1) NDP in Saskatchwan blames faulty smeters for rate increases. I wonder why the meter company didn’t have to pay the costs? Defective product, just like ITRON.
2) BC Hydro and FortisBC say that everyone must have a $$meter for the grid to work effectively, whether the transmitter is working or not. This really doesn’t make any sense. If the transmitter isn’t working, how is it any different from the utility’s point of view than an analog? BC Hydro says it can get valuable information anyway. How valuable is outage info, for example, that is several weeks old? Why is it that many US utilities are able to function just fine with people able to keep analogs, often with no penalty fee (extortion)?
A chart with info about places offering options with costs, if any, is at:
“According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states allow customers to opt out of smart meter installation, although many permit utility companies to impose a fee on customers who don’t want the meters.
This year, lawmakers in Maryland, Massachusetts , Ohio , Pennsylvania and Texas are expected to consider bills that would allow consumers to keep their existing analog meters; require customers to opt in to smart meter programs; or allow them to refuse the devices, sometimes at no cost.”
3) More on the bill going through the New York legislature in which people would be allowed to opt out without penalty.
“The proliferation of smart meters creates significant privacy concerns. The data collected can tell anybody who holds it a great deal about what goes on inside a home. It can reveal when residents are at home, asleep or on vacation. It can also pinpoint “unusual” energy use, and could someday serve to help enforce “energy usage” regulations. The ACLU summarized the privacy issues surrounding smart meters in a recent report.
“The temptation to use the information that will be collected from customers for something other than managing electrical loads will be strong – as it has been for cell phone tracking data and GPS information. Police may want to know your general comings and goings or whether you’re growing marijuana in your basement under grow lights. Advertisers will want the information to sell you a new washing machine to replace the energy hog you got as a wedding present 20 years ago. Information flowing in a smart grid will become more and more ‘granular’ as the system develops.”
4) In Australia, there is a call for an investigation into the overbilling by $$meters. BC Hydro insiders have told me that Hydro knows the smeters are running fast, but “only” a little, a couple of dollars a month for each meter. There are nearly 2 million smeters. $2 a month overcharge means $4 million a month or $48 million a year of unearned income which is grand theft in the real world.
“Mr Dawson told the ABC that an independent ombudsman investigation was needed because of a rise in billing complaints by residents and businesses in the Pilbara and the Kimberley….
“Recently we’ve had a lot of over-reads on accounts [and] they’re not small amounts,” Mr Maslen said.
“I mean, we’d normally use around $150 a month on average of power. The last bill we had was at $1,200 and a second one was $800, so they’re quite substantial over-reads.””
5) The spread of smeters around the world continues, this about Romania.
“Enel plans to install similar meters for all of its 2.7 million clients in Romania, in a move designed to pave the way for smart cities and infrastructure.”
6) In the UK, the companies are trying to reassure the public that smeters are secure so they will accept these devices, even though top security experts have demonstrated how the grid is vulnerable via the smeters. In this article, it seems that some security measures have been taken (more than we’ve been told about here). But still not terribly reassuring that “only” the system of the hacked supplier could be brought down.
“Setting out the smart security behind the system Dr Levy explains that right from the start it was assumed that vulnerabilities would exist in the various components that make up the system. Not everyone engaged in delivery are cyber security experts and to go beyond commercial best practice for each component would make the system unaffordable. This acknowledged, security of the system has been focused on resilience and the proposed communications architecture was tested against a number of models, including trust and threat models, to keep vulnerabilities to a minimum. This has meant that the architecture of the system is designed with proportionate and practical security controls, so that no single compromise can have a significant impact. If an attacker did gain access to a meter they would only gain enough information to compromise that specific meter and not any other party on the system. In the event an attacker did manage to get further and compromised the system of a supplier they would still not have access to the grid. They would only be able to talk to the meters owned by that individual supplier.”
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
“You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known, and exist, before it is generally received and acted on.”
~ Ben Franklin