2016-10-14 Utilities aren’t sharing benefits with us or taking on risks.

1)    In the USA, utilities are beginning to implement “demand” rates, charging even higher “time-of-use rates” than normal, charging based on “peak usage”

comed 

“A letter delivered earlier this week to House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and the Republican leaders of both chambers takes aim at ComEd’s push to charge residents not for how much electricity they use in a given month, but for how much they consume at the highest-demand times of day…

ComEd says these “demand charges” will give households a better incentive to use power efficiently. The current system, in place for a century, is designed for a time when the utility wanted customers to consume more, ComEd says.”

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20161012/NEWS11/161019930/comed-rate-plan-draws-criticism

2)    Concerns are raised by organizations for the protection of various populations that the utilities are forcing smeters on people and not sharing the benefits or the risks. The decisions for the changes in technology, failure to address infrastructure aging, etc. are made with the assumption that the customers will pay for bad decisions or failed products. The most vulnerable face major risks from time-of-use or demand billing. This is what has happened in places like Ontario where rates just keep increasing with no end in sight. Neither should smeters be used in ways that endanger health, such as remotely disconnecting power.

In Michigan in 2009 an elderly man froze to death when his power was cut because of unpaid bills. No one had attended his home to cut the power, they just threw the switch.

marvin-e-schurs-home

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/01/bayc-j28.html

“Our concerns relate as well to the situation in which the state regulatory commission has found that the smart metering proposal is cost effective, but is then faced with proposals to increase costs and pay for mistakes in the design of the system or the obsolescence of the chosen technology. There are growing concerns that the smart metering technology carries the risk of obsolescence due to the lack of final standards governing communications, interoperability, and the lack of policies governing the privacy rights of customers with respect to their detailed usage and pricing information…

Smart metering proposals should not rely on any cost savings associated with the elimination of the premise visit to disconnect service for nonpayment for residential customers. The new metering systems come with a switch that allows the utility to remotely connect and disconnect the meter, thus eliminating the personnel and vehicle resources to provide these functions. Utility smart metering proposals typically include the benefits associated with eliminating these premise visits and field personnel resources as part of the value of the new metering systems. However, the fact that utilities can increase remote disconnections does not mean they should….However, consumer groups oppose the use of this function to disconnect service to residential customers for nonpayment of service without a health and safety visit to the premises where that is required by state regulators. Other protocols and customer protections need to be developed to account for this new technology.”

https://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/energy_utility_telecom/additional_resources/adv_meter_protection_report.pdf (pg. 13)  and pg. 24 read about Time-of-Use billing, which BC Hydro will be introducing at some time.

3)    China, which has a guideline for exposure to radiation which allows a mere fraction of exposure that Canada or the USA allows, has banned full body scanners at airports due to health risks.

millimeter-wave-body-scanner

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/china-bans-x-ray-scanners-airports/

[https://www.google.ca/search?q=airport+body+scanner+images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwilpc2wh93PAhVS9GMKHdlWDQkQsAQIHQ&biw=1096&bih=1094#imgrc=m-HDwudDHTSjVM%3A]

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
~ Dalai Lama