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Smart Meters

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3:17 pm
October 25, 2010


Adrian Gibbs

New Member

posts 1

Every home should be fitted with a smart electric meter.  This would allow:

a) a consumer to know how much electricity they were using, and when.  This information is essential for those who wish to control their energy use;

b) different electricity charges to be made at different times of day.  This would help overcome one of the principal drivers of present electricity costs;

The actual underlying cost of electricity production in Australia has been steadily declining for many years however the cost to consumers has been steadily increasing.  The major reason for the difference is, it seems, the cost of supplying peak electricity in the evening and morning every day, and also during cold and hot 'snaps'.  Thus a saving of electricity costs, and electricity itself, would acrue if the peak loads could be controlled.  This could be achieved by use of smart meters and differential charges for electricity bought at different times of day.

In Britain in the 1950s they had the same peak load problem and they had a scheme where one could buy elecricity 'off-peak' more cheaply than during 'peak' times.  So, for example, I bought electric thermal-storage heaters, full of bricks, that one heated using cheap 'off peak' electricity, and from which heat came 24x7.  I'm sure the same sort of device could be used to store cold.

c) load spreading when a significant proportion of electricity comes from solar.  For example solar electricity will be maximal in the middle of the day, not evening and morning, so load spreading by local storage of heat or cold in homes would help cut peaks, charging electric car batteries should be done in the middle of the day or at night, etc 

  I am amazed that there has been no discussion of electricity use modulation – it seems the electricity industry is only interested in producing and selling as much electricity as possible, whereas I believe that there should be incentives for the industry to decrease the amount of electricity that is used. 

12:25 am
November 12, 2010


Quetzal

Member

posts 60

Hi, I agree with smart meters. I heard an interview recently where someone was commenting this would very easy to introduce, technologically, now to most utilities here in Australia. It would assist many people to make wiser decisions about 'when' to use electricity and water. 

However, I don't see any real prospect of providing 'incentives' to utilities companies to phase out their core business. As much as people hate to hear this, the whole point of corporatising utilities has been to make them more efficient by allowing them to run as close to business like models as possible. Another objective, of course, was to remove the cost to the public purse of everyday running of what was once public corporations. This move to privatise and corporatise what once were publicly owned and run utilities has a long history in Australia, as it has overseas, and I don't see anyone realistically propose we return to the days of buying them up again. If anyone can remember what it used to be like, well these businesses were expensive for the taxpayer to run, the services were probably fairly good, but the number of public sector strikes involving some weren't the greatest. There's trade-offs, but I wouldn't be claiming some nostalgia for the previous model.

Businesses seek to make profit, otherwise they wouldn't be businesses. I see absolutely no sense in the government transferring funds to businesses to provide them with 'incentives' to get consumers to use less electricity etc. Of course they will try to sell more, that's what they need to do to survive. What governments might, and do, do is provide incentives for diversifying and switching the sources of energy used to produce that electricity – but still at the end of the day the electricity provider will want to sell more, rather than less, electricity. If we are to successfully wean ourselves off using too much water, too much electricity etc the best way to go is via pricing and information. It's via the consumer end of the equation. The smart meters would be an enormous advancement allowing consumers to make better informed decisions and choices. 

9:51 pm
December 7, 2011


Gabe95

Member

posts 3

I am being bombarded with emails from various sources re:
people not wanting them. This information came to me in one email.

1) Don't believe they will communicate with you before
installing. They have not done so consistently with others. That is why so many
have covered their meters to protect them.

2) The meters may emit for an "average" of one
minute total, with extremely strong signals that are only milliseconds long.
With 60,000 milliseconds in a minute, that is one heck of a lot of signals. And
it is these spikes which scientists say do the damage to our body's cells.
Modulations stress the cell walls leading to leakage, DNA damage, etc.

3) We have asked time and again for substantiation of the
claim that a 30 min. cell phone call equals 20 yrs. of smart meter signals.
They cannot provide any. I don't believe it — not from what experts have said.
Dr. Daniel Hirsch from the Univ. of So. Calif. says one smart meter emits more
radiation than many cell phones. Given Hydro's record of having and giving
accurate information, I tend to believe Dr. Hirsch rather than them.

4) As for the strength of the signal at 3 meters — not
credible when it is signaling. With such a low signal, how can it communicate
with a transmitter perhaps a mile or more away? To add to that, there are many
studies showing even 0.01 microwatts per square centimeter, which is the
correct measurement, not per square inch, can and does cause health effects.

5) As for the Planetworks Consulting — I doubt very much
that an independent firm would say that the meters are safe. They won't because
they can't. At "a radiofrequenccy" below limits??? Radiofrequency is
not controlled by Safety Code 6. This is the 900 MHz range that it transmits
on. It is the power density which is limited by Safety Code 6 — and it doesn't
apply to non-thermal radiation like that from smart meters.

6) As for privacy — don't banks encrypt their data? And
they get hacked. Doesn't the Pentigon take measures to protect its data? Yet
they get hacked. Wireless communication is notoriously easy for hackers to get
into.

 

7) Smart meters cannot detect what appliances are being
used, but the zigbee chip inside the meter can. Hydro has put zigbee chips into
the meters and when a person says he wants to know how much energy he is using
per minute, the chip will be activated. How else could you know? And when the
data is gathered for you, Hydro and anyone else will have the data, too.

 

From being an elder and living through so many things that
were found to detrimental for us after the fact. ( e.g. Thalidomide medicine
for morning sickness in pregnancy that later caused babies to be born with no
or deformed limbs. Also governments hiding reality, e.g. Not letting the
information out re: how much radiation the people in Japan are receiving after
the nuclear meltdown of Fukishima. I cannot have any faith that these meters
are also not detrimental — and if they prove to be it will be hidden from us.
(Though hard if we start getting sick.)

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