New Report Details “Growing Battle Over Smart Meters”

Smart Meter Special ReportThe American Policy Center (APC), has produced a comprehensive special report entitled “Sustainable Development and the Control of Energy (The growing battle over Smart Meters).”

As described by the APC, “This report details the real reasons behind the government’s enforcement of the Smart Meters, the health and privacy violations, and the political agenda behind it all.”

The American Policy Center (APC), describes itself as a privately funded, nonprofit, 501 c (4), tax-exempt grassroots action and education foundation dedicated to the promotion of free enterprise and limited government regulations over commerce and individuals.

In the conclusion section of the Special Report, it is stated that:

While local governments and power companies will tell you that the installation of Smart Meters is simply a means to modernize the nation’s power grid system and save consumers money, the fact is the Smart Meter program is a tool for enforcement of the worldwide drive for Sustainable Development.

Sustainable Development is a top-down collectivist approach to government through which the means of production, energy and water use and property management is controlled by the state.  It is anti-free enterprise, anti private property, and anti individual freedom.  The result is higher costs, less goods and services and less individual choice.

Smart Meters are designed to provide government with detailed information of your energy use, your movements in your home, the way you use your personal private time, and even the how many people are in your home at any given time.”

Perspective and Analysis:

The American Policy Center in its report makes two basic assertions that many people will find controversial:

  1. “Sustainable Development” is a top-down collectivist approach to government.
  2. Smart meters are being used as one tool of government to help enforce this top-down collectivist government approach and for government to monitor your activities, essentially as surveillance devices.

Although the language used in the above statements is a bit harsh and some will find it conspiratorial, there are elements of truth in these assertions.

Officially, per Presidential Executive Order 13514, sustainability and sustainable mean “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”  [Executive Order 13514; Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, signed on October 5, 2009.]

On the surface, to be “sustainable” seems fluffy and nice.  What could be wrong with humans and nature existing in “productive harmony”?  Most lay people think of sustainable as being “green,” but particularly through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are broad implications to this “sustainable development” policy that are potentially malevolent.

The EPA no longer views its mandate as solely protecting the environment.  Conceptually, when the EPA now discusses sustainability, it typically refers to an approach to address the three sustainability pillars which pertain to social, environmental, and economic issues.  In one document, it is stated that “the potential economic value of sustainability to the United States is recognized to not merely decrease environmental risks but also to optimize the social and economic benefits of environmental protection.”  [Reference:  “Sustainability and the U.S. EPA.” published by the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, page 2.]  Pictorially, this can be represented with three colorful intersecting circles (or ellipses) as shown below:

Three Pillars.Ellipses

The above diagram is essentially identical to one found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

The concept is that the three (3) pillars of sustainability are not mutually exclusive.  For example, you can achieve “bearable” conditions by optimizing social and environmental factors, but you are not in “harmony” unless all three pillars intersect where you have then achieved a truly “sustainable” and optimum condition.  In fact, the intersection of the three pillars has sometimes been called the “sweet spot” of sustainability.

The problem is that if government uses its considerable power to influence outcomes for the three pillars of sustainability, it engages in practices which will involve such concepts as social justice, environmental justice, forced energy efficiency standards, and redistribution of wealth in the interest of creating equal opportunity.  Even based upon the basic information provided above, it can be surmised that sustainability could be managed in a way that may infringe on individual liberties and property rights.  This is something for which we certainly need to be vigilant.

With regard to smart meters, there are concerns that the so-called “voluntary” energy control programs, made possible through smart meters, may someday no longer be voluntary.  Certainly smart meters provide the means to deliver “sustainable” (and thus strictly rationed) energy to consumers.

With regard to smart meter data, hypothetically, people could be monitored to ensure that they are behaving in a way that they are meeting “appropriate” energy efficiency guidelines in their own homes.  As defined by the “three pillars,” this would be accomplished by behaving in a way that would at least provide for an intersection of the environmental and economic pillars, achieving a “viable” condition on the path towards sustainability.

Privacy 4Currently, as a condition for utilities to receive money from the Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid investment grant program, for example, utilities must periodically provide “anonymous aggregate usage data” to the DOE in order to help it evaluate benefits derived from the grant program.  Therefore, it is certainly possible that the government may use “anonymous aggregate usage” smart meter data as a trending mechanism to determine if the overall US population is making progress toward sustainability.

Hence as long as you trust that your government will not spy on you, on an individual basis, then you have nothing to worry about in that regard.  However, even if you trust your government, the granular data collected by smart meters could be acquired by other organizations or individuals, either maliciously or inadvertently.  At that point, data could be used in an unauthorized fashion to infer types of activities or occupancies of a home for specific periods of time.  It is also possible that smart data information could be sought for legal proceedings as evidence to prove or disprove certain propositions.

To view a full copy of the “Special Report,” click on the link below:

Growing Battle over Smart Meters

About SkyVision Solutions

Raising public awareness and finding solutions for smart grid issues related to invasions of privacy, data security, cyber threats, health and societal impacts, as well as hazards related to radiofrequency (RF) radiation emissions from all wireless devices, including smart meters.
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