Consumers Energy Goes Cellular with Electric, Gas Meters


Residential customers don’t have to be home to have the new meters installed, the company said in a statement, though they’ll be given about 30 days’ notice before the meters are installed and can schedule an appointment if they wish. Should they wish to opt out of using smart meters altogether – something some utility customers have done amid privacy concerns – they can pay a one-time fee of $69.39 and a $9.72 monthly meter reading charge, the company said.

Consumers Energy Goes Cellular with Electric, Gas Meters

MICHIGAN’S CONSUMERS Energy has begun to collect its customers’ electricity usage data as well as natural-gas consumption data via the same Itron Inc. smart meter. It is doing so through one of the few shared largescale cellular networks in operation.
The effort is part of a larger $750-million modernization push in which the state’s largest utility has already installed more than 800,000 cellular-enabled smart meters.
“We are one of the first large utilities in the country to utilize the cellular solution,” said Dennis McKee, communication director for the Smart Energy Program at Consumers, which provides service to a total of 6.6 million Michigan residents. “It provides us great coverage in our service territory, which is a combination of extensive rural areas and a multitude of more densely populated urban areas.”
Cellular smart meters are expected to become more common as cellular service rates decline.
Consumers plans to install more than 1.1 million more of the smart meters, which are made by Liberty Lake, Washington- based Itron Inc. The biggest smart meter company in North America, Itron has been pushing in this direction since acquiring SmartSynch, a cellular smart meter company, for $100 million in early 2012. The deployment it’s doing for Consumers had been a SmartSynch account.
The meters use existing 4G cellular networks to transmit daily readings, broken down hour-by-hour, to the utility, reducing the need for manual readings and the likelihood of estimated bills when meters can’t be accessed.
For customers who receive both gas and electric service, the company has now installed more than 60,000 gas meter modules, which transmit daily natural gas consumption readings to the electric meters for cellular upload to the utility. Consumers is planning to install 610,000 of the modules.
Having one device communicate with the utility helps keep things simple and more cost-effective, said Sharelynn Moore, Itron’s vice president of global marketing and public affairs.
“I think the trend is one network, many things,” she said.
“It lowers the cost of network deployment.”
The meters receive gas readings through a radio frequency transmission from the gas meter modules and upload both readings to Consumers through cellular networks run by Verizon and others, said Moore.
Utilities use a variety of networks to receive smart meter data, typically combinations of cellular transmissions, wired transmissions through the grid itself and transmissions through radio-frequency networks.
California’s Pacific Gas and Electric, for example, has deployed more than 9 million smart meters that collect daily gas readings and electricity readings every 15 minutes, sending them to the utility through the company’s own wireless communication network. And Tennessee’s Memphis Light, Gas and Water is in the midst of a project to install smart meters to track all three services, which the utility says also have the potential to quickly detect outages, leaks and other problems.
In general, smart meters are most commonly deployed by those natural gas companies that also provide electric service – particularly in areas where regulators allow them to combine metering hardware for additional savings, according to Oracle Utilities.
Consumers plans to enable its smart meters to detect and report outages and let customers track their day-to-day usage online, the company said. The hour-by-hour data collected by the smart meters may also enable new rate options letting customers buy cheaper power at off-peak times, McKee said.
The overall program is expected to deliver a total $1.9 billion benefit to consumers, the company estimated in regulatory filings, he said.
The utility’s deal with Itron includes a 20-year maintenance agreement – though much of that maintenance will be in the form of automatic, over-the-air firmware updates similar to those that cellphones receive, said Moore.
Residential customers don’t have to be home to have the new meters installed, the company said in a statement, though they’ll be given about 30 days’ notice before the meters are installed and can schedule an appointment if they wish. Should they wish to opt out of using smart meters altogether – something some utility customers have done amid privacy concerns – they can pay a one-time fee of $69.39 and a $9.72 monthly meter reading charge, the company said.

GHANA-Withdraw M-Smart meters; they are killing us – Consumers tell ECG


Withdraw M-Smart meters; they are killing us – Consumers tell ECG

Regional News of Saturday, 7 May 2016

Prepaid Meter Domestic consumers of electricity in the Ashanti Region have sent an SOS message to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to withdraw immediately all the M-Smart pre-paid metres that have been installed in their various homes.

They want the new metres to be replaced with the previous Pay-and-Smile metering system.

According to the consumers, ever since the M-Smart metering system were installed, their bills have almost tripled.

They are convinced that the new metering system is just an avenue by the ECG to rip them off their hard earned money.

“I am wondering why the ECG brought in these metres. As soon as you buy the credit and load it, before you realise you are already in darkness again. This is thievery. Why should they (ECG) do that. These meters in my view are not for domestic use”, noted an aggrieved consumer who wanted to remain anonymous.

Another consumer, Felix Asamoah, a resident of Danyame told that he now spends GH?80.00 every three days to light up his two-bedroom house, unlike the GH?70.00 he expended every fortnight when he was using the Pay-and-smile pre-metering system.

Last year, the ECG, Ashanti Region, took the decision to replace all their meters because they were losing lots of revenue as a result of some challenges those devices were encountering.

They, therefore, decided to pilot the project in some communities before finally rolling it to cover the entire region.

But the feedback from the communities they have covered so far is not encouraging.

Erasmus Baidoo, Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the company, told journalists that they took the decision to replace the old meters because “a lot of people were complaining about their services”.

He said what has triggered the high cost of the utility is the recent increment they are implementing.


You Can Still Comment on the Plans to Push Mandatory Smart Meters in Michigan

You Can Still Comment on the Plans to Push Mandatory Smart Meters in Michigan
Stop 300% Rate Hikes!
We sent out a newsletter last week regarding DTE, Consumers Energy, and the Michigan Public Service Commission pulling a fast one that is yet another step toward mandatory smart meters in Michigan and will raise your electric rates. The commission is still accepting public comments. We urge you to make your voice known. You can write just a line or two saying you don’t want demand-response programs and time-of-use rates.  Learn more on our Alerts and Breaking News page. Please don’t copy all the sample comments. Pick the one that suits you. Your own views are more important.

To see what others have already written, go to the MPSC docket for these cases. DTE; Consumers.

Email:  In the subject line of your email you must put:  U-17936, U-18013.

MICHIGAN-Electrosensitive Woman Being Persecuted

Smart Meter Court Case,  May 11

Electrosensitive Woman Being Persecuted

Please attend if you can
What: Oak Valley Homeowners v Georgetta Livingstone
When: Wednesday May 11, 2016at 8:30 a.m.
Where:  Oakland County Circuit Court 1200 N Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI 48341

Georgetta Livingstone, a Ph.D. mechanical engineer now in her eighties, became extremely ill after DTE installed a smart meter on her home in 2011, suffering tremendously with terrible, debilitating rashes, headaches, anxiety, depression, sharp pains in her body, and insomnia. You can see a picture of the rashes in this MLive story. When Georgetta told DTE what was happening, they were unresponsive. She then purchased an analog meter and had a professional install it on her home. DTE then cut off Georgetta’s power. Everything in Georgetta’s home requires electricity; it is needed even for flushing toilets and for water. An article in the Daily Tribune states: “After her power was cut, she was reduced to ‘primitive life,’ she said, having to use the restroom at a nearby Kroger and take showers at a neighbor’s home.”

She has spoken to the Michigan House Oversight Committee, to House Energy Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt (who told her he was more concerned about the privacy issues surrounding smart meters than any health concerns), and many others. She has been ignored.

Then, her neighbors complained about noise from the generator she was using and her use of solar power and wind turbines. Her homeowner’s association has issued large fines and has now taken her to court. They would ultimately like to take her home away. This is similar to a case regarding chemical sensitivities that was litigated last year in Ann Arbor. Those who cannot tolerate the mass of pollution we now are living in are treated as pariahs! Please come to the court hearing. A strong showing will show the judge and the press (if they are there) that people with environmental sensitivities need to be accommodated, just as we accommodate those with physical and mental disabilities.

Please note that wind power, generators, and solar power are not safe and generate dirty electricity. It would seem that for Georgetta, she is most sensitive to the smart meter frequencies that ran through her home wiring and that she may also have had the RF from the meters riding on her wiring.

Links to Georgetta’s story:

Here is the link to the court filings in this case, Oak Valley Homeowners v Georgetta Livingstone.

Wednesday May 11, 2016 at Oakland County Court at 8:30 a.m. The case might start at 8:30 or it could start  later. Dockets usually set all cases for the same time, then cases are called up individually by the judge. So her case could start at 8:30 or later in the day. So if you can’t be there at 8:30, please show up anyway.

Scientists warn of ‘global sleep crisis’

The first symptom people have reported related to the smart meter installations is insomnia, nervous tension and irritability (from lack of sleep).  Many at the time, not aware that a smart meter was installed.  This reveals that the insomnia is juxtaposed to the installation of the so called $$mart meters.  The noise pollution is also juxtaposed!!…Sandaura

Scientists warn of ‘global sleep crisis’ from data collected on smartphone app

The data has been analysed by experts writing in the journal Science Advances, who used the app Entrain

A “global sleep crisis” is being triggered by the social pressures of modern living, a new study based around a smartphone app has claimed.

Scientists from the University of Michigan have been tracking the sleep patterns of people from around the world in a huge study.

They have been analysing data based on the age and gender of people, alongside their exposure to natural light where they slept.

Sleeping patterns across 100 countries were analysed.

The study reads: “The effects of society on sleep remain largely unquantified.

‘We find that social pressures weaken and/or conceal biological drives in the evening’
“We find that social pressures weaken and/or conceal biological drives in the evening, leading individuals to delay their bedtime and shorten their sleep.”

People who suffer from a lack of sleep tend to not get a good night’s rest because of the time they go to bed, the study found.

However researchers believe that age is the main factor in deciding how good a night’s sleep someone can get.

More than 6,000 people aged from 15 and up used the app Entrain to send scientists their sleeping data.

A worker yawns on his way to work

The app was developed by the University of Michigan, and tries to help users figure out what time their body thinks it is now.

Researchers found that those who have under slept will suffer reduced cognitive abilities throughout the day.

The study concludes: “Impaired sleep presents an immediate and pressing threat to human health.”



(edited)1 hour ago
Mark Ritchie
Having sleep issues…?  The first thing I ask you is – Where is your mobile phone when you are trying to sleep?

I was trained as an RF technician in the military, but even I did not realize or put the reason I was having trouble sleeping on the powerful small device on my night stand, next to my bed, on a foot or two from my head.

A mobile phone is a powerful RF Transmitter/Receiver; capable of sending and receiving signals up to 65 miles away.  And this is next to your head while you are sleeping.  Mixing and messing with your brain waves and bodies electrical signals.  Add to that, your home’s wireless router, devices, and in some cases powerful Electric company meters.

At first, I thought it wasn’t the reason as well.  But I did an experiment after reading several articles that pulled out old knowledge from the military, twenty years buried in my memory.  At night, I turn my cell phone off or put it in Airplane mode, turned off my wireless equipment (they are not used at that time anyways, why leave them on).  After a week, I was waking up less at night and noticed I was sleeping deeper.  Two weeks, I only woke up when I needed to use the restroom and the dark circles disappeared