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Smart Meters/Smart Grid. Kaye Beach Oct 21, 2011. What is a “Smart Meter”. Smart meters are digital devices that collect energy-use data and – unlike traditional meters – transmit and receive data, too.

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smart meters smart grid
Smart Meters/Smart Grid

Kaye Beach

Oct 21, 2011

what is a smart meter
What is a “Smart Meter”

Smart meters are digital devices that collect energy-use data and – unlike traditional meters – transmit and receive data, too

Smart meters are a new type electrical meter that will measure your energyusage, like the old ones do now. But, it will send the information back to theutility by wireless signal (radiofrequency/microwave radiation signal)instead of having a utility meter reader come to the property and manually do the monthly electric service reading.


Smart Meters DO NOT save energy. (People Do)

  • - their sole purpose is to change your behavior.
  • It is hoped that consumers will save energy through increased awareness of how much they use and that estimated bills will be eliminated.
smart meters

A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes.[7] Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting.

Smart Meters


What is Smart Grid?Smart Grid is the digital and Wi-fi enabled power meters that enable communication between the appliances in your home or business, with the power provider.

This provides you and your utility company with visibility of your energy usage and control over your appliances as well as your usage of gas and water.

  • The Smart Grid vision has three primary parts:
  • new communication and digital sensors and automation capabilities for the distribution and transmission systems;
  • (2) new digital metering systems for all customers;
  • and
  • (3) direct interfaces between the new metering systems and customers through in home technologies.
smart appliances
Smart Appliances
  • On the heels of the Smart Meters come the deployment of smart appliances. These will affect ALL of us.  Your household appliances will be equipped with chips that allow your appliances to communicate with the smart meters, and if you buy into the "automated" plan, then the utility company will be able to control your usage if it wants or needs.  The plan is to penalize those who don't buy into the "automated" system by charging them with higher rates. 
smart home energy monitor
Smart Home Energy Monitor
  • In addition, in order to make the wireless smart meter effective with your smart appliances, smart grid energy efficiency proponents say you'll need a smart Home Energy Monitor  also installed in your home that will help you monitor which appliances are using how much energy and when and at what rate so you can modify your usage patterns.  Is your utility company making the  device optional or mandatory? 

Energate’s smart thermostats bring demand response to Oklahoma

Sept. 28, 2011

Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) is moving ahead with plans to launch a residential demand response program in 2012.

The initiative is aimed at reducing peak energy demand, as well as the need to build new power plants to meet demand. The utility will work with smart-grid firm Silver Spring Networks and demand response technologies provider Energate to roll out the program. Energate will supply smart thermostats through Silver Spring.

Energate’s in-home technologies let customers program their use preferences based on peak pricing signals sent from utilities. Some 40,000 residences are expected to see Energate’s smart thermostats and accessories installed as part of the 2012 rollout.

a global plan
A Global Plan
  • Smart meters are part of a new global plan to upgrade the world electrical grid to a Smart Grid and reduce energy consumption.
smart grid global
Smart Grid-Global

Going Global

In addition to the United States, Smart Grid is being implemented in both Canada and Mexico. Planners are working on standards that will integrate all of North America into a single, unified Smart Grid system.

Moreover, there is a serious initiative underway to create a Global Smart Grid that will integrate all the continents on the globe!

The Global Energy Network Institute (GENI) presents this Dymaxion (tm) Map of the world from the perspective of the North Pole that reveals the global grid currently under construction. The only part of planet earth left untouched is Antarctica. The yellow lines represent high-voltage electrical transmission links that are capable of transferring large amounts of energy from continent to continent.

  • Technocracy is government by scientists, engineers and experts.  The endgame for Smart Grids is control through measuring and monitoring your every move.  Patrick Wood explains in detail the history and intent of Technocratic control and an economy based on resources.  Technocracy through Smart Grids can only exist as long through measuring and monitoring individuals and a persistent belief in the global warming fairy tale.  Wood's articles can be read here:
smart grid stimulus
  • On Oct 27, 2009 President Obama announced that the Department of Energy awarded $3.4 billion in stimulus money to 100 smart-grid projects.
  • Each project had come up with its own matching funds which put the investment at over $6 billion. The Dept. of Energy estimated that the awards will result 18 million homes getting the smart meters which will allow for the conversion to the Smart Grid.
og e 2009 oklahoma pre approval
OG&E 2009 Oklahoma Pre Approval
  • “Why is OG&E requesting pre-approval to move forward with Company wide deployment before the Norman Project (Phase I) is completed ?”
  • Answer-A window of opportunity was created for further deployment in 2009, with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) ,which contained an estimated $3 .4 billion in stimulus grant funding for Smart Grid investment.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s smart grid program

Oklahoma Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, began deploying smart grid technology in 2010, starting with smart meters. As of September 2010, approximately 100,000 meters are installed.

The company plans to install smart meters for all of its almost-800,000 customers by the end of 2012.

og e smart meter oklahoma
OG&E Smart Meter Oklahoma
  • In July 2011, OG&E got approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to roll the smart meter program out to all of its customers in the state.
  • The company expects to spend about $360 million on the project, with about $127 million of that coming in the form of stimulus funds earmarked for smart grid projects.
cost not justified
Cost Not Justified
  • CT Attorney General George Jepson states;"Connecticut Light & Power Co.’s plan to replace existing electric meters with advanced technology would be very expensive and would not save enough electricity for its 1.2 million customers to justify the expense"

The current at the plans for smart meters all over the nation will not save enough money or energy to be worth it however, we should expect rates to increase by the way of “critical peak pricing” sometime in the future


From the Wall Street Journal Feb 22, 2010“What Utilities Have Learned From Smart-Meter Tests...And why they aren't putting those lessons to use”

Preventing Rebellions“You could have a real rebellion" if smart meters push up customers' rates, especially if utilities' other capital expenses are increasing”

. . .utility executives and regulators have been reluctant to implement rate plans that penalize people for too much energy use, fearing that if customers associate smart meters with higher bills, they will stall the technology's advance just as it is gaining traction.So, many utilities are trying an approach that is less controversial, but also less effective. . .

Steven Sunderhauf, a program manager for Pepco. "From a purist's standpoint, I may prefer critical peak pricing because it gets the boldest response…but using rebates will help people get comfortable with smart meters

peak pricing
Peak Pricing
  • All indications are that “peak pricing” will be implemented at some point after we get used to the meters.
  • Customers will have to pay much higher prices for using the same energy during certain hours.
  • This would hit businesses, the poor and elderly the hardest.
peak pricing1
Peak Pricing
  • Results showed that people responded most whenthreatened with the 75-cent-per-kwh peak pricing. Those customers cut their overall energy consumption between 22% and 34%, depending on whether they also had programmable thermostats that could automatically change temperature settings. Customers offered rebates reduced their usage 9% to 15%—again, with the deeper cuts among those who had smart thermostats.


  • PUGET SOUND ENERGY: Mandatory TOU prices for all residential customers abandoned in 2002 when analysis showed negative cost benefit and higher, not lower, customer bills
    • Customers with most adverse bill impacts: multi-family and mobile homes
  • MAINE: Mandatory TOU prices for high use electricity customers made voluntary with onset of restructuring and widespread customer dissatisfaction in face of higher electricity prices
    • Elderly customers in newly built multi-unit condos and senior and low income housing complexes most adversely affected and without alternative options
  • NEW YORK: Previous efforts to push for Time of Use pricing resulted in state law that prohibits such time-based pricing except as voluntary options.
  • Many utilities offer Time of Use rate options to residential customers using interval meters; little customer interest
  • RESTRUCTURING STATES: Most abandoned mandatory TOU and other rate design structures associated with generation supply management and assumed that the competitive market would provide such products.


issues concerns
  • Choice-Do we have one?
  • Health and Safety
  • Privacy
  • Accuracy
  • Security
do we have the right to refuse
Do we have the right to refuse?

The Public Service Company who is installing the meters in Owasso says no.

Can a customer opt out of the program if the new meter is not wanted?“No, in order to reap the full benefits of AMI from an operational and cost standpoint, AMI needs to be fully deployed throughout the project area. In turn, our operational structure is changing to support the new technology and work practices.”

OG&E customers are also told they have no choice and are being threatened with service disruption if they do not allow installation

no federal mandate
  • The federal government has set goals for states and utilities to upgrade their electrical grids, and has awarded $4.5 billion in grants to encourage this.  However, the federal government does not mandate the installation of smart meters, or even wireless smart meters.
  • On February 1, 2011, press officer Thomas Welch of the U.S. Department of Energy press officer responded to questions about whether the federal government has made the installation of wireless smart meters mandatory.  He wrote:
  • No.  The Federal government, including DOE, does not have any role in regulating the installation of smart meters, nor does it have a policy about the mandatory adoption of smart meters.
two views
Two Views
  • The following are the two charts that seek to compare microwave radiation from smart meters to cell phones, microwaves and other devices.  

The first is from the CCST report- taken directly from EPRI- an energy industry front group.

health impacts of radio frequency from smart meters
Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”

by Daniel Hirsch

31 January 2011

This one is from Mr. Hirsch’s study (pdf), corrected for whole body, cumulative exposure.

dirty electricity
Dirty Electricity
  • Dirty electricity or electric pollution is another danger that can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and suicide.  Dr. Sam Milham, author of 'Dirty Electricity', is a physician and epidemiologist who has studied this issue extensively.  You can read his recent papers about the health effects of dirty electricity at his website Sam
  • Safety HazardsThere are many reports of electrical fire hazards associated with smart meter installation and at least a couple of class action lawsuits have been filed by consumers.-Smart Meter Fires and Explosions

The FCC was assigned by the Environmental Protection Act of 1969 to protect our health from microwave radiation from wireless transmitters like cell towers, WiFi and Smart Grid units.

US safety standards for wireless exposures are now among the weakest in the world.

“The FCC does not have the expertise to evaluate whether the standard (RF safety limits) is appropriate.”

(Julius Knapp, Director of FCC Office of Engineering and Technology in response to Congressman Kucinich’s question whether the FCC’s RF safety standards are appropriate to protect children and vulnerable adults and others at Sept. 25, 2008 Congressional Hearing.)


The Canadian Green Party has reversed its position on smart meters due to health concerns.


There are many advocacy groups formed that center on the health implications of the smart meters/smart grid. Here are just a few;

Smart Meter Safety EMF Safety Network for Safe Technology

the more you know

The more people know about smart meters, the more likely they are to worry about the impact those meters will have on their privacy, according to a new study by the Ponemon Institute, a research organization based in Traverse City, Mich.

The More You Know…
dark side of a bright idea
Dark side of a bright idea

Utility companies, by gathering hundreds of billions of data points about us, could reconstruct much of our daily lives -- when we wake up, when we go home, when we go on vacation, perhaps even when we draw a hot bath. 

They might sell this information to marketing companies -- perhaps a travel agency will send brochures right when the family vacation is about to arrive. 

Law enforcement officials might use this information against us ("Where were you last night? Home watching TV? That's not what the power company says … "). 

Divorce lawyers could subpoena the data ("You say you're a good parent, but your children are forced to sleep in 61-degree rooms. For shame ...").

A credit bureau or insurance company could penalize you because your energy use patterns are similar to those of other troublesome consumers.   Or criminals could spy the data, then plan home burglaries with fine-tuned accuracy.

possible consequences on privacy
Possible Consequences on Privacy
  • Identity Theft
  • Determine Personal Behavior Patterns
  • Determine Specific Appliances Used
  • Perform Real-Time Surveillance
  • Reveal Activities Through Residual Data
  • Targeted Home Invasions (latch key children, elderly, etc.)
  • Provide Accidental Invasions
  • Activity Censorship
  • Decisions and Actions Based Upon Inaccurate Data
  • Profiling
  • Unwanted Publicity and Embarrassment
  • Tracking Behavior Of Renters/Leasers
  • Behavior Tracking (possible combination with Personal Behavior Patterns)
  • Public Aggregated Searches Revealing Individual Behavior

Read more from EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center

aggregate data vs granular data
Aggregate Data vs Granular Data
  • When the meter reader used to come to the house and record your electrical usage, it was aggregate data. There were really no privacy issues and the electric company was considered the owner of that information.
  • Now the utilities can detect occupancy, when you home or away, when you are sleeping or awake, and when and what appliances you are running.
  • This is granular datathat can be used to track your whereabouts and habits.
smart meter data
Smart Meter Data

Granular Smart Meter data: Energy usage over time from Data Access and Privacy Issues Related to Smart Grid Technologies, Megan J. Hertzler, Assistant General Counsel, Xcel Energy

valuable data
Valuable Data

Entities that may seek personal customer information include:

  • energy companies seeking toimprove service or sell information for profit,
  • third-party marketers,
  • law enforcement agenciesinvestigating possible criminal acts,
  • insurance companies seeking to identify unhealthy behaviors in orderto adjust rates,
  • criminals attempting to perpetrate illegal acts,
  • researchers looking to create new energy related studies
marketing and law enforcement
Marketing and law enforcement

From EFF

  • Marketing companies will also desperately want to access this data to get new intimate new insights into your family's day-to-day routine–not to mention the government, which wants to mine the data for law enforcement and other purposes.
the fourth amendment
The Fourth Amendment

The threats to privacy connected to smart meters lie primarily within the concepts of a right to be left alone

within one’s home and the right to control personal information.

The first right is embedded in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

control over disclosure of personal information
Control over disclosure of personal information
  • The second right—to exercise control over the disclosure of personal information— has been discussed by a number of legal scholars.22 The U.S. Supreme Court also recognized this right in 1977 in Whalen v. Roe.23
  • Smart meters can compromise both of these rights.

Privacy Implications of Smart Meters By Cheryl DanceyBalough, Balough Law Offices, Chicago, Illinois, 2011

who owns the data
Who Owns the Data?
  • “. . .the consumers are the ultimate owners of their energy consumption data.” And“the customer must own her or his home energy usage data, have
  • consistent access to that data for personal review in a usable format, be fully informed of what data is flowing to and from the meter, to whom the data is flowing, and with what frequency the data is communicated.”
  • Once data is transferred to third parties, the genie is out of the bottle so to speak and once out, it cannot be put back. This is why consumers must retain as much control over sharing and use of smart meter as possible
who owns the data1
Who owns the data?

Utilities traditionally own meter data and can use it for a variety of purposes within limits. But smart meter data is qualitatively and quantitatively different than the data collected by traditional meters which only collected the total consumption by kilowatt hours of electricity on a monthly (or even less frequent) basis.

It all boils down to control. Who ultimately gets to decide how a customer’s data is used?

The Department of Energy states;

There also seems to be a broad consensus on perhaps the most critical question in the context of Smart Grid technologies: who should control the extent to which third parties should be able to access CEUD for innovative purposes other than the provision of electrical power?

On this question, almost all proponents of both consumer-ownership rights and consumer-access rights agree: Consumers should decide whether and for what purposes any third-party should be authorized to access or receive CEUD.

third party access opt in
Third Party Access- Opt In
  • Explicit opt-in authorization should be required to release customer data to another company or party.
  • Customers should be told how their data will be collected and what it will be used for.

With “opt-in” arrangements, the customer initiates the contact with the service provider and approves sharing the usage data with outside third parties

texas statute
Texas Statute

In Texas, lawmakers chose to specify ownership of all meter data in favor of the consumer.

Texas Utilities Code 39.107(b)

All meter data, including all data generated, provided, or otherwise made available, by advanced meters and meter information networks, shall belong to a customer, including data used to calculate charges for service, historical load data, and any other proprietary customer information.

Texas also requires written authorization by the customer before permitting a third party access to their data.

hb 1079
HB 1079

Oklahoma passed a bill last session that outlines how this revealing data is shared

The purpose of this bill is “to establish standards to govern the access to and use of certain electric utility usage data by electric utilities, customers of electric utilities, and third parties.”

This is not a customer data protection law. It is a consumer data access law for the utility companies.

Read the bill

hb 10791
HB 1079

HB 1079 authorizes OG&E and other utility providers in the state the right to share your meter usage data, without your consent, to various third parties for purposes of;

“development, enhancement, marketing, provision of energy-related products and services or promotion of public policy objectives.”

That covers just about every purpose under the sun.

Data use for purposes that are directly related to billing and service is one thing. The utilities and their contractors need data for billing, providing services required by law, or to implement programs directly related to the provision of those services. But “marketing, development, and promotion of public policy objectives” may fall into the category of secondary purposes and seems to throw the privacy barn door wide open.

The Electric Usage Data Protection Act will go into effect on Nov 1, 2011.

  • -‘Smart’ meters have security holesFlaws could allow hackers to tamper with power grid, reseachers say
  • CIA Director James Woolsey calls Smart grid “Stupid” due to National Security problems caused by so-called smart meters.

PG&E acknowledges SmartMeter problems

April 26 2010

"We have found eight meters out of the 5.5 million meters that we installed where there is an issue with the actual meter accuracy," said Burt.

However, under intense questioning from Sen. Dean Florez, D-Kern County, PG&E confirmed there have been other problems. For example, 9,000 of its SmartMeters have not communicated energy usage back to PG&E, more than 11,300 SmartMeters simply failed to work and another 23,000 SmartMeters were installed improperly.

  • April 24, 2010
  • Two major utilities in Texas have confirmed that some customers received inaccurate and sometimes inflated bills after turning to SmartMeters to measure their energy usage.
  • Hundreds of consumers have blamed SmartMeters for overcharges and sudden spikes in their bills.
  • "It's a software glitch," says Floyd LeBlanc with Centerpoint. "We found the software glitch and corrected it."

n Texas, numerous media outlets trumpeted the results of Oncor’s smart meter accuracy testing, saying the meters were accurate.  One Texan decided to read the report and found the accuracy wasn’t so perfect after all.  This website is one page full of well-cited documentation of smart meter inaccuracies.

blowback and opposition
Blowback and Opposition
  • The growing opposition against wireless smart meters is uniting Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, environmental health advocates, green-advocates, civil libertarians, independents and Tea Party members.

usa blowback
USA Blowback
  • Excessive rate increases led to lawsuits in California and Texas.

• California Public Utilities Commission has received more than 2,000 health complaints.

  • As of Sept 2010, 18 cities and 3 counties have demanded a halt to the SmartMeter program, citing peer-reviewed studies that suggest possible serious health consequences.
  • Hawaii Public Utilities Commission rejected SmartMeters
  • Maryland's Public Service Commission rejected the SmartMeter Program because of "significant financial and technological risks" and "savings that are largely indirect, highly contingent and a long way off.”
  • New Mexico Gas is honouringmedical waivers



In some states, utility companies have been persuaded to allow customers to opt out.

PG&E Submits Smart Meter Opt-Out, But Wants to Charge for It

Maine Utilities Must Offer Consumer a Smart Meter Opt Out

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is requiring Central Maine Power (CMP) to offer an opt-out program for customers who do not want a standard smart meter installed. Power consumers in CMP’s service territory will have two opt-out options: they can get a smart meter and have its transmitter turned off or they can retain the existing analog meter

maine may 25 2011
Maine May 25, 2011
  • as a “landmark” case that represents the first time any state had ordered an electric utility to permit customers the choice to opt out of a smart meter program
  • They proved that because of unresolved concerns relating to health, privacy and cyber security resulting from the installation of wireless meters on their homes, customers should have a choice concerning the installation of those meters.  
  • Smart grid technology rollout stalls in HawaiiHawaii regulators scuttle plan for expanded rollout of smart grid technology HONOLULU (AP) -- "Hawaii regulators have rejected plans for a broad expansion of smart grid electric technology that would have been paid for by residents and businesses. Hawaiian Electric Co., the state's primary utility, had envisioned a $115 million smart grid project reaching 451,000 locations on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. But the utility's proposal fell apart when the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Monday denied a request for expanded testing of the technology on Oahu. The "smart grid" concept relies on installing new electric meters that can wirelessly communicate with the utility, allowing it to better distribute power and handle additional renewable energy."

Smart meters not to be compulsory in Netherlands

The Hague, Netherlands --- (METERING.COM) --- April 14, 2009 - 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.

. 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.

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

oklahoma reports
  • 912 646 1984

September 21, 2011

Smart Meter installment began with little warning in some areas of Oklahoma. Since February of 2010 OG&E has already installed 350,000 smart meters. They plan on installing smart meters for nearly 800,000 customers by the end of 2012.

Edmond residents are getting the jump on them and have started a petition drive to allow customers to have a choice in the matter.

From News 9 published Sept 19, 2011

EDMOND, Oklahoma — A group of concerned citizens from Edmond are asking Edmond Electric to avoid a Smart Meter System.

The Smart Meter System is the newest technology available for electric companies. The system is designed to track a customer’s use of electricity without sending a utility worker to review each meter.

Edmond Electric believes the system could help with overall cost and energy efficiency. Not everyone supports the move.

Don Powers is an attorney in Edmond who believes the Smart Meter System is not a smart idea.

  • Read more 

If you are an Edmond Electric customer and would like to have a say in the matter you can read and sign the petition online here

opposition what others are doing
Opposition -What others are doing
  • People across the country are taking action to stop unwanted installation of smart meters on their homes and businesses. Some have gotten a moratorium on installation of the new meters declared by their city.
  • Residents usually developed a petition, gathered signatures and lobbied their city council to get the issue considered.
  • If you are opposed to having a smart meter installed you should contact your utility provider and notify them that you are requesting that it not be installed.
  • Follow up with a certified letter.
  • Some customers have applied DO NOT INSTALL stickers or signs on their analog meters and/or have taken steps to secure them by locking them up.

Smart Meter Refusal Letter to your energy provider


Oklahoma Corporation Commission

how to stop smart meters
How to Stop Smart Meters


If a utility company installed a Smart Meter on your

property or residence, you can do something about it.