Questions You May Want to Ask Your Electric Power Company about Wireless Smart Meters
Introducing a new paper by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. …
Wireless “Smart” Meters are being installed on homes, buildings, and businesses by many electric power companies throughout the USA (and in many other countries), frequently on a mandatory basis. These new meters raise concerns about health, privacy, personal and cyber security, fire safety, and the cost of electricity, among other issues. Individuals, communities, and local and state governments are becoming increasingly aware of these concerns. The linked document written by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. suggests a starting place for questions you may want to ask your electric power company about Wireless Smart Meters.
The new document consists of fifty-four (54) questions and covers the following topic areas:
- Health Effects
- Privacy, Personal Security, and Control
- Cyber Vulnerability
- Equipment Damage
- Property Values and Property Taxes
- Opt Out Availability and Status
- Meter Options
The questions indicate areas where thorough analyses should clearly have been conducted prior to deployment of wireless smart meters. In many cases, one wonders whether the above topic areas were even remotely “considered” by utilities, let alone “analyzed.” Below is a selected listing* of the questions to ask your utility, and if the questions had been properly answered in the past, do you think we would still be talking about whether smart meters should still be deployed?
[* Note: The listing of questions provided below are selected quotations from the Powell paper but emphasis is added by this website’s editor.]
- Before deciding to install Wireless Smart Meters on, or inside, the homes, buildings, and businesses throughout your service area, did you produce an analysis to assure that the radiofrequency/microwave radiation from the Wireless Smart Meter System would be safe for your customers?
- Are you confident enough in your analysis — that the Wireless Smart Meter System is safe — that you are willing to give your customers a written warranty indicating that you will accept liability for health consequences that can be properly attributed to your Wireless Smart Meter System?
- In your analysis, for what purposes did you need highly time-resolved (“granular”) data on all electrical activities taking place inside every home, building, and business in your service area, 24 hours per day throughout the year?
- Did your analysis account for the possibility that your customers might feel that their electric power company does not have a right to collect, to store, to broadcast over the air (even if “encrypted”), and to post on a personal portal on the Internet (even if “secure”), data so detailed and so personal that it is sufficient to determine
- when they get up in the morning
- when they go to bed at night
- when they are at work
- when they are on vacation
- when they run each appliance or other piece of equipment in their homes, buildings, or businesses?
- In your analysis, why was installing a Wireless Smart Meter on every home, building, and business judged more important to reliability than improvements, to which the same dollars could have been applied, that affect entire communities or regions, such as
- burying power lines that are vulnerable to storm damage
- upgrading major equipment that delivers electrical power
- improving the monitoring of the health of the electrical power system at major junctions in the power grid?
- In your analysis, what justification did you find for concluding that the Wireless Smart Meter System would not increase the cyber vulnerability of the electrical power system?
- In your analysis, what was the rationale for believing that detailed data in kilowatt-hours from Wireless Smart Meters would motivate your customers more than their monthly bills in dollars to reduce electricity consumption?
- Have the objections of three State Attorneys General to Wireless Smart Meter Systems, based on their findings that the costs of those systems exceed any financial benefit to the customers, affected your assessment of the justification for those systems?
— Attorney General Lisa Madigan of Illinois; see http://lisamadigan.org/Newsroom/lisainthenews/item/2011-06-lisa-madigan-opinion-editorial-comed-experiment-too
— Attorney General George Jepsen of Connecticut; see http://www.ct.gov/ag/lib/ag/press_releases/2011/020811clpmeters.pdf
— Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan; see http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/docs/17000/0408.pdf
Click here for the complete document: Questions You May Want to Ask Your Electric Power Company about Wireless Smart Meters; or