Skip to comments.AEP Picks Northland for 'Smart Meters' Project (Columbus, OH)
Posted on 02/09/2010 6:58:05 AM PST by Kimberly GG
"The diversity of the Northland area is why the conglomeration of neighborhoods was chosen for an AEP Ohio demonstration project that calls for the installation of 110,000 "smart meters."
The meters not only enable the company to bill customers for their power usage, but could allow customers to control the amount of their bill.
An AEP customer service representative gave a presentation on the "gridSMART" project at last week's meeting of the Northland Community Council.
Virtually all of the Northland area was included in the pilot program that covers 150 square miles and encompasses parts of Columbus, Gahanna, Whitehall, Bexley, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Blacklick, Johnstown, Alexandria and Pataskala.
The mix of customers in that region of central Ohio, including residential, commercial and even industrial, as well as diverse demographics is why it was chosen for the test, according to Gregory S. Griffith of AEP Ohio.
The new meters, which replace some that have been in use for up to 70 years, have two-way communication abilities that were not even dreamt of a decade ago, Griffith told the NCC members. The digital meters have radio transmitters that send signals to receivers on utility poles, which then send information to AEP Ohio over a secure Internet protocol network.
Among other things, the new meters are able to immediately pinpoint the location of outages to power company personnel.
"We'll get the trucks right out there and we won't have to look for it," Griffith said.
The installation of the new meters, part of a $150-million project that includes $75-million in federal stimulus money, got under way in mid-December and will continue through March.
"Everybody's meter is going to be replaced," Griffith said.
The goal of the pilot program is to reduce energy consumption in general, and during peak hours in particular, or enough to power 1,800 homes, according to information handed out at the NCC session. This also will enable AEP to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
Eventually, according to Griffith, customers will be able to log onto a Web site and look at their power usage on an hourly basis, at what he termed a "granular level."
The hope is that some of those customers will be willing to shift their lifestyles sufficiently to move more of their electricity consumption to the off-peak evening and weekend hours.
Those voluntarily agreeing to do so, Griffith said, would be charged a lower rate, or "tariff," for their usage during those hours.
Customers will not be charged any more for the meters than the amount they are paying for their current ones, Griffith said.
Once the new meters are in place, they will communicate power consumption, eliminating the need for meter readers.
"That's a good thing and a bad thing, I guess," Griffith said. "There will be no one in the field taking readings."
One of those in attendance at last week's NCC meeting suggested few people would be likely to bother to go online and monitor their hourly usage of electricity.
"It's going to be an effort to educate customers," Griffith said.
The gridSMART project is testing 13 field technologies, products and services, according to the handouts.
"The northeast central Ohio area was chosen because it provides an ideal proving ground for this demonstration," the handout states."
Big Brother is making his big move on my dime-—and I live nowhere near Ohio!
Central Ohio has been owned by big brother since the early 1990’s. Actually, it is closer to Huxley’s Brave New World...they line up for Soma here...
Ohio ping list please!
Cables are easily cut. Just sayin'.
First: these meters make it possible for the nanny state to impose specific usage restrictions on individual utility customers. In a normal residential situation, all the utility can see is the total demand from a number of customers who share a common feed. Now, they will be able to tell when your AC kicked on. This invites intervention to keep you from purchasing power for a variety of reasons. It is one thing when the utility is attempting to manage its load so as to deal with equipment limitations. It will be another thing entirely when it is for reasons that are rooted in liberal policies or what is considered policically correct.
Second: how long before someone hacks this network, either to “wiretap” the usage of their neighbor or to send rouge commands, such as to trigger load shedding equipment that turns off a specific customer’s hot water heater or AC? Of course, “strong laws” will forbid this. And of course, “strong laws” cannot endure that nobody will ever be the victim of such hacking.
For some reason they left out the part about being able to shut off your electricity without having to pay you a visit. We already use some of these in our low-income areas that tend to forget to pay their bills.
You can bet some foreign powers already have teams of hackers reverse engineering these wonderful devices, just in case they might need the soft bombs. ;^)
Yep, its another move in Big Brother’s incremental invasion of your home. Not too many people will protest so it will get done. Next step is hooking up appliances so they can only be operated at certain time intervals. “Its for the environment”
Eventually all your utilities, including internet, television service, etc., will be bundled together and controlled/monitored by Big Brother. Will we have to do our exercise before the big screen?
That car commercial on the superbowl, was it really just a joke?
For some reason they left out the part about being able to shut off your electricity without having to pay you a visit. “
yeah, the author left out that tidbit. I e-mailed him to ask why? I’ll post a response if I get one ;)
There was a similar program in the late 1980s with the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company for owners of all electric homes.
It involved some sort of clock/electric meter combination that earned the customer an extra discount if he moved much of his electric use to off peak hours.
The meter would penalize the customer if he used too much power during peak usage times.
A co-worker of mine was on the plan and his wife was doing all of their laundry after 8 PM as well as giving the kids baths after 8 PM.
The electric meter was ruling their lives.
“No suggestion was raised at all about the possibility of utility control of customer usage.
ThisWeek Community Newspapers”
Apparently, the question wasn’t posed either.
I worked for the power company for over 5 years and they always preached about how they had no money. Lay everyone off and then cry because they could not get work done and then re-hire that many more people back in. Not even in the order of the Union books, but the same people.
The meters that are going in have major implications for hackers to kill power to entire neighborhoods. All they would have to do is take out the transmitter inside the meter and use it to gain the right signal.
They always say that something is Not possible and then someone goes and hacks it, weather it is just for their own enjoyment of malicious intentions... Only time will tell I guess.