Your thoughts on 'smart meters?'

bowyer123July 8, 2013

My house is scheduled to have a 'smart meter' installed by the utility company. The utility company says it will save money because you can track electric usage in real time, and by knowing when the electricity is cheapest, plan usage to time of day.

I had read and seen a news report about how some local union members are totally against these meters. I also just received a flyer in the mail from this union (IBEW) that claims, and I quote: "Say no to smart meters. Current utility bill will double/triple." "Smart meters will cause fires." "Say no to smart meters."

I'm sure the union is trying to protect jobs of their workers,a nd the utility is trying to save money by needing less man-power to read meters. Currently I have a digital meter.

I'm just curious what you all think.

Thanks

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yosemitebill

Geez Louise!

I just wished my Smart Meter would work as advertised! Been trying to solve it now for 2 years!

I'm in a very rural area on about 7 1/2 acres, solar powered locked gate opener, and don't want yahoos just driving up.

The meter, while it offers some vulnerabilities, I am comfortable with it as opposed to leaving the gate open if we're gone for the day.

What frustrates me to no end, is that my background is in broadcast engineering and I while can explain mesh network communications to them in detail - they simply do not employ anybody that understands it!

So, they send somebody from 50 miles away - just to read our meter!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:43PM
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petey_racer

DO NOT believe the hype/tin-foil hat comments you hear.

They CANNOT track or control individual items, UNLESS they are able to be tracked/controlled AND YOU ALLOW IT.

That union B-S is just that, BULLSH*T.

From the feedback I have seen, more folk's bills have gone down than up.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:22AM
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attofarad

You really shouldn't expect your bill to change, unless the smart meter allows you to select time-of-day billing rates and that helps/hurts. The accuracy requirements are the same.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:47AM
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bus_driver

The newer meters are more sensitive to low usage items. For instance, in a vacant house, the clock on an older electric range will not register the power draw on an older meter. But the newest meter will show a usage of about 3Kwh. By turning off the main on that service, the meter shows no usage. So they are very sensitive-- and those few Kwh for each service will add up in company revenues.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:35AM
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bowyer123

I already have an electronic meter, so the sensitivity shouldn't change. I suppose the scare-tactic letter from the unions was BS, we shall see.

Thanks

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:28AM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Unions are special interest groups like any other, looking to protect their own interests whether that's good for the greater public or not.

I think any changes that make utilities more efficient and that lower costs are great. I have a smart meter, it works fine as far as I know, and I can get the same usage data over the internet as the utility company does. It's more a curiosity than something essential in my case.

There has been vocal opposition in my area to smart meter installation, to the point that the utility has been forced to allow people to keep their old meters. Those doing so must pay a meter reading fee, which I think tends to change their minds. They seem like a bunch of loonies simply looking for a public issue to squawk about.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:53AM
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bus_driver

The nice ladies in the office for my electric utility, a relatively small COOP, told me that the smart meters they recently installed do not notify them of power outages. I simply could not believe that as the meters send signals to the office. A couple of the service people told me the meters do signal outages-- by the absence of a signal.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 7:59PM
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