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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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18904 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 02:11:52 PM
The federal government has enormous control over the States with the DOE's Super Grid.
The federal government spent billion in bribe money to States to accept Smart Grids and
Smart Meters in opposition of public health and interest. Huge technology corporations
stand to benefit by $170 billion a year. Utilities will make a killing.


During peak demand the power company can turn off your appliances.

So when does peak demand occur? It occurs when the weather is the hottest or the coldest.
So the power company can turn off your furnace or air conditioner during the worst
imaginable weather. But why do they do this? One reason is because of an outdated
overloaded power grid the other is the power company often buys power and during peak
demand they pay the most. So they reduce peak demand and pocket an enormous profit.
 
2013-01-27 02:12:17 PM

Beretta3000: KarmicDisaster: prjindigo...
BANGSmart meters report power outages. They can quickly check to see which ones aren't reporting in.
...
BANGSmart meters can report lightning strikes. While almost useless to you, this is very useful to the power company, they can investigate the area.

Uh, isn't the range of the meters quite low? How will they report power outages and lightening strikes unless they are constantly driving up and down outside your house to pick up the transmissions? I don't see how this will really help in any practical way, you will still have to call in and get them out there to read your meter.

Lots of ways to transmit depending on the meter.

One style can transmit on the old pager frequencies for a few miles to a radio tower that then transmit to the utility. Another have the meters "hop-scotch" info to one another until they get to a main collector tower that transmits to the utility. Another technique involves the meters having cell cards and transmit via cell comm paths back to the utility.

There is also broadband over power line, where the meter transmits back on the electric lines. This works for rural but is horrible for urban with th amount of bypasses you have to install.


If the power is out due to a line down, how would broadband over power lines work then? Are you saying that the meters actually do network with each other and repeat packets, in which case why do they have to drive around to read the meters? The idea that these network with each other is something that I have not heard before, but it certainly would reduce the amount of driving around to read them. Also, if you are saying that these are going to work without power to report an outage, is there a battery backup then? How often will that have battery have to be serviced which is yet another thing that they will have to do then. Or will they just wait until your meter has not reported in on the network for a couple days then assume that the power is out; not fast enough for most people. My house is over a quarter mile from the neighbors, how would RF networking work for me? I'm just questioning how useful the "power is out" reporting would actually be. Sounds like this might just add another step, you call in, but that just gets a truck dispatched to read your meter and confirm the outage.
 
2013-01-27 02:13:39 PM
Here is something else you idiots probably don't farking know.

During periods of power usage the power company pays a different wholesale rate for
the power it buys. During the times of peak usage, the rate is highest. With the smart
grid technology, the power company can dynamically change the cost of your electricity
through out the day and bill you a higher rate during the coldest and warmest days. So
not only will you pay more for stabilizing the temperature of your home during the worst
hot and cold weather, you'll pay a substantially higher rate for that power. It will be
a double whammy that will put a smile on the faces of that power company executives.

So start taking it seriously or you farks deserve what you get.
 
2013-01-27 02:23:57 PM

KarmicDisaster:

If the power is out due to a line down, how would broadband over power lines work then? Are you saying that the meters actually do network with each other and repeat packets, in which case why do they have to drive around to read the meters? The idea that these network with each other is something that I have not heard before, but it certainly would reduce the amount of driving around to read them. Also, if you are saying that these are going to work without power to report an outage, is there a battery backup then? How often will that have battery have to be serviced which is yet another thing that they will have to do then. Or will they just wait until your meter has not reported in on the network for a couple days then assume that the power is out; not fa ...


There are multiple types of communication paths available. The broadband over power line option is definitely affected if a line is cut.

The "hopscotch" method (it's official name is mesh network) does involve the meters being networked and transmitting packets through each other.

In all the smart meter applications, the meters are indeed networked with the utility in some way. If the meter stops transmitting info back, it is flagged as a possible outage, communication problem, or tampering. If the power does indeed go out, the meter has a capacitor in it that initiates a last gasp back to the utility saying "I'm dead".

We only need to hear back from 20% of the meters in the area to pinpoint the most likely source of the problem. Same percentage applies to phone calls. The only issue on calls is I need to wait 15-20 minutes for these calls to come in. The meter will alert the utility in under 2 minutes and we can start rolling crews.

It will also tell us when the power is restored. While that may not seem like a big deal, it helps tell us if there is another outage still in the area that we didn't get back on but we assumed was restored. It keeps our truck from leaving the area and having to return to fix what was missed.
 
2013-01-27 02:24:43 PM

Greek: You have a smart meter that is set up to regulate the temperature of your house without your permission, and without you having the ability to control it? I highly doubt this.


To be fair, this is sort of the ideal scenario here--getting individual homes the plug-and-play infrastructure that would allow utilities to cut the same deals with individual residences as they do with factories. I think I've heard of one or two test cases of this--where the utility can remotely control not only the electricity, but the setting on the A/C. I'm sure, in those cases, there's some sort of override.

For 95% of the country's electricity grid, this would be useless. But remember, "rolling blackouts" happen in some places, and voluntarily letting the electric company raise the temperature of your house to 77 degrees, in exchange for a better rate, is much better for both parties than your house going dark at noon in a heat wave.

I live in a place where I use a farkload of electricity to cool my house, and virtually nothing for any other purpose. Like, $20 in January and $200 in July. Ditto all my neighbors, I suspect, or at least the ones with gas heat. As things stand, we don't need the electric company to fuss with our thermostats because even in the summer the region has plenty of electricity-generating capacity for its population.

But if you're looking at this from the perspective a utility OUGHT to be looking at it from--how can I give the most people the best service using the least amount of power at the lowest possible rates--then somehow tying them into at least some of the A/C or HVAC systems that suck up most of their juice makes sense. Yes, by all means, start by cutting deals with the aluminum smelting plant yonder. But after you've plucked the low-hanging fruit...

I think part of the problem with these incremental improvements to our RIDICULOUSLY antiquated grid is that people using the 50-year-old equipment have no frame of reference, so everything looks scary. Oh well.
 
2013-01-27 02:27:52 PM

draa: fredklein: So, it's only in "trials" now, but you seriously think they won't push it out as soon as possible, and as hard as possible?

Maybe, but only for people that opt into it.



"Opt in", like you can "opt in" for smart meters?
 
2013-01-27 02:39:12 PM

Proximuscentauri: Here is something else you idiots probably don't farking know.


You describe a number of problems with utilities that have happened, can happen, or (in some cases) haven't happened yet but could happen if certain technologies are introduced and then are used in certain ways.

Okay. In other words, electric companies are mostly somewhere between maliciously bad (the "fark grandma millie!" mindset) and imperfect. So, what's a Farker to do?

Option 1: convert all private utilities to public. I'd actually be fine with this, but I'm guessing you'd see it as trading an unholy alliance for an equally unholy single thing.

Option 2: introduce competition. Yeah, that's a hell of a lot trickier to do for practical reasons when you're talking about electricity.

Option 3: Make utility regulators actually regulate.

You seem to hate the gummint and the evil power execs equally, so I'm not sure where you think your allies are in this fight. But if you're right about that, then Option 4 ("resist tiny little changes to the status quo in which I'm already being jerked around by forces vastly larger than me") isn't really going to work out any better for you.

Proximuscentauri: So start taking it seriously or you farks deserve what you get.


Well, I guess we can't say we weren't warned. Thanks, guy.
 
2013-01-27 02:39:45 PM
The city and power company decide to require homes to have these smart meters but you have to pay to opt out? What's next?

How about this: the city and your insurance company collude to require all cars to have a smart meter installed. Any time you drive above the speed limit, a ticket is automatically issued and your insurance rate increases. Or you can pay a monthly fee to opt out.

Sounds like a brilliant revenue generator me.
 
2013-01-27 02:39:56 PM

fredklein: draa: fredklein: So, it's only in "trials" now, but you seriously think they won't push it out as soon as possible, and as hard as possible?

Maybe, but only for people that opt into it.


"Opt in", like you can "opt in" for smart meters?


No, it was noted up thread that the smart thermostats are "option" only at this point. Maybe one day it will be mandatory but I highly doubt it since it would cut into profits too much. Or if they were, they would be only in high usage areas. There's no reason for PUC in rural areas to do it since there's no demand problem for most of those companies. Why would they give away profits if they don't have to? FPL sure wouldn't anyway.
 
2013-01-27 02:41:40 PM

fredklein: This type of technology is not yet widely used in Great Britain but some energy suppliers are trialling it. For example, one energy supplier has run a customer trial of smart fridges that can respond to signals from the National Grid. This means they shut down for short periods when electricity demand is at its highest, without (in theory) any effect on performance or the freshness of food. This has the benefit of helping to keep the lights on for everyone and can keep costs down as there may be less need to invest in new generation and distribution equipment ie substations, cables, overhead lines etc


Dear God! That sounds awful!
 
2013-01-27 02:49:54 PM

radiovox: The city and power company decide to require homes to have these smart meters but you have to pay to opt out? What's next?

How about this: the city and your insurance company collude to require all cars to have a smart meter installed. Any time you drive above the speed limit, a ticket is automatically issued and your insurance rate increases. Or you can pay a monthly fee to opt out.

Sounds like a brilliant revenue generator me.


How about this: the government and your health insurance company..........

Oh boy, I can't even go there.
 
2013-01-27 03:06:26 PM
I've had smart meters on my house for over 10 years now. It gives me daily usage data like this:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

Breaks things down like this:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

Which helps me to do this:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
People getting their panties in a bunch about smart meters are straight up retarded.
 
2013-01-27 03:14:24 PM

Proximuscentauri: The federal government has enormous control over the States with the DOE's Super Grid.
The federal government spent billion in bribe money to States to accept Smart Grids and
Smart Meters in opposition of public health and interest. Huge technology corporations
stand to benefit by $170 billion a year. Utilities will make a killing.


During peak demand the power company can turn off your appliances.

So when does peak demand occur? It occurs when the weather is the hottest or the coldest.
So the power company can turn off your furnace or air conditioner during the worst
imaginable weather. But why do they do this? One reason is because of an outdated
overloaded power grid the other is the power company often buys power and during peak
demand they pay the most. So they reduce peak demand and pocket an enormous profit.



Because a few hours worth of load limiting is worse than a few days worth of outage while they repair the grid?
 
2013-01-27 03:16:58 PM

stiletto_the_wise: ElBarto79: The problem I would see with you owning your own meter is that you can tamper with it. The power company needs a way to monitor the power usage of every house for billing purposes. If you own and control your own meter it's basically on the honor system that the power usage you are reporting via your meter is accurate, they have no way of independently verifying it.

Yet the phone company and cable company seem to be fine with me owning and controlling the equipment on my property.


I don't know about the cable company, but the phone company has a box connected to your house that you are not even allowed to open.
 
2013-01-27 03:36:25 PM

usernameguy:

I don't know about the cable company, but the phone company has a box connected to your house that you are not even allowed to open.


Not true. There are two sides to the NID. One is the telco and your not supposed to open it and the other side is the customer side and you can open it all you want.
 
2013-01-27 03:42:26 PM

MrSteve007: I've had smart meters on my house for over 10 years now. It gives me daily usage data like this:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 539x321]

Breaks things down like this:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 320x214]

Which helps me to do this:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x475]
People getting their panties in a bunch about smart meters are straight up retarded.


Curious... What was your total outlay for the ductless heat-pump, insulation, heat-pump water heater and solar panels?

How long will it take to recover the amount you've spent on those?  Have you created a schedule and graph for that?
 
2013-01-27 03:44:37 PM

WhippingBoy: There was an amusing story in the local paper a few months ago. Seems that one day a woman saw a Hydro employee enter her yard, presumably to install a smart meter. She claims that the next day she started experiencing headaches, nausea, and all the classic "symtoms" associated with EMF "sensitivity". (Obviously, there was something dangerous about the smart meter, but only a handful of people are "special" enough to feel its effects).

This was brought to the attention to the head of the local Hydro office. He confirmed that while the woman's house was indeed scheduled to receive a smart meter, the installation hadn't yet occurred, and the person she saw was likely just the regular meter reader.


I love people who think they understand new technology and why it's bad for you.

My ex's family were all farking morons. Her father bought a new 3D TV for the living room. Cut to the next holiday and all of their family in the area were over for a gathering. The ex's aunt was claiming that looking at 3D TVs without glasses on harms your eyes. I tried to explain to her why this wasn't true but she wouldn't have any of it. After all, she heard it from Dr Oz (supposedly) so what I had to say on the matter was irrelevant.

One of the many reasons I'm glad that I have nothing to do with that farking moronic, hateful, racist family anymore.

/The ex's grandma, who grew up in Germany, still fondly remembers the time she got to see Hitler in person.
//The ex's mother was opposed to me because I wasn't Aryan. Mother to ex, after it looked like we would be together for good, "I feel bad for you that you'll never have blond haired, blue eyed children."
 
2013-01-27 03:48:15 PM
You have a smart meter that is set up to regulate the temperature of your house without your permission, and without you having the ability to control it? I highly doubt this.

I didn't say that. I said I have a programmable thermostat. And I never said anybody else had control of it.
 
2013-01-27 03:55:07 PM
I've heard that smart meters can send out a frequency at the same wavelength your body uses to cause your heart to beat. Late on a few payments? Well, let's just stop their hearts for a few minutes as a warning.

No thank you. No thank you indeed.
 
2013-01-27 04:06:18 PM

MrSteve007: I've had smart meters on my house for over 10 years now. It gives me daily usage data like this:

Breaks things down like this:

Which helps me to do this:


I'm not going to lie, that's slightly arousing.

What's your setup? What magic gadgets that are almost certainly incompatible with everything I own and/or my local utility let you do that?
 
2013-01-27 04:06:52 PM

rumpelstiltskin: This sounds like a brave thing to do in Naperville. Regardless of her motives, the gossip around the neighborhood will be that Jenny can't afford the 25 bucks a month to opt out.


The company my wife used to work for is based in Chicago and all the upper management lived in Naperville. Your comment is spot on.
 
2013-01-27 04:19:06 PM

BunkyBrewman: Curious... What was your total outlay for the ductless heat-pump, insulation, heat-pump water heater and solar panels?

How long will it take to recover the amount you've spent on those?  Have you created a schedule and graph for that?


Warning, math ahead (numbers are all inclusive and tax free):

Heat pump: $7,500
- fed rebate: -$2,250
- utility rebate: -$2,500

Out of pocket Cost: $2,750
Annual savings: $500
ROI: 5.5 years
--------------------
Insulation: $1,200
-fed rebate: -$360
-utility rebate: -$500

Out of pocket cost: $340
Annual savings: $60
ROI: 5.5 years
-------------------
HP water heater: $1,200
- fed rebate: -360
- utility rebate: $600

Out of pocket cost: $340
Annual savings $250
ROI: 1.5 years
-------------------
Solar panels: $23,000
- fed rebate: -$6,900
- annual state tariff (thru 2020): -$2,200
- annual utility savings: -$420

1st year cost: $13,480
ROI: 5.2 years
 
2013-01-27 04:32:34 PM

italie: If they are going "full network"


Full network!? You never go full network!
 
2013-01-27 04:48:22 PM
Shouldn't be arrested for protecting their own property. Leave the meter off and leave them without power.

If they want power, they agree to how they get it or they make their own.

But no, if you don't want a utility person on your property installing stuff, you should be able to decline it. It is after all on your private property.
 
2013-01-27 05:04:13 PM

ReverendJynxed: Shouldn't be arrested for protecting their own property. Leave the meter off and leave them without power.

If they want power, they agree to how they get it or they make their own.

But no, if you don't want a utility person on your property installing stuff, you should be able to decline it. It is after all on your private property.


Again, for the reading and life impaired, it's not a private property issue. As long as you are purchasing their services, they have right of way. It's their equipment, so technically you can be charged with a bevy of crimes for obstructing access to it.
 
2013-01-27 05:09:17 PM

italie: Again, for the reading and life impaired, it's not a private property issue. As long as you are purchasing their services, they have right of way. It's their equipment, so technically you can be charged with a bevy of crimes for obstructing access to it.


And some of us are simply saying, "These laws are bullshiat". It's the law but that doesn't make it right. It's exactly as if someone who rents a cable modem from Comcast could get charged with crimes for not giving the cable guy a key to their home and permission to stop by any time.
 
2013-01-27 05:29:32 PM

stiletto_the_wise: italie: Again, for the reading and life impaired, it's not a private property issue. As long as you are purchasing their services, they have right of way. It's their equipment, so technically you can be charged with a bevy of crimes for obstructing access to it.

And some of us are simply saying, "These laws are bullshiat". It's the law but that doesn't make it right. It's exactly as if someone who rents a cable modem from Comcast could get charged with crimes for not giving the cable guy a key to their home and permission to stop by any time.


Uhh, actually champ, Comcast does have right-of-way to come onto your property to inspect their outside box at any time, just the same as the electric company, gas utility or telephone utility. Only during special cases are they required to enter the private residence, and when they do, they have to ask for permission. Considering the smart meters are mounted outside, they have every right to inspect, service or replace their equipment on the upstream side of your home. If you don't agree to that, they also have every right to cut off your service, remove their equipment, and charge you for the time and labor to do it.
 
2013-01-27 05:45:50 PM

HoneyDog: You have a smart meter that is set up to regulate the temperature of your house without your permission, and without you having the ability to control it? I highly doubt this.

I didn't say that. I said I have a programmable thermostat. And I never said anybody else had control of it.


So... why are you biatching about it then? You chose to put in the programmable thermostat and program it that way.
 
2013-01-27 05:56:03 PM
So... why are you biatching about it then? You chose to put in the programmable thermostat and program it that way.

LOL, I wasn't complaining about it, I was explaining it.
 
2013-01-27 06:00:59 PM
Wireless digital power meters, Cons:

-Measure more accurately, so your bill might go up.
-Can be polled manually and repeatedly, so authorities can divine your daily routine by your power usage.
-Depend on the cellular telephone network, so at some future point, the utilities companies are going to help prop up a legacy cellular infrastructure that ought to be upgraded.
-Most meter readers will be let go, so there will be fewer incidental wellness checks, animal abuse reports, wires observed in contact with obstruction, etc.
-Likely more vulnerable to power surges, EMP, etc.

Pros:

-Measure more accurately, so your bill might go down.
-May have an LED or data port providing homeowners an opportunity to attach their own monitoring gear.
-Uh, that's about it.

An interesting thing I'm remembering from about 15-20 years ago is that the utility companies were thinking of networking the meters to their central office via fiber optic cables. The cost of maintaining human meter readers is apparently pretty darn high. Even at the prices of optical gear at that time, installation of fiber would have paid for itself in under a decade. Oh, and one little bonus is that they could have added a staggeringly profitable additional revenue stream by providing high-speed Internet service to all their customers. It was vetoed because utility companies don't have anyone with the balls to commit their company to a debt that would outlast their own era as leader, and they didn't think the Internet was really going to be all that popular, and they wouldn't know how to run an Internet company anyway. That's a big part of why we don't have many Internet Over Powerline companies in the world.
 
2013-01-27 06:20:38 PM

Austinoftx: Wireless digital power meters, Cons:

-Measure more accurately, so your bill might go up.
-Can be polled manually and repeatedly, so authorities can divine your daily routine by your power usage.
-Depend on the cellular telephone network, so at some future point, the utilities companies are going to help prop up a legacy cellular infrastructure that ought to be upgraded.
-Most meter readers will be let go, so there will be fewer incidental wellness checks, animal abuse reports, wires observed in contact with obstruction, etc.
-Likely more vulnerable to power surges, EMP, etc.

Pros:

-Measure more accurately, so your bill might go down.
-May have an LED or data port providing homeowners an opportunity to attach their own monitoring gear.
-Uh, that's about it.

An interesting thing I'm remembering from about 15-20 years ago is that the utility companies were thinking of networking the meters to their central office via fiber optic cables. The cost of maintaining human meter readers is apparently pretty darn high. Even at the prices of optical gear at that time, installation of fiber would have paid for itself in under a decade. Oh, and one little bonus is that they could have added a staggeringly profitable additional revenue stream by providing high-speed Internet service to all their customers. It was vetoed because utility companies don't have anyone with the balls to commit their company to a debt that would outlast their own era as leader, and they didn't think the Internet was really going to be all that popular, and they wouldn't know how to run an Internet company anyway. That's a big part of why we don't have many Internet Over Powerline companies in the world.


A few corrections/omissions:

My company's remote meters do not run over any cellular network.  The actual reading device at the substation is connected directly to the line with no other means of communication.  It reports back to our office (along with the rest of the substation telemetry) by fiber optic.

Customers have the ability to read their real-time usage with no extra connection to the meter.

We have been using them for about a decade, and there is no evidence that they are any more susceptible to surges than the old analogue meters.

Customer complaints regarding incorrect bills due to misreads and no reads have been virtually eliminated.   No more estimated bills.  Ever.

Many problems on the line can be diagnosed and pinpointed from the office.  What used to take hours of patrolling can now take the few minutes it takes to ping all of the meters on an entire circuit at once.

Trust me, nobody gives a hoot about divining your daily routine by tracking your usage.

So the only somewhat legitimate negative is that there may be some things our meter readers used to see that they don't see any more.
 
2013-01-27 06:25:46 PM

Tor_Eckman: Trust me, nobody gives a hoot about divining your daily routine by tracking your usage.


couple this with the handy maps of gun owners that have been published recently = free guns for criminals at little risk.
 
2013-01-27 06:37:27 PM

Tor_Eckman: So the only somewhat legitimate negative is that there may be some things our meter readers used to see that they don't see any more.



Lonely housewives?
 
2013-01-27 06:45:47 PM

phaseolus: Tor_Eckman: So the only somewhat legitimate negative is that there may be some things our meter readers used to see that they don't see any more.


Lonely housewives?


I've heard stories....

But another happy consequence is that we no longer have meter readers getting bitten/mauled by animals or tripping over the crap in people's yards or falling in holes in people's yards, or getting threatened/harassed/assaulted by dingbats like in the article.

And by the way, most of the former meter readers were offered other positions in the company.
 
2013-01-27 06:46:02 PM

Tor_Eckman: A few corrections/omissions:

My company's remote meters do not run over any cellular network. The actual reading device at the substation is connected directly to the line with no other means of communication. It reports back to our office (along with the rest of the substation telemetry) by fiber optic.

Customers have the ability to read their real-time usage with no extra connection to the meter.

We have been using them for about a decade, and there is no evidence that they are any more susceptible to surges than the old analogue meters.

Customer complaints regarding incorrect bills due to misreads and no reads have been virtually eliminated. No more estimated bills. Ever.

Many problems on the line can be diagnosed and pinpointed from the office. What used to take hours of patrolling can now take the few minutes it takes to ping all of the meters on an entire circuit at once.

Trust me, nobody gives a hoot about divining your daily routine by tracking your usage.

So the only somewhat legitimate negative is that there may be some things our meter readers used to see that they don't see any more.


-I know not all of them use the cellular telephone network. For those which do, it is a con.
-Ambiguous mention of fiber optic networking on your part; fiber is quite common in any data center.
-Good to know about surge susceptibility.
-Customer complaints are likely down because there is a strong sense of inevitability to the introduction of power meters. I hear they're even forcing their way onto private property with the police present, and arresting property "owners" who object.
-I do not trust you. Nor do I trust the kind of chaps who routinely demand these kinds of records. This IS the world we live in.

-Aaaand, I see what you did there. Suggesting that wireless utility meters somehow improve privacy. Personally, I would rather tolerate a meter reader walking up to my meter every 1-2-3 or 4 months than have a gadget attached to my wall that can plot out my daily and weekly routine down to the minute. Even if I trusted my shark-grinned leaders, there is the matter of criminals hacking systems that are secured by decree rather than technology.
 
2013-01-27 07:06:11 PM
What's the over under Jenny has a smart phone, a wireless router, and a couple things emitting bluetooth signals, yet only the smart meter is the evil headache wave machine?

I'm kind of leery of them in that I heard they're easy to hack and mostly rely on security through obscurity. Of course if they are that easy to hack I could do reduce my electric bill with a little tinkering I suppose.

/save tens of dollars per month and risk jail time, hmmmm so many reasons not to do that
 
2013-01-27 07:13:52 PM

Austinoftx: -I know not all of them use the cellular telephone network. For those which do, it is a con.
-Ambiguous mention of fiber optic networking on your part; fiber is quite common in any data center.
-Good to know about surge susceptibility.
-Customer complaints are likely down because there is a strong sense of inevitability to the introduction of power meters. I hear they're even forcing their way onto private property with the police present, and arresting property "owners" who object.
-I do not trust you. Nor do I trust the kind of chaps who routinely demand these kinds of records. This IS the world we live in.

-Aaaand, I see what you did there. Suggesting that wireless utility meters somehow improve privacy. Personally, I would rather tolerate a meter reader walking up to my meter every 1-2-3 or 4 months than have a gadget attached to my wall that can plot out my daily and weekly routine down to the minute. Even if I trusted my shark-grinned leaders, there is the matter of criminals hacking systems that are secured by decree rather than technology.


You're a nut.
 
2013-01-27 07:33:14 PM
Spent two years working on the government Smart Grid project as a Project Manager.
Managed a large part of the $200M Project.
Prepared reports for the US Congress.

Didn't see a single posting here that had the whole truth.

It was designed with a good idea and will benefit most people.
What the government "Can" do with it and has enabled is very very scary.
Not theoretically scary. Planned scary.
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-01-27 07:42:25 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Vegetative reproduction: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mrtraveler01: And do they know that the electric company already keeps track of how much electricity they use?

Or am I missing the point here.

Rf devices are usually pretty easy to break into. They're not concerned with what info the electric company has on them, they're worried that these devices essentially open up their data for the world to see. And quite honestly, the fees they must pay to maintain the same type of data collection they always had are absurdly high.

It is a lot easier to walk up to a new or old fashioned meter and see how fast it is spinning than to scan for an RF signal.

Can you do that from your car? Can you do it on several houses at once? Can you manually check meters as fast as a signal can travel?

Walking into the yard of dozens of people will attract attention, driving slowly down the street will not.


It seems signal transmission is intermittent and uses a mesh network. Stationary detection rather than drive by would be best to pull data, but you would get data from lots of meters at once. The data may be encrypted and with data from lots of meters at once, you would still have to match data pulled to each meter for useful information about any particular house.
 
2013-01-27 07:45:26 PM

Tor_Eckman: Austinoftx: -I know not all of them use the cellular telephone network. For those which do, it is a con.
-Ambiguous mention of fiber optic networking on your part; fiber is quite common in any data center.
-Good to know about surge susceptibility.
-Customer complaints are likely down because there is a strong sense of inevitability to the introduction of power meters. I hear they're even forcing their way onto private property with the police present, and arresting property "owners" who object.
-I do not trust you. Nor do I trust the kind of chaps who routinely demand these kinds of records. This IS the world we live in.

-Aaaand, I see what you did there. Suggesting that wireless utility meters somehow improve privacy. Personally, I would rather tolerate a meter reader walking up to my meter every 1-2-3 or 4 months than have a gadget attached to my wall that can plot out my daily and weekly routine down to the minute. Even if I trusted my shark-grinned leaders, there is the matter of criminals hacking systems that are secured by decree rather than technology.

You're a nut.


And so are the people who think crazy things like their location can be tracked via their cellphones, or gosh, that anyone would be interested in their call log, let alone recordings of their calls. And heavens, the hullabaloo over wireless toll-tags; the authorities promised they'd never use those to catch speeders! License-plate reading cameras are NOT a fishing expedition for insurance dogers! Black boxes in every car are ONLY for mechanical diagnostics! And what government agency even has the time to use Google to locate unlicensed swimming pools and outbuildings? Pish Posh, Sir! Surely the government gives NOT A HOOT! After all, history shows that governments who build systems capable of surveilling the citizenry NEVER exploit the resulting data for disclaimed purposes later! I'm sure the NSA is storing all of our internet activity so they can offer us a an online backup system! Every file transferred, every page viewed, every call recorded is so we can relive the good ole days!

...Actually, you'd have to be farking farking farking stupid to not notice a trend by now.
 
2013-01-27 07:53:05 PM

MrSteve007: Breaks things down like this:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 320x214]


Is that "break down" one of those useless statistical estimates that tells you nothing about your individual use, or do you have measurement devices on each outlet and switch?

If so, can you link what you use? Last time I looked into a setup like that I could only find ones designed for data centers (rack mount PDU form factor), so rewiring to use them would have cost a fortune.

I just searched again, and still can't find someone that just sells monitoring outlets and switches for residential use. There's like 20 companies that are *almost* there, as long as you only want outlets, not switches. And you don't care to monitor anything other than a 120v outlet, so you're ignoring your actual big energy uses. And you want to send your data to their 'cloud' service. Or, you know, write your own software. This doesn't seem like it should be that hard.
 
2013-01-27 08:12:00 PM

Jade E.: MrSteve007: Breaks things down like this:
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 320x214]

Is that "break down" one of those useless statistical estimates that tells you nothing about your individual use, or do you have measurement devices on each outlet and switch?

If so, can you link what you use? Last time I looked into a setup like that I could only find ones designed for data centers (rack mount PDU form factor), so rewiring to use them would have cost a fortune.

I just searched again, and still can't find someone that just sells monitoring outlets and switches for residential use. There's like 20 companies that are *almost* there, as long as you only want outlets, not switches. And you don't care to monitor anything other than a 120v outlet, so you're ignoring your actual big energy uses. And you want to send your data to their 'cloud' service. Or, you know, write your own software. This doesn't seem like it should be that hard.


Well, as you see, the breakdown shows that lighting is the smallest load I have in my house. Considering in most homes, it's about 25%, the utility's "smart meter" is quite good at realizing what type of loads cycle on and off over the day. Since my lighting is all LED or CFL, it makes sense that my loads are about 2% of total consumption.

When the meter registers a sudden ~6.5kw load, it knows that statistically that's an electric hotwater heater. When it registers a 4.7kw load, that's an electric dyer. Refrigerators are 24/7 0.15kw cycling loads, etc.

I've done outlet monitoring of all of my appliances, and also have installed a TED 5000 meter to monitor the live consumption and output of my PV array and home loads. The utility's smart meter nails my consumption almost to a "T"
 
2013-01-27 08:35:11 PM

MrSteve007:
When the meter registers a sudden ~6.5kw load, it knows that statistically that's an electric hotwater heater. When it registers a 4.7kw load, that's an electric dyer. Refrigerators are 24/7 0.15kw cycling loads, etc.

I've done outlet monitoring of all of my appliances, and also have installed a TED 5000 meter to monitor the live consumption and output of my PV array and home loads. The utility's smart meter nails my consumption almost to a "T"


Statistical analysis of the bumps in your power load at particular times could tell someone if you took an extra-long shower. It could tell if you had no toast, regular toast, dark toast or extra toast depending on how many times you started the toaster, and whether you stayed later than usual for breakfast. Suppose it was known that you almost always have toast on Saturday and Sunday mornings because you like toast when you're hung over from drinking at the clubs the night before. Say there was a riot or protest one Friday night, and government face-recognition cameras identified you as being within the "Suspended Free-Speech Zone". Say your alibi was that you were at a bar watching the riots on TV, but they can point out that you didn't have toast the next morning, so you didn't seem to have been drinking that night. They would use this to erode your credibility in court, or as enough circumstantial evidence to subpoena video from within the pub you said you were at, the street outside the pub, your street, or even the "for insurance only" video cameras (hypothetically) embedded in all of your smoke detectors just to confirm that toast business in living color.

But then, I'm told I'm a nut and that the government has sufficient respect for it's citizen's privacy that it would never think of such a thing, or at the very least, it would feel terribly ashamed of itself.
 
2013-01-27 08:46:08 PM

Austinoftx: MrSteve007:
When the meter registers a sudden ~6.5kw load, it knows that statistically that's an electric hotwater heater. When it registers a 4.7kw load, that's an electric dyer. Refrigerators are 24/7 0.15kw cycling loads, etc.

I've done outlet monitoring of all of my appliances, and also have installed a TED 5000 meter to monitor the live consumption and output of my PV array and home loads. The utility's smart meter nails my consumption almost to a "T"

Statistical analysis of the bumps in your power load at particular times could tell someone if you took an extra-long shower. It could tell if you had no toast, regular toast, dark toast or extra toast depending on how many times you started the toaster, and whether you stayed later than usual for breakfast. Suppose it was known that you almost always have toast on Saturday and Sunday mornings because you like toast when you're hung over from drinking at the clubs the night before. Say there was a riot or protest one Friday night, and government face-recognition cameras identified you as being within the "Suspended Free-Speech Zone". Say your alibi was that you were at a bar watching the riots on TV, but they can point out that you didn't have toast the next morning, so you didn't seem to have been drinking that night. They would use this to erode your credibility in court, or as enough circumstantial evidence to subpoena video from within the pub you said you were at, the street outside the pub, your street, or even the "for insurance only" video cameras (hypothetically) embedded in all of your smoke detectors just to confirm that toast business in living color.

But then, I'm told I'm a nut and that the government has sufficient respect for it's citizen's privacy that it would never think of such a thing, or at the very least, it would feel terribly ashamed of itself.


Well then, I guess that would be the point at which all those nutjobs hoarding AK-47s spring into action to protect our civil rights.
 
2013-01-27 08:48:31 PM
Irrational paranoia SHOULD be punished by jail time.
 
2013-01-27 08:54:25 PM

Fade2black: Millions of homes get checked on each day, 1 worker in the past 7 years has gotten shot. TIME TO OVERREACT!


He asked me who got shot. I answered. In contrast, no one asked you a goddamn thing, yet here you are, sloppily horking your retarded pie-hole ejaculate all over our screens.
 
2013-01-27 08:58:43 PM

italie: Well then, I guess that would be the point at which all those nutjobs hoarding AK-47s spring into action to protect our civil right ...


After all, it's simply *unthinkable* that the government would ever exploit an opportunity to disarm it's citizens so that they were easier to manage? They only want to protect us, like the warm, loving Fatherland which they are! Father says we'll never learn to handle guns safely or ethically like he does, so mandatory firearm training is off the table. And if we know what's good for us, we shan't mouth off to him again about what "shall not be infringed" really means. Father's not so reasonable when we make him angry...
 
2013-01-27 09:26:55 PM

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.


These two idiots aside, there are scams where people will pretend to be from a utility company to get into your house (or on your grounds). Happened to me twice in the last few months.

One guy came to my door around 4:30. I don't open my door to anyone I don't know so we talked through the door. He asked for permission to go look at my meter and replace it, but he had a very thick accent and I couldn't really understand him. He wanted me to open the door and I refused. I asked what power company he was from, and he kept repeating "power company." Anyone should know it's PG&E. He mangled some more garble and I told him if he was legit, I should have a letter in the mail from the "power company" telling me they are going to replace the meter and until I got such a letter, he did not have permission to come onto my property. He said they would send a letter and I said I would keep any eye out for it. Never got a letter.

Then a couple of weeks ago, there was a loud pounding on our door. My husband was home, but he won't open the front door either (I finally taught him not to). He yelled out "Who is it?" The guy outside bellowed "Gas company!" my husband yelled back "Yeah, right! At 8 o'clock at night! Get the fark away from my house." The guy left.

So, something was going on, and I feel sorry for people who fall for this type of thing and open their doors, only to be robbed, raped, or killed. Never open your door to someone you don't know, even if they have a uniform on. (Neither of my visitors did.)
 
2013-01-27 09:41:09 PM

Austinoftx: italie: Well then, I guess that would be the point at which all those nutjobs hoarding AK-47s spring into action to protect our civil right ...

After all, it's simply *unthinkable* that the government would ever exploit an opportunity to disarm it's citizens so that they were easier to manage? They only want to protect us, like the warm, loving Fatherland which they are! Father says we'll never learn to handle guns safely or ethically like he does, so mandatory firearm training is off the table. And if we know what's good for us, we shan't mouth off to him again about what "shall not be infringed" really means. Father's not so reasonable when we make him angry...



If we really believe in the whole "We the people" thing, our problems are a lot deeper than gun control and electricity management. We run this country. We are the government. Hording guns or blocking meter installations aren't the answer to the problem, they are the start of a new one.

I've been to other countries. We don't have it all that bad. If someone wants to require a fancy meter on my house for me to get power, so be it. If the government has the ability to tell when I'm taking a shait, so be it. If they arbitrarily and unreasonably decide to cut my power, then I have an issue. If I want to prevent that scenario, I have two decent options. Stand up with my fellow citizens and fight it in a democratic manner, or cut myself off the grid and make my own power.

Shooting my AK into the sky while shouting FRREEEEEEDDDOOOOMMMMM just doesn't seem like it accomplishes much anything of point, nor does it produce power.
 
2013-01-27 10:10:51 PM

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.


In Florida, it's essential.
 
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