‘Smart’ Meters – Dumb Idea? Pt. I

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‘Smart’ Meters – Dumb Idea? Pt. 2 of 3

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‘Smart’ Meters – Dumb Idea? Pt. 3 of 3

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Smart meters not to be compulsory in Netherlands

Smart meters will not be compulsory in the Netherlands, minister of economic affairs Maria van der Hoeven has decided.

Van der Hoeven had intended to make smart meters compulsory, with a refusal to install them punishable with a fine of up to €17,000 or six months in prison. However, after vigorous campaigning by consumer organizations and privacy watchdog groups on privacy concerns with smart meter data it became clear that a majority of parliamentarians would vote against compulsory smart metering. As a result van der Hoeven has backed down and moved to make the installation of smart meters voluntary.

The Dutch consumer association, Consumentenbond, has long opposed a mandatory rollout of smart meters. A report commissioned by the association from the University of Tilburg last November stated that the introduction of smart meters would constitute a violation of the consumers’ right to privacy and the freedom to do as they please within their homes, and consequently would be in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. The frequent meter reads would give information about the habits and living patterns of consumers, such as when they enter or leave the house. There was also a risk of such information falling into the hands of a third party.

Moreover Consumentenbond maintains, it is not obvious that smart meters would lead to energy saving by consumers

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The Dark Side of ‘Smart’ Meters

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Local Bans on Wireless ‘Smart’ Meters

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Refuse smart meters, What Happened to Privacy? “Smart Meter or Spy Meter ?

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Letter: Say no to smart electric meters

I called Central Maine Power and said, “Please remove my smart meter as soon as possible.” They did. I know this is controversial and CMP is not happy with customers calling with this request. However, I encourage citizens to do this. We do not know enough yet, and as in many other instances, things may look safe at the start, but information often changes.

I recall, as a child, running in the streets behind the big trucks that sprayed DDT. We thought it was fun to chase after it, losing ourselves in the clouds of smoke. My parents were certainly unaware of any hazard and although they were not wild about us chasing behind these trucks, it never occurred to them that it was a danger to our future health.

Now what we know is that its use is related to diabetes, developmental and reproductive toxicity and breast cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, I often ask myself the question: What have I been exposed to that negatively affects my health? What am I exposed to today that may affect my health in the future?

True, we cannot know it all, but we can be cautious, thoughtful and challenging. We can decide we will not sit back and just accept the information provided by big corporations who have a greater interest than our health.

Stand up, use your voice and say no. I encourage you to pay attention to this. It is your health and your life.

Rosemarie De Angelis, city councilor
South Portland


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Government Power Grab Via Smart Meters And Grid

Energy companies across America are reaching full implementation of the installation of Smart Meters to every American home and building. Smart Meters are replacing outdated energy meters in the hopes of curbing energy demands. They will work hand in hand with the coming Smart Grid that will replace the overloaded electric grid this country now maintains. This all sounds good in the hands of a small, unintrusive government. But in the hands of a government that is seeking and gaining control over vast areas of our lives, this is a scary proposition. I started researching the Smart Grid right after Obama came into office and I uncovered some startling information.

First, keep in mind that this change over has been financed by the federal government via the Porkulus Bill. Progress Energy, which provides for the energy needs in Florida and the Carolinas, writes about their change over, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law in February 2009 contains provisions promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, including $11 billion for Smart Grid-related technologies, $6.3 billion for energy-efficiency and conservation grants and $2 billion in tax credits for the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles.”

Secondly, while this country needs to update our energy grid for new technology and demands, at the heart of this implementation is the promotion of global warming/climate change. The Green Industrial Complex, which is my term for the green economy, global warming theory pushers, etc., has been organized to gain control over our lives. Bloggers and Glenn Beck have revealed over the past two years various portions of this Green Industrial Complex. There are the green jobs, the construction regulations, the updates required of homeowners before they can sell an outdated home, the population controls they desire to push on us (who can forget Science Czar John Holdren pushing mass sterilization and forced abortions), the push to ban offshore drilling and more increases in taxes.

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Energy meters could make burglars smarter

Burglars and marketing companies could exploit data from “smart meters” that monitor household energy use, the Privacy Commissioner says.

Timothy Pilgrim, the nation’s privacy regulator, said yesterday the new meters could be used to build profiles on people’s habits — including the times they are home, whether their house has an alarm system, which appliances they use and when they watch television.

He called for privacy laws to be extended to protect entire households, not just the individual customers who sign power contracts.

“Smart infrastructure will generate information about the behaviors of individuals, often in the home,” Mr Pilgrim told The Australian. “The risk with a rich, new data source is the potential for information to be used for more than originally intended.

“So it could mean collecting data about a person’s electricity usage for billing purposes and then selling data to appliance vendors or other businesses.”

Smart meters are remote digital devices which send real-time meter readings to power utilities every half-hour.

They will be installed in 2.5 million Victorian households by the end of 2013 and are being trialled in other states and territories.

Utilities plan to use the smart meters to tailor bills, charging more for electricity used at peak times of demand during the day, and less at nights and weekends.

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SmartMeter revolt persists

A bright yellow, billboard-sized sign posted on a private pasture lit by the setting sun was hard to miss on a recent afternoon for drivers heading east on Guerneville Road past Willowside Road: “Protect your health and privacy rights. Say no to PG&E!” the sign read.

As the utility company continues to roll out its new SmartMeters, North Coast customers who question the technology’s effect on health, privacy and accuracy have kept up their vocal opposition.

“I don’t want one on my property, period,” said Jim Swasey, 64, a retired boat repairman who agreed to let SmartMeter opponents post the large sign on his pasture on Guerneville Road about two weeks ago.

The sign is just one part of a trail of protests, YouTube videos, stickers, letters and online groups compiling a trove of opinions taking issue with PG&E’s claims that radio frequencies emitted by the meters have a negligible effect on the body.

Despite these efforts, PG&E’s SmartMeter installation program is on course to upgrade all applicable gas and electric meters serviced by the company sometime in 2012.

Nearly 60 percent of meters already have been upgraded overall in Sonoma County’s nine cities, according to Paul Moreno, a PG&E spokesman.

However, only about 5 percent of the meters in Sebastopol and surrounding areas, ground zero for a leading resistance group, the EMF Safety Network, have been swapped out for SmartMeters, according to Moreno’s figures.

SmartMeters send wireless data to PG&E once daily via a single-watt radio, according to PG&E’s website. The communication lasts 45 seconds. At a distance of 10 feet, those radio frequencies are about one-thousandth as much as a typical cell phone, the site said.

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