Skip to comments.Happening now and I never even realised (power companies plans for gauging consumers)
Posted on 01/17/2014 12:12:07 AM PST by ransomnote
I spoke to someone yesterday that I have not seen since 1996. I met him at the Barbican in London, he was an Inventor and I was an inventor and we were both displaying products, i then met him a few months later at the Southampton Science fair and we went out for a few beers.
So he worked in electronics and when I met him yesterday he told me something that I could never imagine and still cant believe it but it does seem true as I did a couple of searches and thing are happening as he told me, anyway here is the conversation roughly how it went.
Hi hows things not saw you for ages what are you doing ( Im going to call him X so you know when he was talking)
X : doing ok keeping busy. Me: where are you working then.
X: I work in R& D developing the latest smart meters.
Me: Ive heard about them you run out of milk and your fridge orders you another pint from Tesco's.
X: ha ha' thats what they want you to think, i suppose if Tescos want to do that then they can but the power compaines have not invested £3.5 billion to make tescos money.
Me: So what is the point of them.
X: people are moaning about their eletric bills just now but they would give anything to get back to what they are paying now two years from now.
(Excerpt) Read more at abovetopsecret.com ...
Abovetopsecret makes Weekly World News look respectable. There’s probably about as much truth in that article as there is in the Bat Boy stories.
ransomnote: Way to feed us to the ad mill, jerk.
George Noory and Art Bell told me so!
Yea ? They put a new smart meter on my house 2 months ago my electric bill jumped 170 bucks just last month i hate to think what its going to be this month and were scrooges with electric !
Same here..I called them on it because there was no way my bill could be that high. Took a month or two but they fixed it back to “normal” use.
That meter probably has a time of use function that logs usage by the second, minute, hour. They could then just charge you more depending on what time of day it was and what their ‘load’ on the grid was. Look for the words ‘variable pricing’ in their literature.
What is worse here in Maryland the power company wants to put a control on your heat/air so that in periods of high load they can cut back your usage; ie turn the heat/air down. I told them to go fish
Remember the ones who used to come around and make the dogs bark. Now the electric and even some of the gas meter guys are gone and a ton of money was saved.
I just wish they had passed on the savings to us.
I can't accept the word of someone who doesn't understand that words mean things.
You wouldn’t make an acception in his case?
Know. Wood ewe?
X reads a little like Ulsterman
Smart meters report usage every 15 minutes. The idea is to bill higher for use during peak periods and lower during idler times.
Power generation isn’t like throwing a switch. If there’s a sudden surge in demand, the generators have to be started up, which takes time, or the additional power has to be purchased from someone on the grid who has excess. If there’s none immediately available, you brown out.
Electricity can’t be stored efficiently, so it must be generated on demand, and it takes a while to respond to spikes. So it’s not unreasonable for power companies to want to smooth out the demand curve. Smart metering is one way they’re doing that.
I’m not surprised. Went to a meeting Wed pm where folks from Empower Texas stated that our PUC (public utility commission) wants to allow power providers to bill based upon their CAPACITY to use rather than what the customer actually used. The power companies aren’t making enough.
I believe anything is possible - look what Enron did the year before they imploded. heating bills more than mortgage pmts. no refunds were given.
Deborah Tavares - Smart Meters at Oathkeeperss Meeting
Searching FR using “smart meter” turned up a list of articles
Smart Meters join ObamaCare in monitoring Floridas Serfs
Ironically-Named Smart Meters Prove to Be a Dumb Idea
“Smart Meter” search would turn up many results so narrow the search by adding + cost of energy.
The link below was posted on page 2 of the thread posted.
California Allows Power Companies to Charge Different Rates Throughout the Day in 2018
The smart meters are much more accurate long-term than the old EM (electromechanical) meters, because the electronics can better compensate for temperature, and there is no wear like there is in the EM meters.
The meters are calibrated for accuracy in the factory, and are spot-checked by the utilities. It is in their financial interest to have them accurate. So there goes the theory about them being used to raise your power bill.
The primary reason for smart meters, though, is to allow time-of-day-based rates ("peak shaving") in residences. If the power company can get updates every hour or so on what the (for example) A/C demand out in the 'burbs is doing to their line voltage, they will have better control over where and when to add auxiliary generation.
When they bring a generator online, it costs money. They don't do it until they absolutely have to do so to keep the power line voltages from sagging too far, which causes a brownout and causes motors and transformers to heat up.
There's FAR too much paranoia out there. It mostly because people don't understand the basic premise of electric utilities: power has to be generated as it's used, because there is no economically-sound way to store electric energy at the power levels the grid delivers.
Wrong. That was just a side effect.
(BTW, I'm still in smart metering, but in the water industry instead of electric & gas.)
A lot of those FR threads have voices of reason from the industry like me speaking, but we are shouted down by the paranoids who know nothing of the utility grid.
My meter simply broke and started to log 5 times the actual power use. I switched off every circuit except a 100W bulb in the crawl space and told them about it. Naturally they said it is not their problem, but my frige (or something) has gone bad and using too much power. Finally after a lot of calls and two bills that were about 5 times higher than normal, they came and replaced the meter.
I have no problem with things that make things more efficient, nor paying for usage with known rates for known periods of time (I will never accept a bill based on to-be-determined rates at questionable "peak" times). What I have a problem with is those in power who see this technology as an in to control the masses.
I think the most interesting twist is how power companies now want to charge customers higher rates for producing part of their own energy.
That is, if you spend $30,000 to install solar panels, and even put energy back in to the system to pay lower rates, the energy companies are now saying that you should have to pay *more* than other customers for the same energy.
Their rationale for this is that they have to provide all the energy infrastructure for everybody, so by paying less for energy, or not using as much energy, “it is like stealing” from the other customers who don’t.
Yeah, that is utter hooey. Importantly, zoning laws in many municipalities *require* that even if you produce *all* your own energy, you still *must* be connected to the grid, or else the property is “not fit for human occupation.” They use this same racket to require people to have a municipal water supply, and pay the fees for it, even if they don’t use it.
Not going to happen.
When too many people "sell back" power, the line voltage rises uncontrollably, because the generation is no longer balanced with the load. Even 20% of people doing that is enough to upset the apple cart and start popping breakers and reclosers all over the place.
Grid-tied power generation is a fantasy. People should be consuming the power they generate, not "selling it back" as if it were some commodity like corn that can be stored.
But an inaccurate meter is a violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and if they have too many of them for too long, they can be levied heavy fines DAILY by FedGov. I have PERSONALLY gone out on "verification" trips with the meter techs to meters at residences to ensure the accuracy of the meter register against the electronics. I know they do this.
But facts are too inconvenient for the unicorn fantasies of the "smart meters are so they can raise my power bill" crowd.
I read more of what person "X" had to say in the article, and I was struck by the question: "Is English a second language in England?"
I’m currently working a contract with a power company. Believe me, smart metering is the wave of the future.
People can caterwaul all they want, but if they want to contract with the utility for electric power (and that's what it is, a contract, not a constitutional right), they they have to accept the smart meter.
I quite agree. But there still needs to be strong enough batteries or capacitors to store energy long enough to be practical.
An alternative so good that it should be in large scale mass production right now is the use of flexible, thin sheet aerogel insulation. It would so lower energy consumption, especially for high consumption appliances, that using just solar energy and batteries would be very practical.
People can pie-in-the-sky about what should be all they want. There's no good way to store billions of kilowatt-hours of electrical energy. You can store water, and run it over a dam, but once converted to electricity, you can't store a billion kilowatt-hours. Just can't be done.
POWER COMPANIES, because they are necessary monopolies,are regulated by the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION and cannot charge more that the PSC allows.
Years ago, in a certain state, the electric lines were in poor shape. Electricity was “iffy” as maintainance was not done to keep service up.
The reason was some members of the PSC were elected on the promise to keep rates low. The only way the PSC could do that was to deny the electric companies any rate increases for line upkeep, so the lines were in bad shape.
When those members of the PSC finally retired, new members allowed a rate increase and the lines got the maintainance they needed.
Everyone seems to think that utilities are a “right”. No, you pay for them.
Our electric rates are the highest in Arkansas. Yet, when there is an ice storm, we lose less electricity because our higher rates keep the lines in good shape.
We were without power for three days, several years ago, when many other areas on other company power lines were out for THREE WEEKS.
Don’t get me wrong. I see the potential for abuse too, with the overbearing government we have today.
I have multiple battery banks and I am designing some relay circuits to charge them in turn, and when they are all charged I will dump my extra power into a resistive load to heat the house in winter. That's sort of a waste compared to selling it to the power company at full retail price, but I don't have a massive array to make that worth while, nor do I believe it is the right thing to do. In fact I think it is a scam: to sell unreliable power to the power company and be paid many times more than a reliable producer is paid.
The problem is that Edison lost (or won I forgot which) so we use AC instead of DC. But in fact I am switching to DC lighting, ceiling fans, etc. At some point I will get DC air conditioning and a DC fridge, but I'm not at that point yet.
I didn’t hit any ads at all and I did warn that I do not know the website, Charm-School-Dropout.
Two different points here. I am just focused on home energy use. I agree that putting energy back into a grid is stupid. But that being said, if a home becomes entirely energy self sufficient, it doesn’t need to be connected to the grid at all. So why pay for it?
>>Years ago, in a certain state, the electric lines were in poor shape.<<
Why the reluctance to name the state?
You are correct....and if the power companies were honest and trustworth that is how the meters would be used. Unfortunately they are neither and the smart meters will be used to find ways to pad the pockets of the power company executives and their crony’s....along with the politicians they buy off.