Smart Meter Deployments: Based upon Biased and False Assumptions for Providing Eco-Feedback to Consumers (Part 2)

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Smart Meter Enabled Eco Feedback ImageWhat if the billions and billions of dollars being spent to deploy so-called “smart meters” were found to be justified based upon biased and false assumptions?  Should consumers still be required to pay for smart meters that were erroneously promoted as being installed for their benefit, i.e., to help them manage their energy bills?

This article will demonstrate that based upon the latest research and under the most optimistic circumstances, consumers within the general population might reduce their energy consumption by only as much as 0.5 to 0.7 % if they have access to enhanced feedback from smart meters.

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Assessing the Prevalence of Bias in Studies Showing Savings Linked to Energy Consumption Feedback (Part 1)

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Smart Meter Enabled Eco Feedback BiasKey Article Point

Based upon the positive biases that are inherent in energy consumption feedback studies, there is considerable doubt on the validity of estimates that smart meters can deliver the promised energy savings.

Introduction

From a public policy perspective, smart meters are primarily promoted on the basis that they will result in consumers reducing energy consumption by providing them with feedback.  Continue reading

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Smart Meter Enabled Demand Charges: “No Way to Live”

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

High Smart Meter Bills and Demand ChargesProponents of smart meters justify them primarily based on assertions that consumption feedback to consumers will help them conserve energy in support of sustainability goals.  As stated in one study [1]:

“Smart meters offer possibilities for providing immediate and frequent feedback on household energy use via different means such as websites, mobile phones, and home displays [, and] it is important to study which type of feedback (e.g., financial, environmental, or social comparison feedback) is most effective to encourage sustainable energy behavior, and under which conditions these changes are most likely.”

In actuality, smart meters represent, at best, a “novelty” to the consumer and as reported by one recent study, “the interest in the meters wore off after a time” [2].  In addition, we have shown at this website that the vast majority of consumers will suffer a financial “net loss” with smart meters [3].

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Radiofrequency Radiation Boosts Cancer Rates in Animals, According to Federal Government Study

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions; Updated May 27, 2016

BrainAccording to Microwave News, results of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) have shown that exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation has resulted in statistically significant increases in cancer among male rats.  These rats were subjected to whole body exposure from RF signals as used for GSM and CDMA-type cell phones over a period of two years [1].

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Smart Meter Remote Disconnect: An ‘Unnecessary Risk’ for Significant Damage to the Grid

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Hacker with Smart Meter Interface to Remote DisconnectI have written numerous articles over the past couple of years describing how smart meters make the electric grid inherently less safe from a cybersecurity perspective.  In fact, in one article I recently stated that: “The most dangerous ‘feature’ included in the majority of smart meters deployed today is the remote disconnect option.” [1] Continue reading

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Occasional Catastrophic Digital Meter Failures ‘Worth the Risk’, According to Industry Executive

Smart Meter Fireballby K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

A utility industry document written in 2006 has been discovered that reviewed costs and benefits related to solid-state (digital) utility meters used for residential customers [1].  In that document, a senior vice-president for National Grid was quoted as follows:

“We lost several nights sleep worrying about catastrophic failures, but it was worth the risk.” [emphasis added]

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Increased Knowledge of ‘Smart’ Meters Leads to Unfavorable Views, According to Study

Negative Feedback on Smart Metersby K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Governments and corporations are forcing utility ‘smart’ meters onto consumers’ homes saying that they give consumers control over their own energy bills.  This propaganda-like message is quite misleading and more importantly completely ignores the tremendous financial, health, safety, privacy, and cybersecurity risks that smart meters impose on consumers and society [1].

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Little Justification for ‘Smart’ Meters Unless to Serve as “Crude and Heavy-Handed Price Mechanism” to Change Consumer Behavior

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Little Justification for Smart MetersThis article highlights the views of Stephen Thomas on the topic of smart meters.  Stephen Thomas is an Emeritus Professor for energy policy at the University of Greenwich.  Professor Thomas was featured as a guest on BBC Radio’s Money Box program on March 26, 2016 [1].  In addition, he has published a paper entitled, “Not Too Smart an Innovation: Britain’s Plans to Switch Consumers to Smart Electricity and Gas Meters” [2].

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Illinois Attorney General Issues Consumer Alert on ‘Smart’ Meters

Illinois AG Smart Meter Consumer Alertby K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued a consumer alert “urging Illinois residents to do their homework on smart meters – how they work, what type of data they collect, how the data can be used and if you authorize it, who can access it.” [1]

In an interview with WLS-TV of Chicago, Lisa Madigan said that:

There is a “lot of potential for consumers to be deceived.”

“There’s a possibility that [energy suppliers] will also be able to determine whether or not people are in the home.  There are some people that may not feel comfortable with sharing that information.” [2]

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Smart Meters: An Example of Surveillance Capitalism

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Surveillance Eye and CapitalismAn essay preview was given this month for a new book by Shoshana Zuboff to be published in 2017 dealing with the topic of “surveillance capitalism” [1] [2].  Giant corporations supported by government have created a new digital “subspecies of capitalism based in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior.”

“While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency.” [1]

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Questions Remain Unanswered Regarding Potential Health Effects Related to Smart Grid Technologies

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Health of the Body Image plus Smart MetersIn June and July of 2011, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosted two separate workshops related to the possible health effects associated with radiofrequency (RF) emissions from smart grid technologies.  In December 2011, EPRI published a report summarizing the results and findings from those workshops [1]. Continue reading

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The “Smart” Dryer and TOU Rates: A Stupid Idea on So Many Levels

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Smart Dryer Appliance ImageWithin the last couple of months I have posted comprehensive articles to demonstrate how consumers financially suffer with smart meters and that they are also financially and socially punished when subjected to Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity rates [1][2].

Those articles, although comprehensive, were somewhat broad in nature.  Let us take a closer look at one particular household appliance that is frequently touted by smart grid proponents, the “smart” dryer.  It is advertised that you can “save money” by using a smart tumble dryer in the late evening when electricity rates are low.  There is an inference that you would place your washed clothing in a smart dryer, go to bed, and the dryer would later turn on and complete its drying cycles while you were sleeping.  Before proceeding, let me present some common sense public service advice on tumble dryer safety:

Tumble Dryer Safety: “Occupants are advised to use tumble dryers and washing machines when they can be supervised.  Ideally they should not be switched on and left to run overnight whilst people are sleeping.  We would encourage people to switch off all electrical appliances when vacating the house and during the night to reduce the risk of fire in the home.” [3]

“Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.” [4]

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