A new product hits the market. You hear the hype. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's an Iphone, or a Cuisinart food processor, or On Star for your car. Whatever the new product is, it is supposed to make your life easier and take away all of your work and worries. At the risk of sounding like that guy they called the "unibomber" who hated technology, I have a gadget for you that is not going to make your life easier. In fact its true intention is to make your life miserable, unless of course you are the strange type of person who wants someone else to make all of your decisions for you.
Why would the federal government grant millions and millions of our tax dollars to companies to develop Smart Meters for utilities, water, electric, and gas? And then spend more millions on propaganda to tell us we must stop or reduce using fossil fuels and water? And then spend more millions of dollars to set up regional bureaucratic boards under the "Sustainable Communities Initiative," boards that are designed to regulate water use, land use, and fuel use in these extra-jurisdictional regions? Why?
You get two correct answers on this one.
#1. Large utility corporations, most of whom already have monopolies, are making deals with the Federal government (using our tax dollars) that will allow them to sell less of their products at higher prices.
#2. Our Federal government has made deals with the UN and third world nations, promising that the U.S. will stop and reduce using resources for our prosperity and well-being.
If you replied with either or both of those answers, Bingo! You win the prize. (I don't actually have a prize to give you except for an "atta boy," but I'll give you that!)
The premise for this assumes you actually still own or rent a house and run appliances such as an HVAC system, a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, a coffee pot, a hair dryer, etc. These modern devices have made our lives better by large degrees. We are no longer having to use wash-boards and our knuckles to wash our clothes. (My knuckles are very grateful, no doubt about that!) We can dry our hair quickly in order to get to work on time. We don't have to haul water from the river or a well to take a bath. We are extremely more productive because we have climate control of our homes and work spaces.
Oh no, we can't have that, now can we! Especially if the rest of the world is not as capable of doing all of those things. Why, we must be evil monsters to be heating and cooling our homes in a practical and efficient way, while the rest of the world doesn't. Envy is a powerful tool. Technology can be a huge blessing or it can be used as a curse and a weapon against you.
The utility companies are putting out some massively seductive propaganda for Smart Meters. If you know what the ultimate outcome will be, the propaganda is truly laughable. If you don't know what it really is, you are going to swallow it, hook, line, and sinker.
Here is what Duke Energy is saying:
To understand how this will happen, start with the fact that your home's new digital meter will let information flow back and forth between your home and Duke Energy. That means information about your energy use will be transmitted in near-real time and available to you through your home computer, your smart phone or technology such as a home energy manager. As a result, you won't have to wait for a monthly bill to check on your usage. Instead, you'll be able to monitor your previous day's usage and, if you want, modify the ways you and your family are using electricity to better control costs. How you use the information is completely up to you – and only you, since the new grid gives consumers, not utility companies or the government, more power over energy choices.
Better control over your energy use and costs is just one of the advantages the modernized grid will offer almost immediately. Another includes greater reliability throughout the entire power distribution network helping both prevent and pinpoint power outages in events such as storms. In addition, the modern day grid will mean that Duke Energy representatives will no longer need to enter homes or come onto your property to read meters. Occasionally, we may need to have access to the meter for routine maintenance, but we'll let you know before we arrive. And the new technology will make flexible billing and payment options available to many.
If you believe all of that, I have a bridge in Arizona to sell you. First of all, there are several canards in there. I already have a meter that is read by remote from a truck that drives around and reads my meter from the street. So there is no need for the meter reader to come into my property, or yours, anyway. The utility company doesn't have a problem pinpointing problem areas now when there is an outage. So the Smart Grid / Meters don't make any special improvements on that score. As you can see from the first sentence, they mean to have real time information flowing back and forth between your house or business to their equipment, monitored by them. and they are regulated by the government. Who do you think wants that information, and why?
Do you really want to spend time every day monitoring your watts per hour? Is that how best your time can be spent? You aren't busy enough already? A monthly bill isn't good enough for you? Hmmm, it's good enough for me. I frankly don't envision spending my time micromanaging, hour by hour, what my energy, water, and gas usage is. But they will. Trust me.
In the future, the new grid will mean you can track exactly which appliances and equipment are costing you the most in energy use, letting you make changes to save on costs. Plus you'll be able to program your heating and cooling system, dishwasher, water heater and other appliances for greater efficiency. The technology will let you control your thermostat and appliances remotely and even alert you when you're approaching your own designated monthly energy budget.
The plan involves some really fun aspects to control your life. This includes charging higher rates for "peak" time use. It also includes allowing the utility company to regulate your appliances and thermostat. Yes it does! My son is currently living in Finland. He tells me the thermostat goes to 72 degrees, period. He asked someone about it. They said, "That's what you get. No more." The high outside temperature there today is 28 degrees. I cannot attest to the efficiency of the HVAC system in his home. (He is on assignment for the Air Force.)
When they talk about programming your appliances for greater efficiency, what that means is this: If you turn on your dishwasher, your refrigerator energy automatically reduces to accommodate the dishwasher. If you turn on the shower, using your hot water heater? Your HVAC system shuts down until you finish your shower. I wonder how the rest of the folks in the house will like that?
Oh, did I mention that appliance manufacturers want to buy this information from the utility companies? And that the utility companies will be making money selling that information to appliance manufacturers, without your permission, by the way? So then you can be inundated with appliance manufacturers and retail outlets bombarding you with sales pitches on replacing your appliances, telling you your appliances are not up to date enough and you must buy new ones that talk back to the Smart Meter the utility company just put on your home and business.
Yep, Smart Meters are just great! Can't wait til everyone is hooked up on those babies.
Did I mention there are serious high radiation / health concerns that come with that Smart Meter installation? And the occasional fires caused by Smart Meters? And your power, water, and gas can be shut down by remote by the provider or a hacker? And that this doesn't save you a dime, but makes buckets and buckets of money for utility companies?
This is not the Nanny you want taking care of you, friends. This would be called the "Nightmare Nanny."
(Note: I have written Duke Energy and the Public Utilities Commission in my state and told them, in no uncertain terms, that I refuse to have a Smart Meter placed on my home. I have placed a label on my electric meter saying "NO SMART METER!" My advice: If you have any energy left after all of the onslaught against our personal liberties that we are experiencing, start yelling loud and clear to your city, county, state, and utility providers that you will not accept a Smart Meter on your home or business. It is going to take a massive backlash from all of us to stop this dangerous insult to our liberties.)
Here are some links to labels and information for you:
Refuse Smart Meters
Another from Refuse Smart Meters
Printable Label Here
No Smart Meters.org