-27 10:51:10 AM

HoneyDog: 2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.


How do they know if there is nobody in the house? I work from home some days. And what about my dogs? Why should they suffer in the heat?


Then leave the AC on you dolt. He wasn't saying the power company could control these things, he was saying if you know more about your usage, you can adjust your habits.
 
2013-01-27 10:51:50 AM
Good advice from Skirl. If I remember reading here earlier it was mentioned putting insulation directly against the underside of the roof. That is not a good thing. It will trap condensing moisture. Same with insulating the underside of the first floor, same situation. Mold will be the result.
 
2013-01-27 10:51:59 AM
I'm torn on this one.

On one hand, the reason these people are citing for not wanting smart meters in their homes (supposed health effects of RF transmission) is totally retarded.

On the other hand, the fact that the city is sending armed escorts to facilitate trespass on someone's property is an outrage.

Both sides are asshats, but in this case, I have to shake my head and take sides with the RF nutters. What the police/city is doing is inexcusable.
 
2013-01-27 10:54:35 AM
Really these two should have just called the power company demanded the socialist electricity be blocked from their houses. I'm sure the power company would have obliged.
 
2013-01-27 10:56:05 AM
You REALLY want to turn up the Derp? Hang a foil American flag over the meter to block the signal. Then video tape the power company tearing it down!
 
2013-01-27 11:01:28 AM

Alex Broughton Butt Chugger: ZackDanger: HoneyDog: 2. It allows the utility to adjust the price in real time against the real time demand, thus allowing us to adjust our usage to make the best use of the energy we buy. Charge the electric car or do the laundry at night. Turn off the air conditioner if everyone is at school or work during the hottest part of the day. Use the energy when it is cheapest. A dumb power meter can't tell the difference, but a smart meter can.


How do they know if there is nobody in the house? I work from home some days. And what about my dogs? Why should they suffer in the heat?

Huh?

Electricity is cheaper at night. A smart reader knows *when* you are using electricity, so they can change the rates based on overall demand in the system. (A little cheaper at night, a little more expensive during the day for example.) There are in fact power/profit generation plants that operate on this principal alone.

http://www.firstlightpower.com/generation/north.asp

If you want to keep your AC on during the day, that's your prerogative.

Yeah, because fark night workers right? I mean sure, you'd like to be taken care of after your late night car crash, but that'll just have to wait till tomorrow. See, our underpaid night workers like to sleep with the AC on, because it's hot during the day. And bright. But of course they should pay more for that privilege, right? Because the world operates exactly within your preconceived notions of what is normal right? Your experience is representative of everyone else's.


it is a fact that it costs more to generate electricity during peak demand times than during lower demand times. If I use more electricity during the evening, when it's cheaper to generate, why should I pay the same as the guy who uses more during the day? Smart meters will allow power companies to make that distinction. I have no problem with this. Fossil energy sources are going to run out, and the only way to make people understand that this is a real crisis is market pressures of various types. Then maybe they'll begin to understand why the time to research alternatives is NOW, not when we're out of coal and oil.
 
2013-01-27 11:04:52 AM
If you really think the reason for installing these is anything other than some very rich people making very lucrative back room deals for the sole purpose of grabbing more cash from average citizens, I've got a bridge to sell you.

It's only a small bridge, but a bridge nonetheless.
 
2013-01-27 11:05:03 AM
Why can't they just move?

Isn't that the Libertarian argument for when you are not satisfied or don' like what your local or state government is doing?
 
2013-01-27 11:06:06 AM

ExJerseyGirl: What I found disturbing was that one of the women was arrested for filming the police.


On her own property of all places. That is bullshiat.
 
2013-01-27 11:10:37 AM
Private property rights are a nice fantasy.
 
2013-01-27 11:14:03 AM

phaseolus: Maybe my imagination is failing me, here, but I can't conceive of any reason how a power utility could possibly benefit from a.) collecting and b.) paying attention to that kind of data on an individual house basis.


One simple example: "People in this neighborhood turn on their TVs at 5:30. Maybe a business in that neighborhood might like to buy advertising at 5:31??"
 
2013-01-27 11:15:35 AM
They do realize all that model does is send the number on the meter back to the power company? It doesn't have the relays to cut power, affect power or anything else? That takes a collar. It keeps them from having to send meter readers into contact with nutters like them. That's it.
 
2013-01-27 11:18:16 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-27 11:18:19 AM

Bad_Seed: The manufacturer says they can. They don't go into details on how they do it.



Well, that's a surprise, and I stand corrected.

In that case, on this point I'll agree with your identification of the security risk of having this capability, and I'm still leery about whether it makes economic sense. It has to add like $100 to the price the utility pays for each meter.

And especially if it uses power semiconductors it damn well better be extremely robust and resistant to power surges. Imagine a routine thunderstorm coming through and frying every one of these in a city -- every house without power until every single one of the meters is replaced or retrofitted, what a nightmare that would be ... Hopefully there's a well written standard and compliance testing in place to make sure the meters aren't junk.
 
2013-01-27 11:19:13 AM

steveGswine: mr_a: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-24/news/chi-naperville-sma r t-meter-arrest-20130123_1_meter-opponents-smart-meter-wireless-meters

Seems legit.  And Jenny seems hot.

//not subby

And then FTA: Malia "Kim" Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court was charged with two misdemeanors - attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

"Attempted eavesdropping"? How hard do you have to work to get busted for "attempted eavesdropping"?


It's probably just a run-of-the-mill eavesdropping law (to protect people's privacy) that is written in such a way that the accused can't use the "sure I planted a microphone/put a cup to the wall/hiding in the bushes... but I didn't actually hear anything, so I didn't technically eavesdrop" defense.

That or the actual eavesdropping law is poorly written and the cops use the "attempted" version to make sure someone can't use the excuse I outlined above.
 
2013-01-27 11:22:27 AM

Bad_Seed: phaseolus: Maybe my imagination is failing me, here, but I can't conceive of any reason how a power utility could possibly benefit from a.) collecting and b.) paying attention to that kind of data on an individual house basis. Since that kind of data is the exact opposite of "interesting", why bother to collect it at all? Also, supposing they *did* do that, wouldn't they need some kind of super secret department with all its workers sworn to secrecy to make sure the embarrassing info doesn't become public? It makes more sense to me that a smart meter only keeps track of the Watt-hours used during the various billing periods.

You can't see the benefit of what amounts to a real time surveillance system inside people's homes? Well for one, lots of companies are willing to pay good money for that sort of information. You haven't noticed how all sorts of corporations are busy collecting every single scrap of data they can on people? You used to have to buy something by card, or type something into Google for them to get something. Now every time you switch something on, they get more info on you. Instead of a super secret department, there's a fine print clause in your contract saying they can use or sell your data in any way they wish.

I'm an electrical engineer, but my area of expertise is industrial controls & instrumentation as opposed to utilities and services, so I *could* be mistaken here -- any good Electrician should be better informed on this than I am, hopefully there's one on Fark who can weigh in and confirm or deny what I'm about to say -- but the component you'd need to remotely disconnect a 100A or 200A electrical service would be either an electromechanical or solid-state relay, either one of which would be physically large at those sizes - at least as big if not bigger than a traditional residential Watt-hour meter. Alternately they could mount these remotely somewhere, I guess. Me, I h ...

The manufacturer says they can. They don't go into details o ...


That's on the advance meters. You only install those on problem properties with multiple cutoffs. It's not economical to put an expensive cutoff relay on everyone. Again, it's a wireless meter reader. That is literally it, and the unwashed masses continue to prove themselves so dumb that helmets ought to be mandated.
 
2013-01-27 11:25:44 AM
Smart meters that affect your health? This whole argument sounds very tin-foil hattish.

Security? Hey if a thief wants to know if you're home or not there's a much less sophisticated way of determining this called knocking on the door.

And yes, the electric company owns those meters. It's their property. Like it or not they can do whatever they bloody well please with them. And if they have a court order (which they did in this case, hence the police escort) you legally have no recourse.

Now if they damage your property, you can take them to court. But that's about it.

These people are morons.
 
2013-01-27 11:29:55 AM

Riche: I'm happy with the concept of smart meters-- it's just the implementation that has me concerned.

 Wireless for sending/receiving data-- INCLUDING the ability to shut off power? Jesus, what a bad idea.  I'm sure it was MUCH cheaper than designing the meters to do signaling over the power lines themselves (which IS doable BTW, especially for the tiny amount of data being sent/received) but this will come back to bite people in the ass someday.

Sooner or later some self-proclaimed member of Anonymous is going to be shutting off power across huge residential sections of a city with a hacked Wi-Fi router and a Dixie Cup. Just because he can. Then the plans for his little gadget will be posted on 4chan and we're going to have a real nationwide nightmare on our hands.

Yeah, I have no doubt the power companies will claim that their wireless security is top notch. The best ever developed.  Yeah, right.

And what happens when something breaks/gets jammed and the signal can't get through for an extended period?  Does the meter shut off power to the house on its own after a certain duration of no contact?

Right now the "demand" pricing scheme is optional -- at least in my area.  How long before somebody decides by fiat to force everybody to live with it?


That all may be true, however, the electric company owns the meter. It's their property.

Hell. If we're going that direction, lets talk about how the Chinese have already hacked the power grid.

As someone said before. Solution: solar panels and a pair of insulated bolt cutters.
 
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