Alarm sounded on “Smart Meters”

SmartMeterOptOutViewpoint

By Bill Haff & George Miller

People and groups in various portions of the political spectrum are quite concerned about so-called “Smart Meters,” which utility companies are installing in massive numbers to monitor and in the future, control the use of electricity and gas. This has happened mostly “under the radar” of public knowledge and consent. Examples of opposition were provided by the local “Occupy Ventura” group. Whether or not you agree with their political objectives and methods, please examine the videos they offer on the subject.

 

More examples on Occupy Ventura, forwarded by local writer Bill Haff.

Liberty-oriented organizations and Tea Parties  almost uniformly oppose smart meters. Ad hoc opposition groups have sprung up to fight them.  These groups have been unable to stop the government, utility and “Sustainability” movement organizations initiating all this and using your money- billions- to pay for them. They have adopted an “opt-out” strategy and won legal battles to achieve this, but are being charged for the privilege of not having Smart Meters. Last year, utilities attempted to double those fees, but have not succeeded.

The opposition is based upon several major issues:

– Surveillance- This presents a major opportunity for governments to know exactly and in near real-time when  and how much power is being consumed at customer locations and even, in the future, what appliances are consuming it.

– Control- It also will afford the opportunity to determine when, how much and even if power can be used by an individual customer and even a specific appliance, with shut-off capability.

– Radio frequency hazards- The collection towers and multiple transmitters emit RF waves, which some parties have identified as hazardous to health. As far as we know, these are no more harmful than the other many RF sources people are subjected to, but it can’t be doing any good. However this still up for debate.

But counter to this are assertions by advocates who claim that Smart Meters would:

– Reduce costs via better control of power usage and incentives to trim usage or use it at times of excess supply.

– Reduce costs of meter reading via automation, although infrastructure and maintenance costs would increase.

U.S. Govt. site on this http://energy.gov/science-innovation/electric-power/smart-grid

 

Smart Metering is an example of the kind of new technology that presents both a possible opportunity and a very real threat. The stated goals of synchronized and more efficient standards can easily be used to justify unaccountable bureaucracies, which will control tempting new levers of power. The fact that industry and government have not yet addressed citizens’ concerns in any meaningful way guarantees Smart Meters will be controversial into the foreseeable future.

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Bill Haff is chairperson for the Ojai chapter of Move To Amend, resides in Ojai

George Miller is a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

One Response to Alarm sounded on “Smart Meters”

  1. Susan reed July 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    What is not open to debate: RF Sickness is being caused by smart meters (and other wireless sources) worldwide. It is NOT “debatable” if you have it. And no one should be forced to have radiofrequency transmitters on their homes if they are or believe they are being harmed. Period, end of story. Individuals are being TRASHED in the U.S., including Wisconsin. Your only option is to go off grid, but who can afford that? These utility bullies are pushing people back to the dark ages because we cannot tolerate their microwave emitting meters. IT’s truly nuts. It is an outrage. It is an atrocity.

    Reply

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