Pittsburgh – ‘Smart meters’ on electricity are not so smart and State Rep Mark Mustio agrees

We need more politicians like Mark Mustio to jump ship…Sandaura

‘Smart meters’ on electricity are not so smart

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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Those in Duquesne Light’s service area are already paying a small fee for the new smart meters, but the worst is yet to come. These devices are required by law and Duquesne must install them unless the law is changed.

In some cases, smart meters add 20 percent to the electric cost and do not save money for customers or reduce the amount of electricity used. That’s the clear finding wherever they’ve been studied: California, Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Ontario and Germany also agree that they are a bad deal. Some communities have stopped them or let the homeowner opt out.

The Pennsylvania Legislature has not studied the costs or benefits, but members will soon consider removing this requirement in Act 129 (2008), which requires installation of smart meters in all our homes.

They are not cost effective and, worse yet, the utility can observe what you are doing and control your air conditioning and heat.My state representative, Mark Mustio (R-Moon), agrees that smart meters should be stopped. Do your state senator and state representative want to add another cost and control — or do they work for you?

Peter K. Sour

The Wise Grid Series, Part 1: Smart Meters Are Not Smart by Camilla Rees

The Wise Grid Series, Part 1: Smart Meters Are Not Smart

5/27/2015 9:48:00 AM

Tags: smart meters, electricity, clean energy, smart grids, Camilla Rees

Smart Meter

When we look at important issues facing our nation today, we inevitably find commercial interests influencing policy. Industries, understandably, are eager to advance their own agendas. Briefings and impact analyses presented to policymakers can be incomplete for this reason. They can tell a narrow, limited story to attract government support—whether for a contract, funding, or legislation. Unfortunately, important sides to the story that are highly relevant to quality of life in America are often left out.

This scenario is playing out today in the U.S. electricity sector, where federal spending to help the utility industry is having unintended negative consequences for our economy, privacy, the environment, safety, security and health, while stalling our transition to a renewable energy economy, with consequences of its own.

As was explained in the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy’s Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid report by Timothy Schoechle, PhD, the new meters help the utility industry’s bottom line, as by a law the utilities can charge ratepayers enough to recoup their investment, plus an additional a 10-13 percent return, depending on the state. But the billions spent on meters is wasting federal tax dollars, increasing ratepayer utility bills and, importantly, not delivering on the benefits claimed.

The ‘story’ about the value of the “smart” meters is that the meters are necessary to upgrade the electricity grid, that they have energy efficiency benefits, and that installing them will facilitate integration of renewable energy technologies. This is what communities across the country are being told. None of these claims are true.

Wasting billions of taxpayer money on unneeded new meters would have been bad enough if the meters had been safely hard-wired. But the meters are wireless, which means they come with additional risks, such as privacy, security, health, fire and safety risks. The former head of the CIA James Woolsey called the vulnerability of the new grid using wireless technology a “really, really stupid grid”. It is no wonder there are protests about the “smart” meters in dozens of states today. The award-winning film on this topic, Take Back Your Power, of which I was an Executive Producer, is a must-watch film to get up to speed on this whole topic.

There will be national economic consequences from propping up utilities set on resisting transformation to a renewable energy economy. As other countries race ahead to tap into the potential for clean energy abundance, our industries in the end will suffer in the global marketplace if the U.S. does not reconfigure its electricity system to embrace distributed, renewable energy and the rooftop revolution.

More than likely, fortunately, as Tim Schoechle, PhD discusses in Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid, the revolution will happen from the bottom up through innovative communities moving to secure their renewable energy future, like Boulder, CO is doing. And, through innovative technologies, such as advances in storage.

Very recently, Tesla announced a battery for the home, the Powerwall, a leapfrog forward offering consumers the ability to store backup power, minimize peak time use of utilities’ electricity at high prices and even get off the power grid entirely.

Transformation of the electricity sector may be able to be delayed by wasting billions of federal tax dollars on unnecessary meters, and large long-distance transmission lines, but it cannot be stopped. It may be a politically rocky transition for the foreseeable future, but I am confident America will certainly achieve energy independence and clean energy abundance.

9 Problems with the Smart Meters and Present Electricity Approach

1. Data to be collected by the smart meters, including intimate personal details of citizens’ lives, is not necessary to the basic purpose of the smart grid, such as supply/demand balancing, demand response (DR), dynamic pricing, renewable integration, or local generation and storage, as promoters of the meters, and uninformed parties, routinely claim.

2. Federal, state and local governments have mistakenly believed that the installation of smart meters will somehow lead to reduction in use of fossil fuels, greater electricity efficiency and long-term energy economy benefits for the U.S. In fact, efforts to further develop and standardize those technologies that could achieve those goals have languished, while investments with stimulus funding have instead been made in technologies that merely serve the short-term economic interests of the utility industry and its suppliers instead of the interests of a true smart grid which could economically integrate renewable technologies and distributed, or decentralized, power generation.

3. Much of the multi-billion dollar federal subsidy for smart meters does not benefit ratepayers, nor support economic growth, but primarily benefits meter and meter networking manufacturers, while financially propping up unsustainable Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs). Regulated utilities can charge back their capital investments to ratepayers, with a guaranteed 10-13 percent rate of return (ROR) on assets, by law. Thus, investors in utilities gain from the smart meter deployment, as they would from any other capital expenditure, while there is no clear gain and significant new risks (privacy, security, health & safety, costs) for the ratepayer. The allocation of stimulus dollars to subsidize smart meters has also been a net job destroyer, eliminating meter readers and creating manufacturing jobs overseas, while being an egregious waste of federal resources that only supports corporate interests and delays the needed transformation of the electricity grid.

4. Because Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) are paid on a per-kilowatt-of-energy-sold basis, and also receive a guaranteed rate of return on assets, they do not have a financial incentive to encourage less energy usage, or to invest in technologies that would help citizens reduce energy consumption.

5. Because coal plants must run at near capacity to achieve necessary economies of scale, adding renewable energy to the power mix may be in fact cost-additive for utilities, not cost-reducing, and ultimately cost-additive for ratepayers. Thus, there is an inherent conflict between coal-based power generation, the dominant means of electricity generation in the U.S., and a transition to renewable energy technologies that could lead to sustainability. The report recommends the U.S. “move away from dependency on baseload generation, particularly coal, as quickly as possible” to facilitate renewable integration and reach our potential for energy independence.

6. Despite paying lip service to the public’s interest in incorporating renewable energy, as evidence in their marketing materials, utilities actually ‘curtail’, or waste, much of the renewable energy now generated in order to protect the economics of investor-owned coal plants. This explains why state initiatives wanting to fulfill the promise of a 30 percent or higher renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is practically impossible in a coal baseload system. The paper suggests that decommissioning coal plants, possibly through a public bailout, may be required to move the United States to a renewable energy future.

7.  U.S. policy statements “reflect the mistaken belief that the basic solutions involve fixing or modernizing the existing electricity grid, rather than complete structural transformation of electrical service, which goes beyond particular ‘smart’ technologies.” In reality, shaving peak energy usage by shifting loads may actually increase energy bills as well as CO2 emissions by increasing dependency on coal baseload generation—the most expensive generation there is when considering the totality of subsidies and externalized costs. Increasing baseload dependency will not lower energy costs, as it appears our Administration believes, and it will further obstruct integration of renewable sources.

8.  Expected growth in electric vehicles within a coal-based system will only worsen the nation’s baseload dependency, thus making the needed shift away from coal to a renewable energy future that much more pressing.

9.  Leadership in the energy sector is unlikely to come from the top, due to conflicts of interest and ‘regulatory capture’ unless forced by a catastrophic event or consequence. At present, there appears to be little evidence utilities and their regulators want to or know how to make the needed changes to the utility business model, leaving it to the American public, through community-based initiatives and municipalization efforts, to drive the needed change toward renewable technologies and distributed, non-centralized power generation—as is now happening in such places as Boulder, Colorado.

When I learned billions of dollars were wasted on meters purporting to be “smart,” I realized how desperately we need accountability in Washington. The magnitude of the misspending is mind-boggling. I wonder how policymakers could not have understood the technology’s limitations. Did they just not do their homework, swayed by utility industry lobbyists? Did they not realize stimulus funding could have been better spent on other investments to move us forward faster toward a clean energy economy? Is there any mechanism at all in Washington to independently evaluate the impact of potential spending, and to make decisions strategically with long-term impacts in mind?

In the next blog post in The Wise Grid series, my colleague, Tim Schoechle, PhD will summarize his critique of the recent “Future of the Grid” report by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Gridwise Alliance. Stay tuned!

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Anti-smart meter campaigner’s electromagnetic pain claim rejected, ordered to pay legal costs

There is a  universal principle “The Bigger the front the larger the back.  This will come back to bite the criminals who are forcing the RF/emf radiation pollution on humanity.  How disgustingly vile and apprehensible the actions of  political systems trickling down to those financially and the politically aligned who are harming the entire population; without conscience or any sensitivity toward those already suffering in their own homes!!  You are counting on the majority who are by choice and some by ignorance ignoring their responsibility that being, standing up to the soulless creatures who have this corrupt power over us.  I say soulless because your actions prove this issue is bigger than just one person’s voice or one person pain and anguish.  How dare you punish those who are simply trying to protect themselves.   I express this with such loathing for the collective consciousness that has no face or accountability, but all those who are complicit in contributing to that destructive machine; you are part of the problem and part of the crime being committed on humanity.  For that, there is a price that you will pay, call it judgment, karma, selling your soul to the devil.  It is not worth it in the end.  Criminals always get caught eventually…..  Sandaura

Anti-smart meter campaigner’s electromagnetic pain claim rejected, ordered to pay legal costs 

Troels Sommerville

  • From: Moorabbin Kingston Leader
  • April 29, 2015 12:00AM

Sofia Telemzouguer. Picture: Tanya Fry

Sofia Telemzouguer. Picture: Tanya Fry Source: News Limited

ANTI-smart meter campaigner Sofia Telemzouguer has been slapped with $9500 legal costs after failing to turn up to a tribunal hearing because she was worried about being exposed to electromagnetic radiation.

The Cheltenham woman was taking United Energy to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in a bid to get compensation from the electricity provider for disconnecting her power after she removed a new smart meter and reinstalled her old analog one.

Ms Telemzouguer asked for the hearing to be heard in Moorabbin because of her claimed sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation.

She said “wi-fi hot spots and cell phone towers” in Melbourne’s CBD, where the case was to be heard, would cause her pain.

But the tribunal did not accept her excuse and Ms Telemzouguer has been ordered to pay United Energy’s legal costs for “failing to comply with an order without a reasonable excuse”.

“I was just asking for a little bit of consideration for my disability,” she said.

Ms Telemzouguer and daughter Larissa, 15, had to live by candlelight from March to August 2014. Ms Telemzouguer said she removed the smart meter because it made her ill.

Her power was switched on again when the tribunal issued an interim order in August for United Energy to keep her connected until the matter was decided.

But the case has been put on hold until she pays the $9500.

Ms Telemzouguer ran as the Bentleigh candidate for People Power Victoria — No Smart Meters in last year’s state election.

The tribunal said it could not comment on an ongoing case.


For those with fears about smart meters even the opt-out device is a concern

For those with fears about smart meters even the opt-out device is a concern