Skip to comments.Growing Field of Smart Grid Technology Faces Opposition Over Pricing, Privacy
Posted on 11/13/2011 11:25:52 AM PST by Dallas59
The smart grid has been one of the most talked-about issues in energy policy. Experts and manufacturers of equipment and software have promoted the idea that smart meters could enable utilities to flip household appliances on and off to ease the load of summertime electricity demand and that the devices would help homeowners manage their refrigerators, lights and air conditioning, even controlling them remotely with cellphones, laptops or tablets.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The key phrase here, as in most of the articles on “smart grid” is DR or “Demand-Response”. Google it if you don’t know what it is.
DR is only one part of smart grid, but it’s the part most people might find disturbing. DR gives the utility company the ability to “respond” to periods of high demand by turning off your big electrical-consuming appliances, such as your air conditioner. Not forever, but maybe 10 minutes out of the hour, when no matter what you do, the A/C will not run. The theory is that by curtailing demand a little bit for everyone, they can reduce peak consumption and thus reduce the potential for black-outs.
We report, you decide is this is something you like and want the gov’t to allow.
Then we will see another government bureaucracy to divvy out permits for those who are deemed a concern for losing electricity....
“DR gives the utility company the ability to respond to periods of high demand by turning off your big electrical-consuming appliances, such as your air conditioner. Not forever, but maybe 10 minutes out of the hour, when no matter what you do, the A/C will not run.”
As bad as it sounds now, wait until the REAL enabling legislation gets implemented. For example, I can wire around any attempt by a utility to remotely cut off my existing air conditioner. I know where every wire is, and I know what every wire does. However, with the Smart Meters, they will still be able to tell that my house is running the AC, just by my real-time power usage. So my AC stays on even though the utility commanded it off. Something has to give - and what has to give is that the utility will have to get laws passed CRIMINALIZING my workarounds (i.e., tampering). That’s where things start to get really ugly.
That's true for me. I'm all for a smart grid that tells me when off-peak charges are lower and helps me monitor my overall energy usage -- just don't even think about turning my stuff off when you feel like it.
Let’s say the smart grid is implemented. We might save ten percent on our electricity expenses. All of the doomsday predictions (running out of energy, pollution ...) will still be there. All that will have changed is that a new doomsday scenario becomes possible: the complex grid will choke up because of a mechanical failure or hacking, and no one will understand what happened. Also, as someone said, it’s one more incursion of government into our lives.
Next thing they’ll do something similar to our cars: stop our engines for ten minutes during periods of high fuel demand.
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