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Shocking info about “smart meters”

Home - by - February 28, 2012 - 18:00 America/New_York - 31 Comments

Our rights, metered

Daily Caller

It’s time to sound the alarm: Power companies in Vermont have officially declared war on the privacy and wellbeing of their customers. In a rollout largely funded by a massive Department of Energy stimulus grant, Vermont’s electricity utilities have begun replacing standard, analog meters with wireless models known as “smart meters.” While such a technological upgrade may at first glance seem benign, these new meters in fact threaten our health, our privacy and the very values on which this country was founded.

Once your home’s analog meters have been replaced, these new, wireless-enabled meters begin tracking your electricity usage in granular detail. They then take this valuable, private data about your family’s specific energy usage and relay it back to the utility company. With this level of knowledge, utilities can even tell which type of appliances and devices you are using and when you use them. The utilities can either keep this information in a database waiting for it to be hacked, or else decide to sell it outright to enterprising marketers.

While it should come as no shock that the federal government loves to track our movements, what’s truly startling about these meters is that they emit harmful, potentially carcinogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF). Recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that prolonged exposure to this type of RF can lead to leukemia in children and reduced fertility rates in adults.

Read more HERE

 

» 31 Comments

  1. TooMuchTime

    February 28th, 2012

    A while ago I read a great article on how “smart” meters read your electrical usage versus the old analog meters. I can’t find it but am still looking. It explained that the analog meters were a better way to track electricity usage.

    San Francisco-based PG&E began installing smart meters in its service area in 2006. In 2009 the utility began receiving a flood of complaints about unusually higher electricity bills, with customers blaming the increase on faulty meters.

    In October 2009 the company told customers that the higher bills were not the fault of meters, but due to the increased use of electricity to run air conditioners during the unusually hot summer that had just passed, as well as two rate increases over the previous 12 months.

    Both of those statements by PG&E are lies. The higher bills were a direct result of the way “smart” meters work. They read usage differently and installing “smart” meters, in essence, is nothing more than a hidden rate increase.

    When I find that article, I’ll link it.

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  2. Jethro

    February 28th, 2012

    Play with their heads:
    Find a large steel coffee can or steel paint bucket.
    Attach a wire the the can and tie it to the large ground cable that is anchored to the ground just below the meter. Make sure good electrical contact is made at the can and the ground cable.
    Put the can over the glass body of the meter, taping it to the face of the box as tightly as possible.

    That should keep the radio signals from transmitting to the satellite.

    Make sure to paint the symbol “F-U” on the face of the can that faces the street.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

     
  3. Bad Brad

    February 28th, 2012

    We’ve had them here in Northern California for a while. People complained so much you can now request the old style meter and the will take the smart meter away.
    Ours are manufactured in Canada too. It’s hard to believe the utility companies can’t find a domestic company to build these.

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  4. oozlefanoozle

    February 28th, 2012

    For a sample of a letter you can send you utility company to stop them from installing these damned things at your home, go to:

    http://stopsmartmeters.org/sample-letter-to-utility/

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  5. TooMuchTime

    February 28th, 2012

    @Jethro — My mother told me of when she was young, everyone would put a magnet near their meter. At that time, the meter was on the inside of the house. The magnet disrupted the meter so that it ran more slowly and you had a smaller bill.

    When the meter reader came around, kids would run from house to house and tell the owners to remove their magnets. Once the meter reader was gone, the magnets would go back.

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  6. MaryfromMarin

    February 28th, 2012

    @Jethro–

    Seriously? I can do this and they won’t cart me away? (When I get removed for re-education purposes, I want it to be for something more significant than a stupid “smart” meter.)

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  7. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    February 28th, 2012

    PARANOIA!!

    On the PLUS side, smart meters eliminate the need for meter readers, SO, if somebody tromps over your petunias claiming to be one, you can SHOOT ‘em (in Florida, at least).

    In fact they may reduce the cost of billing by eliminating human contact with the ghetto, where a meter reader might be at risk of losing his life!!

    Folks, worry about the BIG shit, don’t sweat the small shit.

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  8. John Cooper

    February 28th, 2012

    I call BS on this article. The purpose of automatic meter reading is so that the utilities don’t have to pay somebody to visit every house in town and actually read the meter every month. I mean, if you want to get all paranoid, what else do you suppose that meter reader was looking for? Funny looking plants growing out back, eh?

    That’s not to say that there aren’t other types of voluntary arrangements which will turn off your A/C during times of high demand.

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  9. Bad Brad

    February 28th, 2012

    Yeah, that’s right get rid of those pesky costly meter readers. How come my bill went up, substantially.

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  10. Nutjob

    February 28th, 2012

    @ bad

    With every new meter the local utility regulatory commission also approves a kw meter increase rate to pay for the conversion……essentially your buying/paying for the meter upgrade.

    Ron Paul supporters should be worried the most, they can tell if they are growing pot or not.

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  11. Mr.Gates

    February 28th, 2012

    Sometimes “paranoia” is based in reality.

    These meters are intended to be used to beat you over the head with higher electricity rates if you use more power than Big Brother wants you to.

    These meters will give them the capability to charge “progressive” electric rates, just like we pay graduated income tax rates.

    Here’s an example copied from an article on line. “Thus, while at level 1, Fresno customers pay only 11 cents per kWh used. By level 5, it rises to 44 cents. On hot days in the San Joaquin Valley, with the air conditioning on, usage can quickly escalate into the higher tiers.”

    At times when you’re using more, they will be charging more for what you use. You’re going to be trained like a dog… BITCH!

    PARANOIA MY ASS.

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  12. Bad Brad

    February 28th, 2012

    @Nutjob, I just had a revelation. Let’s just stick with the old meters, keep the meter readers employed, and keep my already exorbitant rates from increasing. Ah shit that won’t work either. Why, because the P.U.C. is made up of utility companies.

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  13. Chuck U Farley

    February 28th, 2012

     
  14. Mr.Gates

    February 28th, 2012

    PG&E has a voluntary alert system you can sign up for. When you hit tier 3, they will send an alert to your cell phone. (When the bell rings you will salivate.) That way, you’ll be trained to turn off your air conditioner.

    Voluntary today… like health insurance used to be.

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  15. MaryfromMarin

    February 28th, 2012

    I attended a discussion forum on smart meters a while back. An engineer who had done a study on them added an interesting piece of information: the “smartness’ goes two ways. Sooner or later, all new appliances will be equipped with “smart chips” in them–the meter will be able to both read the energy usage AND signal the appliances when to power down, after you have exceeded the energy level “allotted” to you.

    I can’t provide citations for this, as the information he handed out is lost somewhere in the paperwork piles in my home. But perhaps somebody reading this can confirm?

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  16. Jethro

    February 28th, 2012

    @Mary
    Yes, that will be possible in the future. There are already products that can send and receive digital signals through the power cord.

    Thumb up +2

     
  17. Bob M.

    February 28th, 2012

    Wonder how well that hunka crap interfaces with a 6′ 225lb. guy swinging a 24″ Crescent wrench? ;-)

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  18. bitterclinger

    February 28th, 2012

    Mary’s got it. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named on this blog long ago started the conversation about smart meters that will eventually decide you’ve had your share of power.

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  19. Grizzly

    February 28th, 2012

    I;ve never encountered a smart meter personally, but our local utility is in the process of deploying them so there is chatter about it. Supposedly another annoying side effect that some people experience is that since the meters are monitored over a wireless link (why in the world that should be necessary when they are connected to power lines back to the frigging power plant is beyond me), the meters interfere with all sorts of other wireless things such as people’s cell phones, wireless routers for their homes (everyone’s got one now, it seems), and even garage door openers. People don’t like it when these now commonplace services stop working.

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  20. MaryfromMarin

    February 28th, 2012

    Advice for the day:

    Maintain your old “stupid” appliances as long as possible. Repair, repair, repair.

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  21. Menderman

    February 28th, 2012

    If they put smart meters at abortion clinics, does it invade their right to privacy?

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  22. GM Car Of The Future

    February 28th, 2012

    I’m leery of anything with the name “Smart…”

    Take my SmartCar, for example. Please. :-)

    Thumb up +4

     
  23. Bad Brad

    February 28th, 2012

    GM, what the hell are you talking about. Obama is smart. What the hell? Get with the program will ya.

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  24. Chieftain

    February 28th, 2012

    Our PUD converted to so-called “smart meters” several years ago here, and all that they do is enable the meter reader to drive past the house and get a meter reading. By not having to pay people to hoof it meter to meter every month the PUD saves millions annually, and has helped keep power rates lower than they otherwise would have been.

    That’s it. That’s all it does. No evil conspiracy, and certainly no secret surveillance programs either.

    As for emitting “harmful, potentially carcinogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF)”; I’ll bet you a burger whomever wrote that also has a microwave in their kitchen and probably uses a cell phone too….

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  25. Nutjob

    February 29th, 2012

    and whenever I try dialing a number on the microwave pad all I get is a headache and a raw chicken when I sink my Iphone into it to cook it.

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  26. "That Guy"

    February 29th, 2012

    I’ve had a smart meter for about a week now.
    I did a short 2 day comparison test between it and my $3500 power analyzer, and the readings were as close as you can get between an instrument that has a resolution down to the hundredths of a watt vs a utility meter that only reads whole numbers.

    Once I get the info I need from my electric provider to set up the web portal for it, I’ll have more convenient tracking over time, and will do a week or more with the analyzer.

    I’m confident that the “smart meter” is very accurate though.

    I look forward to having near real time usage graphs available. The meter only communicates every 15 minutes, so a true real time usage graph will not be possible.

    I’ve been looking at doing some home automation stuff with my house, but have been holding out to see how much of it can be built around a common interface/web portal.
    There are a ton of products that have recently come out, or are in the pipe.

    My one and only issue with the “smart meter” is that I was paying $2.22 a month for it for 3 years before they got around to actually f’in installing it…

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  27. Dyrewulf

    February 29th, 2012

    I work for a power company. You know what we see with Smart Meters? That the RIGHT meter is at the RIGHT address (meter swapping was a HUGE way to steal electricity) and HOW MUCH electricity you use. That’s it. Serial number, KwH, address of the account it’s supposed to be used for, actual location.

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  28. flip

    February 29th, 2012

    OOOOH! SMART METERS! RUN AWAAAY!

    Cripes. Where’s my foil hat?

    Loos of privacy arguers: Put away your credit cards, your Facebook, your cell phone, your internet transactions, travel routes that include cameras, etc etc etc.

    NON-ISSUE.

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  29. Truthsayer

    February 29th, 2012

    I also work for an electricity provider. The fact is that power is traded on the market throughout the day. The ‘smart’ meter can and will be read several times daily allowing for more frequent ‘trades’ and fluctuation of rates, resulting in premium rates being charged during periods of high demand. In other words, when you need power the most, we (the power company) are going to charge you a premium. On a side note, all this conservancy bull-dung is a farce! If you (the public in general) use less power, we make less profit and compensate for this by raising our rates. The true result is you are paying more and receiving less as your reward for conserving electricity. I highly recommend you refuse the ‘smart’ meter, it gives us much more ability to manipulate your rate!

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  30. SgtZim

    February 29th, 2012

    I was interested until the part about RF radio waves.. peer reviewed… blah blah. Tinfoil hat brigade is loose again. Everything in your house with a plug or a battery emits rf, so you’re all DOOOOOOMED! sheesh.

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  31. pink Floyd

    February 29th, 2012

    @flip, “NON ISSUE”???
    It is an issue for those who value Liberty. You are just the frog in the pot.

    “My it’s getting warm in here, isn’t it comfortable.”

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