Comments by bugmenot1

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Posted on March 6 at 7:45 p.m.

Nockamixon, measuring consumption indeed allows one to analyze usage patterns. That's true now. Smart meters have much higher granularity, but all they do is measure consumption. This doesn't tell whether you are asleep. You might have an electric blanket. Lights may be on a timer. The meter doesn't tell which appliances or circuits are in use, just the raw numbers.

Compare to telephone bills. Network billed, including numbers dialed, duration, time to answer, etc. In the case of cellular, even location. Cable TV knows what channels you watch and when and actively markets that data. Stop your newspaper and the delivery person knows.

With smart meters you have the same data as now, with more granularity, encrypted and sent to a billing center.

Without them you have utility employees physically visiting your premises who, in addition to electricity metering, also have their five senses to look for vehicles, open windows, mail piled up, presence or absence of a guard dog, etc.

Smart meters clearly enhance privacy.

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

Posted on March 5 at 6:57 p.m.

OK, here is an example of outright misrepresentation on the website quoted by N02SmartMeters. At there is a bold headline "Smart Meters Radiation Exposure Up to 160 Times More Than Cell Phones" and a scary graph with smart meters towering over all of the other sources of radio waves cited.

But, there's a tiny little note under the Smart Meter column, it says "always on".

Of course that's false. Smart meters are not always on. Not by any means, not even close. They transmit 45 seconds per day, a duty cycle of 0.052%. Even if you assume that the rest of the chart is correct, factoring in that duty cycle to the number of 40 yields a number of 0.021 which is LOWER than all of the other sources shown in the graph.

Of course the graph doesn't specify what the units even represent. 40 what? Furlongs per fortnight? Pancakes per gigaflop?

Figures don't lie, but liars do figure.

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

Posted on March 5 at 6:05 p.m.

No2SmartMeters, you claim to be sick from the smart meter on your home. Has this diagnosis been confirmed by a physician? What's the ICD-9 code for that?

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

Posted on March 5 at 1:44 p.m.

As far as privacy, telephone bills have been calculated over the network since inception and contain far more detail than just usage.

From a privacy perspective, I would much prefer having the utility measure my usage over the network than have random people wandering into my back yard every month.

Network reading also puts a big dent in residential burglars and other criminals posing as meter readers.

Even if someone were to access the data, so what? There's no gain to a hacker knowing that Bob Smith used 327 kilowatt-hours last month and that 43% of that was in the daytime? Why would you care? On the other hand, if you have a digital cable box or a satellite TV receiver connected to a phone line, those providers are actively mining your viewing habits and selling the information with impunity.

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

Posted on March 5 at 11:33 a.m.

Not only is the technology used in nuclear weapons, but dihydrogen monoxide is used as a cleaning solvent in the manufacture of smart meters.

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

Posted on March 5 at 12:07 a.m.

The main arguments against boil down to two things:

1. They emit harmful radiation and I'll get cancer.

This radiation is called "EMF", and we have known it for years as plain old radio. We're talking milliwatts with a duty cycle of a few seconds a day. EMF, of course, ranges from power line frequencies through daylight and infrared. Sunlight is EMF. The alternative to EMF exposure is freezing to death in the dark.

2. My electric bill will go up.

Possibly true, but only if you've been getting a free ride. Most mechanical meters are decades old and haven't been calibrated since installed. If the mechanical parts are dirty or worn, the meter will run slow. A new calibrated meter will be more accurate. Old worn-out meterstend to run slow, not fast.

Other arguments...

* They will cost jobs as it will put meter readers out of work.
While possibly true, the meters are made in the USA and they produce manufacturing jobs, software programming jobs, installation jobs, etc. that are higher paying and more skilled.

* The power company will use it to spy on me.
The power company could, if they chose to do so, read your meter every hour or put a recording meter on the pole outside your house. They produce and deliver the power, they're entitled to measure it. As far as spying, they can't tell if you're using the power to watch porn on a big-screen TV or using it to heat baby formula.

* They will use them to remotely control my appliances.
Not true. The meters are measuring devices only. Your appliances aren't capable of being connected to them.

Arguments in favor:

* Those who want to save on their electric bill can actually see what they're using in near-real-time and make adjustments.

* It helps you to determine if you might want to shift to a different rate plan. With a smart meter you can see if you might be better off with time-of-use metering. If you don't use a lot of electricity during the day, it might make sense to go to a time of use plan. And if you choose to switch, your meter is ready for it.

* It saves money and pollution. No more trucks rolling around reading meters.

* It increases privacy. No electric company people wandering through your back yard to read the meter. Also safer, no dog bite lawsuits to worry about.

* It helps reliability and planning for growth. By knowing about usage patterns in a neighborhood on a particular feeder line or transformer, Edison can tell earlier when facilities need to be upgraded.

* When there is an outage, it gets fixed faster. Edison can immediately determine the exact extent of an outage and thus often determine the cause without having to go house-to-house or pole-to-pole.

This hysteria is kind of silly. There was a similar uproar in the telephone industry about going to dial telephones instead of operator exchanges, going to touch-tone instead of dial, and getting rid of exchange names. We survived them all.

On Smart Meters Can Be Postponed If Homeowners Act Today

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