Author Topic: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?  (Read 6007 times)

slackmax

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I'm in Pa and the electric company here says it will be replacing everyone's perfectly working electric meters with new "smart meters" that record more detailed information about your electricity  usage.   

I'd rather not have the "smart meter" but apparently it is mandatory (plus we have to pay for the new meters with an additional monthly charge of around $5 per month, increasing to around $10 per month eventually, even if we do not want them).

My questions:

Were you allowed to opt out? If so did they charge you a monthly fee to opt out?

Do you think the new meter is accurate?

Did you get an additional monthly charge for the cost of the new meter?

Were you forced to use a "time of day" pricing plan, in which you are charged more during peak hours?

Do you experience any static on your TV or radio or computer?


Thanks

(And No, I am not wearing my tin foil hat currently, but I have it ready!)   



 


 

brotatochip

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 06:30:15 AM »
I had mine installed last year (Pa here) and there is no additional charge on my bill and you cannot opt out.  I really like it because it has a digital read out so you can track your daily usage if you want.  It is spot on accurate.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 07:07:43 AM »
After getting one (in Texas at the time) we found that outages didn't last as long because they knew about them immediately and sometimes the fix seemed automated. I think I have one now because I can get by-the-hour electricity usage information. There are some time-of-day plans available in my area on PAPowerSwitch.com but they don't seem to be a good value.

abiteveryday

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 07:08:37 AM »
I'm in Pa and the electric company here says it will be replacing everyone's perfectly working electric meters with new "smart meters" that record more detailed information about your electricity  usage.   

I'd rather not have the "smart meter" but apparently it is mandatory (plus we have to pay for the new meters with an additional monthly charge of around $5 per month, increasing to around $10 per month eventually, even if we do not want them).

My questions:

Were you allowed to opt out? If so did they charge you a monthly fee to opt out?


Do you think the new meter is accurate?

Did you get an additional monthly charge for the cost of the new meter?

Were you forced to use a "time of day" pricing plan, in which you are charged more during peak hours?

Do you experience any static on your TV or radio or computer?


Thanks

(And No, I am not wearing my tin foil hat currently, but I have it ready!)


You can opt out for a fee because it costs more to send a person to read a meter than automatically report.   It is much more accurate than the electromechanical meter it is likely replacing, though to be fair the old one probably reads slow, not fast.   No extra charge, metering usage is just part of the utility's job.   They aren't free to the utility of course, and as the customer I'm sure you pay for it one way or another.    Unless a cell phone interferes with your radio, the meter won't.
I left time of use pricing for last.   I do not have that option, but wish I did.   What could be more awesome than actively shifting my load to get the best price on power?   Add in the potential for programmable devices, saving load until a set strike price is hit.   Sounds awesome to me.    Power doesn't cost the utility the same amount all the time, and if you have access you can take advantage of that predictable fluctuating.

andy85

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 07:33:34 AM »
My questions:

Were you allowed to opt out? If so did they charge you a monthly fee to opt out?
We recently began a pilot program which is currently only an OPT-IN program. There is no fee to opt-in or to remain on a standard meter

Do you think the new meter is accurate?
Yes, they are accurate

Did you get an additional monthly charge for the cost of the new meter?
Not directly, but it is built into the rate somewhere. I doubt you would ever see a line item for a smart meter fee. But most of these programs' costs are recouped through normal rate increases. I'd read your local rates and tariffs for detailed info.

Were you forced to use a "time of day" pricing plan, in which you are charged more during peak hours?
No. We have various rates for residential customers. All residential customers will typically be on (forced i guess??) our normal residential rate unless they want a time-of-day rate or have solar panels installed, in which case they are on a net metering rate.

Do you experience any static on your TV or radio or computer?
Nope.


Thanks


My answers above in red. I work for our utility company (and PPL in PA actually owns us). I've been involved somewhat with our smart-meter pilot program and currently have 2 of them on my house (1 house, 1 garage meter). We also have an online portal for anybody with a smart meter that will show you your usage down to 15 minute intervals if you wish. It is pretty cool. I really dont think there is any sense in fighting it....I'm not sure i see anything else other than smart electric meters in another decade. If the technology is up to par then they can be remotely read and remotely disconnected (we do not/can not utilize the remote disconnect feature). Also noted above, they help relay a ton of info about usage to better utilize resources and also outages. Quickly tracing and fixing outages is huge for utility companies and these meters will make it easier to pinpoint the circuit an outage is on.

forummm

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 09:06:08 AM »
In GA. Didn't try to opt out. Had no reason to. I don't think I'm being charged anything different for the meter. I have no reason to believe that the meter is not accurate. My bill didn't change. I was not forced to change to any TOU pricing plan. However, I did decide to do so because it makes a lot of sense for me to do that. I have 2 EVs and by charging them overnight (when they are just sitting in the garage anyway) I can charge them very cheaply. I have not noticed any static on my TV or computer. And the FCC wouldn't allow electric meters (or any other major radio communications device) to interfere with other devices.

Reynolds531

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 09:16:25 AM »
Here in Ontario we got them. No extra fee, but we stopped burning coal and erected a huge number of windmills and solar panels.

Now we have apparently the highest power rates in North America and businesses are fleeing the province. Oh and the carbon tax starts in January. My bill is already averaging 22 cents per kWh.

Rant over...

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 09:18:08 AM »
I've got one (new construction, that was about the only option), and it's nice.

I can monitor my power use on the power company website and see daily/hourly usage.  No time of use pricing - it might be available as an option, but I just don't care that much.

No interference issues or anything - they're signaling on the power lines.

My bill is already averaging 22 cents per kWh.

Ouch.

boarder42

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 09:25:03 AM »
i am getting one installed our utility installs them for free they have slowly been rolling them out and i was alerted this would be happening at my new house.  as all utilities should their OP cost savings of not having a guy drive around in a truck greatly out weigh the costs of the meters.

as far as the meter is concerned i'm super excited for it.  daily energy monitoring is awesome vs monthly.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 09:27:30 AM »
Not for electricity, but my town installed smart water meters, and they have never worked, so the utility just sends us a bill based on its guess of how much water we use.

I don't mind it now that I know, but for years they wouldn't cop to this, and so I spent I don't know how many hours checking my pipes for the leaks.

Now I just water the shit out of my yard and don't worry about it.

boarder42

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 09:30:12 AM »
Not for electricity, but my town installed smart water meters, and they have never worked, so the utility just sends us a bill based on its guess of how much water we use.

I don't mind it now that I know, but for years they wouldn't cop to this, and so I spent I don't know how many hours checking my pipes for the leaks.

Now I just water the shit out of my yard and don't worry about it.

you've got to be kidding.  utilities are regulated.  thats in violation of so many laws.

nereo

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 09:37:31 AM »
1) I don't know if we were able to opt out or not.  We didn't try to in any case
2) The meter appears very accurate.  I've spent a few days tracking various energy-sucks with Kill-a-watt style meters and even stuck a digital whole-house meter on my box to  try to chase down some power drains.  We've also seen a slight decrease in our energy usage since they installed it, which we attribute mostly to replacing some bulbs with LEDs and being more conscious of energy usage
3)  No additional charge.
4) No "time of day" yet (though it's been discussed).  We do get two rates per day, once we go over one rate we start being charged 3 more.  Most days we stay under that.
5) no static on our TV or computer.

Adding:  We've been really happy with the new smart meter.  Not only can we see daily consumption, but we can see hourly consumption (the smallest unit that's available to us online is 15 minute segments).  You can tell when someone comes home and turns the heat on or starts cooking or doing laundry.  It's also nice to see if there's some major power draw when you're not home (we had this... turns out it was a baseboard heater in our vented laundry room that had a stuck thermostat).  It's a very visual way for us to compare our energy usage and say "why the hell were we using so much power for this time period? ... oh yeah, your sister was here and took 30 minute showers and then blowdried her hair..."
I wouldn't want to go back to the old-school meter anymore.  If anything, I wish it would report consumption to-the-minute (making it much easier to chase down power draws).

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2016, 09:49:07 AM »
I just looked into this for Seattle. The local utility has been talking about doing this for a while, but it looks like they have a plan to start rolling them out next year. Their FAQ states that they do plan to have an opt-out available for an additional charge if you insist on having a person come out to your property to write down the number every couple of months.

I really am amazed at the level of tinfoil-hattery that some people have about these. Yes, smart meters do transmit data over the electromagnetic spectrum. Yes, it is technically correct (the best kind of correct!) to call the method of transmission "radiation." However the smart meters transmit on similar frequencies to all the other devices we already use on a daily basis (cell phones, WiFi, etc.), and at lower power levels! If you have any concern about the effects of smart meter transmissions on your health, you should already be living in the National Radio Quiet Zone in (West) Virginia, not in a city where you're already being inundated with radio waves at much higher power levels than the smart meters will provide.

forummm

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2016, 09:52:43 AM »
My bill is already averaging 22 cents per kWh.

Ouch.

I don't think that's that bad. First, it sounds like they are Canadian cents. So that's more like 17 USD cents. My bill in GA before I switched to TOU was about 12 cents. And we're about a third coal, a third nuke, and a third gas. And if we had any reasonable carbon tax in place, that would be at least 17 cents.

GuitarStv

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2016, 09:55:17 AM »
Nearly everyone in Ontario has a smart meter now.  To my knowledge you can't opt out of them.  No additional charge for the meter.  The meters were installed to implement TOU pricing.  We have shifted as much of our electrical usage to off peak times (doing laundry, most of our cooking, all air conditioning, etc.), but I think that overall electricity costs with the meter are higher because there are many things that you do which will draw power during peak times.  The meters appear to be accurate.

We've had no issues with static or weird communications problems at all.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 09:58:01 AM by GuitarStv »

Spork

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2016, 09:55:50 AM »
We've had smart meters more than 10 years around here.  And we had smart meters on our water meters where I used to live at least 15 years or more ago.


My questions:

Were you allowed to opt out? If so did they charge you a monthly fee to opt out?
Didn't ask.  Don't care.

Do you think the new meter is accurate?
There was a big kerfuffle here when they started getting installed.  Around here they tested them and found them "more accurate."

Did you get an additional monthly charge for the cost of the new meter?
No.  It's cheaper.  They can connect/disconnect remotely.  They can read meters remotely.  It's a win for the electric company.

Were you forced to use a "time of day" pricing plan, in which you are charged more during peak hours?
Nope.  There is an occasional incentive the other way.  "We'll give you a bonus on your bill this Friday between 2 and 5 if you use less than your average amount."

Do you experience any static on your TV or radio or computer?
No.


Thanks

(And No, I am not wearing my tin foil hat currently, but I have it ready!)

There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages:
Pro:
* Probably more accurate.
* cheaper for electric company
* my company gives me a little device that can read the meter.  I hacked it so I can read it from my computer/graph usage. 
* if you desired to hack the off-hours plans, it seems do-able.  You could try to do most of your high energy usage stuff at night.  (Clothes drying, bit coin mining, air conditioning, heating, baking, etc)

Con:
* There are some minor security concerns.  Someone somewhere can remotely get an idea what you're doing by watching your meter.  Experiments have even been able to determine what movie someone is watching by examining a movie-power-fingerprint database and comparing it to meter.
* Sometimes it's hard to explain problems to the call center.  I had my electric line/meter knocked off my house in a tropical storm.  I *COULD NOT* convince them to come out and fix it.  The dweeb at the electric company would ping the meter, see it was working and close the trouble ticket.  I eventually fixed it myself.

nereo

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2016, 10:00:36 AM »
My bill is already averaging 22 cents per kWh.

Ouch.

I don't think that's that bad. First, it sounds like they are Canadian cents. So that's more like 17 USD cents. My bill in GA before I switched to TOU was about 12 cents. And we're about a third coal, a third nuke, and a third gas. And if we had any reasonable carbon tax in place, that would be at least 17 cents.

We pay 7 (that's Canadian) here in QC, and 90% of it is hydro-power.  Much of what remains is wind... they've been adding turbines along the St Lawrence at a truly remarkable pace.  Most of the power that's generated is being sold to New England.

In a way it's unfortunate; power is so ridiculously cheap here that power consumption is not a big thing.  Office buildings are kept between 72-75F in the dead of winter, etc.

James

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 10:01:09 AM »
We do have a smart meter, I'm fine with that, although it really doesn't help us at all. Just sends out usage for billing, doesn't provide daily numbers or anything. Mine actually died yesterday, they didn't get a signal so they sent our a replacement. I had free power while it was out I think... :)

Blueskies123

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2016, 10:02:18 AM »
Why would you want to opt out?  Utility companies do not have to hire people to walk up to your house or look over a fence to read a meter.  An outage can be detected immediately.  Everyday utility workers have guns pointed in their face when they try to read meters.

Anther big plus is that they can cut off electricity to the deadbeats so I do not have to pay for their electricity.

forummm

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2016, 11:24:30 AM »
My bill is already averaging 22 cents per kWh.

Ouch.

I don't think that's that bad. First, it sounds like they are Canadian cents. So that's more like 17 USD cents. My bill in GA before I switched to TOU was about 12 cents. And we're about a third coal, a third nuke, and a third gas. And if we had any reasonable carbon tax in place, that would be at least 17 cents.

We pay 7 (that's Canadian) here in QC, and 90% of it is hydro-power.  Much of what remains is wind... they've been adding turbines along the St Lawrence at a truly remarkable pace.  Most of the power that's generated is being sold to New England.

In a way it's unfortunate; power is so ridiculously cheap here that power consumption is not a big thing.  Office buildings are kept between 72-75F in the dead of winter, etc.

Yeah, big hydro is super cheap once the dam is built. Lots of tech firms build their server farms next to hydro plants for that reason.

BigHaus89

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2016, 12:09:39 PM »
I'm in Pa and the electric company here says it will be replacing everyone's perfectly working electric meters with new "smart meters" that record more detailed information about your electricity  usage.   

I'd rather not have the "smart meter" but apparently it is mandatory (plus we have to pay for the new meters with an additional monthly charge of around $5 per month, increasing to around $10 per month eventually, even if we do not want them).

My questions:

Were you allowed to opt out? If so did they charge you a monthly fee to opt out?
It depends on the company's policies. Usually, there is a fee to opt out or you can only opt out until the whole system is deployed.

Do you think the new meter is accurate?
Yes. They are much more accurate than elctromechanical meters.

Did you get an additional monthly charge for the cost of the new meter?
Usually that is not the case. It is usually reflected in the cost per kwh, as are all operating costs.

Were you forced to use a "time of day" pricing plan, in which you are charged more during peak hours?
TOU pricing plans can actually be much cheaper if you are smart about when you use electricity.

Do you experience any static on your TV or radio or computer?
No, there should not be any interference regardless of metering technology.


Thanks

(And No, I am not wearing my tin foil hat currently, but I have it ready!)

I am an electrical engineer at a power company. I am responsible for deploying our new metering system among many other things. Answers are in bold above.

Also, these new metering systems, like Andy said above, provide a lot more data for the utility to use like diagnosing voltage problems remotely, remote disconnect/reconnect, faster outage response times and countless other things.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 12:12:32 PM by BigHaus89 »

slackmax

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2016, 07:45:27 AM »
I just looked into this for Seattle. The local utility has been talking about doing this for a while, but it looks like they have a plan to start rolling them out next year. Their FAQ states that they do plan to have an opt-out available for an additional charge if you insist on having a person come out to your property to write down the number every couple of months.



My current electric meter already has an automatic read done monthly somehow. No employee walking around  reading meters.             





Dicey

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2016, 08:30:56 AM »
Yes. Yawn. Any other questions? No? Okay, going back outside to play some more...

Seriously, sm, why are you worrying about this?

jac941

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2016, 09:11:37 AM »
We've had a smart meter for years. I love it! I can do so much cool tracking of my electricity use with it. It's fabulous!

1. Didn't try so don't know.
2. Yes.
3. No.

4. The smart meter allows the utility to provide rate plan options that people can hack and optimize for their scenario. This is a great opportunity that you miss with a standard meter. I love TOU.

We have 4 rate plans to chose from. 1 standard (not TOU) and 3 varieties of TOU. I have solar and chose the most aggressive TOU. In the summer during peak rates I pump energy into the grid during the "peak" hours during the day, I get compensated $0.38 / kWh (that's also what I'd pay if I were using more than my solar was generating). When I use power in the evening, I pay $0.15/kWh. It's awesome because I get to use 2 kWh for every 1 kWh my system produces. On a normal rate plan I'd be paying around $0.18 / kWh for tier 1 usage. The winter doesn't have peak rates like that so the impact is more minor. Our utility just discontinued this rate plan (likely because of solar customers like me), so no one else can get it and in 2020 or so I lose it and have to find another way to optimize my bill.

5. No.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2016, 09:42:39 AM »
My current electric meter already has an automatic read done monthly somehow. No employee walking around  reading meters.           

There's a difference between wireless meter reading (usually a truck driving around talking to meters within a few hundred yards) and a smart meter that's constantly keeping track of minute-by-minute power use and reporting it near-realtime.

geekette

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2016, 09:49:31 AM »
Not for electricity, but my town installed smart water meters, and they have never worked, so the utility just sends us a bill based on its guess of how much water we use.

I don't mind it now that I know, but for years they wouldn't cop to this, and so I spent I don't know how many hours checking my pipes for the leaks.

Now I just water the shit out of my yard and don't worry about it.
Wow.  We've had smart meters on our water for years, and they work great.  Helped my neighbor figure out he had a leak, since he could tell there was a small water draw every hour. 

We once had a stupid neighbor who complained that the water company didn't LET HIM KNOW he had a leak.  Dude, your bill kept going up and you couldn't figure it out yourself?

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2016, 10:08:08 AM »
I've had one installed for a number of years.

I like it, I can track my electricity use on an hourly basis, and I can notice the increase once I get up, etc.

Cassie

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2016, 04:45:34 PM »
Smart meters came here a few years ago and quite a few have caused fires. Enough so that it has made our news numerous times. If you opt out here you pay a fee.  The company that made them has also had problems with fires in other areas that they sold them.

CmFtns

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2016, 05:13:41 PM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 05:15:22 PM by comfyfutons »

slackmax

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2016, 07:51:48 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the replies! Lots of good information. 

nereo

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2016, 05:55:43 AM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.

Huh - hadn't run into the types who thought the smart-meter was poisoning them with radiation.
In California there was a very vocal group of crazies who insisted the smart meters were being used to 'spy' on citizens and in particular detect people who were growing pot inside.  Basically idea was the power company had algorithms to detect when large banks of grow lights would come on and off and the police would come arrest you. 
There was even a guy I met at the farmers market who sold homemade electronic times designed to randomize when grow lights would come on and off to 'beat' detection. ::eyeroll::


andy85

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2016, 06:04:09 AM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.

Huh - hadn't run into the types who thought the smart-meter was poisoning them with radiation.
In California there was a very vocal group of crazies who insisted the smart meters were being used to 'spy' on citizens and in particular detect people who were growing pot inside.  Basically idea was the power company had algorithms to detect when large banks of grow lights would come on and off and the police would come arrest you. 
There was even a guy I met at the farmers market who sold homemade electronic times designed to randomize when grow lights would come on and off to 'beat' detection. ::eyeroll::
you wouldn't believe some people. We have AMR meters (automated meter reading) that transmit a signal to a collector in a vehicle that drives around on that route or to a handheld a meter reader is using when walking his route...this allows us to not physically visit the meter. Several customers are convinced these electronic signals are evil and affecting their and their pet's health. I can only imagine the calls we will get when the smart meters begin to be more fully deployed.

and no, electric companies (at least not us) are not spying on you. We only strictly monitor consumption on our huge industrial accounts....for example, there is a stainless steel plant that has to time their plant startup during the summer months to the demand currently on our system or they could shut like our entire grid down. I'm talking customers with bills in the millions of dollars every month. However, i think (not positive, but this is what i've heard),that if law enforcement is suspicious, they can get a warrant and have us give them usage information about a particular house to see if anything looks suspicious.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 06:05:40 AM by andy85 »

CmFtns

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2016, 08:14:28 AM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.

Huh - hadn't run into the types who thought the smart-meter was poisoning them with radiation.
In California there was a very vocal group of crazies who insisted the smart meters were being used to 'spy' on citizens and in particular detect people who were growing pot inside.  Basically idea was the power company had algorithms to detect when large banks of grow lights would come on and off and the police would come arrest you. 
There was even a guy I met at the farmers market who sold homemade electronic times designed to randomize when grow lights would come on and off to 'beat' detection. ::eyeroll::
you wouldn't believe some people. We have AMR meters (automated meter reading) that transmit a signal to a collector in a vehicle that drives around on that route or to a handheld a meter reader is using when walking his route...this allows us to not physically visit the meter. Several customers are convinced these electronic signals are evil and affecting their and their pet's health. I can only imagine the calls we will get when the smart meters begin to be more fully deployed.

and no, electric companies (at least not us) are not spying on you. We only strictly monitor consumption on our huge industrial accounts....for example, there is a stainless steel plant that has to time their plant startup during the summer months to the demand currently on our system or they could shut like our entire grid down. I'm talking customers with bills in the millions of dollars every month. However, i think (not positive, but this is what i've heard),that if law enforcement is suspicious, they can get a warrant and have us give them usage information about a particular house to see if anything looks suspicious.

I'm talking about these people:
http://stopsmartmeters.org/why-stop-smart-meters/

Idonno if anyone else watched better call saul but it reminds me of the guy in that show who claims to have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 08:17:06 AM by CmFtns »

frugalnacho

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2016, 08:55:59 AM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.

Huh - hadn't run into the types who thought the smart-meter was poisoning them with radiation.
In California there was a very vocal group of crazies who insisted the smart meters were being used to 'spy' on citizens and in particular detect people who were growing pot inside.  Basically idea was the power company had algorithms to detect when large banks of grow lights would come on and off and the police would come arrest you. 
There was even a guy I met at the farmers market who sold homemade electronic times designed to randomize when grow lights would come on and off to 'beat' detection. ::eyeroll::

As long as you are paying for the energy you use they don't give two shits if you grow, or run a welding business, or anything.  In fact they probably love you for being such a great customer.

GuitarStv

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2016, 09:43:39 AM »
Most of the grow homes around here get someone to bypass the meter and tap directly into the line.  Their grow electricity is free.

Spork

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Re: Anyone Have a Smart Meter (House Electricity Meter) Installed Yet?
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2016, 11:21:50 AM »
It is a better device that is just as accurate if not more so and gives people many options for tracking energy usage... Please don't bring the crazy anti-smart meter people here who think their getting poisoned by evil smart meter radiation.

Huh - hadn't run into the types who thought the smart-meter was poisoning them with radiation.
In California there was a very vocal group of crazies who insisted the smart meters were being used to 'spy' on citizens and in particular detect people who were growing pot inside.  Basically idea was the power company had algorithms to detect when large banks of grow lights would come on and off and the police would come arrest you. 
There was even a guy I met at the farmers market who sold homemade electronic times designed to randomize when grow lights would come on and off to 'beat' detection. ::eyeroll::

As long as you are paying for the energy you use they don't give two shits if you grow, or run a welding business, or anything.  In fact they probably love you for being such a great customer.

I have heard cops I know talk about getting a warrant to look at meter data.  BUT... they're not just arbitrarily pulling meter data for everyone in the city.  They have a guy they're pretty sure is growing pot.  They already have evidence.  They just want more.