Smart Meters: Friend or Foe?

A couple months ago, I got a few calls from our electric company.  They were offering a program called “Simple Saver” for those who wanted it.  They offered a one time credit up front [after the installation of your direct load switch(s)], and then an annual credit of so much for each appliance that you enrolled (a/c unit, pool pump or water heater).  It sounded good. It sounded nice…and I was almost convinced.  But then I started thinking……When I asked questions about the program and it’s purpose, the lady on the phone told me that at times of peak power use, if there was a lot of strain on the grid, then they would be able to turn back the thermostat somewhat.  I told the lady that I would look into it, talk to my husband about it, and then make a decision.  I later decided not to get the installation of the product.
After reading up on this product, I’m glad I didn’t.  This program seems to be marketed different ways but, from what I’ve seen, is basically what many people refer to as a smart meter.
People who oppose the smart meters, do so for various reasons. Like  the “Stop Smart Meters” website, where it says “Fighting for health, privacy and safety”.  Check out their site StopSmartMeters.org to see a little more about the recent news in this debate.
Some of the questions I have in my mind about this topic (starting from least to greater) are: “What about all the jobs that are done away with because of these new smart meters?”  How did the meter usage get recorded in the past?  Oh yeah, from a person who would manually record every month so that you could get your bill.  What happens to their positon? Maybe that’s not the only job responsibility they had…Let’s hope so.
Also, I’ve heard, from listening to discussions on this debate, that these meters can record not just the amount of energy that your home is using, but which appliances are using the most and when.  According to this electric company’s website, their company has access to that information ONLY if you as a consumer want to share it with them.  This company also says the meters they use record energy usage every 15 minutes.  It is via a radio frequency which they say is very minimal.
Obviously at this point, every company is different in their terms…such as, some give you the choice to get a smart meter (like mine) and some mandate it and say they are no longer using the old meters (like the company in the link above).  Maybe the difference is that some of these are pilot programs, they are trying it out and seeing what the acceptance is in the community (I read info on many pilot programs like this) and seeing what the savings are like, etc.  The other programs, that are enforcing that everyone switch to these new meters (like the Naperville, Illinois woman who just got arrested) seem to be implementing these programs on a wide scale at a higher level already.
For me, I just don’t feel comfortable allowing any person or company to have that much control over something in my home.  It’s information collecting.  Whether the electric company sees it or not.  That information is still being collected and stored somewhere.  There’s a reason that this information is wanted and we have to think about the WHY? behind all of this.  Sure they give us a $10 credit and we feel all good and fuzzy inside because we feel like we’ve done our part to help lessen the load on the grid, thereby helping the environment.  But, is that really the point of all this?  I believe it is all about collecting and controlling!  While writing this, I found this video and he really makes many good points, all of which, relate to the fact that that these meters are an infringement on our privacy.  I’m not really concerned as much with the health risk, if there is any, because there are many health risks all around us every day and we will never be able to eliminate them completely.  However, when you are able to tell when I am home, when I am gone, when I have decided to use the woodstove instead of the heat pump, when I put in a humongous new fish tank that eats up the electricity, or if I decided to start some tomato and eggplant seeds in my back room and am using fluorescent type/grow lights to do so….when you can record and analyze and store my personal habits, I definitely think this is more than helping the power grid…This is about collecting data and power/control of people on a mass level.  Please take 3-4 minutes and watch the video below and most importantly, do your OWN research.  Make your own opinions NOW.  As I have said many times before: Know what you stand for.

 

More Articles of interest pertaining to smart meters:

 

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News on the Cleaning Front

I blogged about my clean sink the other day and I have to say that, I’m really trying to retrain myself.  I have been trying to adopt new cleaning and simplifying habits that will make a big BIG difference if I keep at it.  Today is day 5 of keeping my clean sink.  On top of that, I’ve also been trying to do a load of laundry a day (not just washing it and putting it a basket like I often do, but folding it too!) and have also been giving my timer a workout.  I set it for 15 minutes and just focus on decluttering/cleaning a certain area by taking everything in that area and sorting it by keeping it, giving it away or throwing it away.  This is the Flylady method, by the way.  I know many of you who keep a clean home probably wonder why this is such a big deal, but I just had to write a little bit about it again because I am SO inspired!  I am so excited to finally have found some motivation and methods to keep me on the right track.  For me, just having a system is what helps.  If I have a system to follow, then I can do it…but left to my own means, the house gets ugly…and dirty….really really quickly!  If I keep my sink clean this entire month and make it a habit, I am going to reward myself in some small way….I haven’t decide what yet, but something small to keep my going…That’s it for now.  Not much today because it’s kind of late. Have a great night all!

 

Polished Sink

Today, I was reading a blog that I follow called “In House Counsel”.  She had written a great post called “No More Stuff: An Acquisition Suspension”.  Inside of that post the blogger referred to the FlyLady I had to find out a little more with a name like that, so I clicked on the link.  I am so happy I did, because I found much needed encouragement to get some work done today. This month, FlyLady’s ‘January Habit of the Month’ is to Shine your Sink!
I read on, and after I was done, I went to my wreck of a kitchen area and started to dig in.  I took a before and after picture just to show myself how MUCH of a difference was made.  It felt good and I am really encouraged and motivated to keep it up.

Before: (yes…banana peel and all!)

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After: (quite a few hours later)

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I really hope to keep it like this as much as possible this month….try to form that habit of having a clean shiny sink! It makes me feel so much better!
Thanks for reading!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Today, I pulled into my mom’s driveway and spotted a Red Bellied Woodpecker in the backyard.  I asked my little boy, “Do you see the birdie?”.  He shook his head yes.  I then told him we were going to try to get a picture of it.  I slid my camera out of my purse and zoomed ALL the way in.  This is one of those times I wish I had a really nice camera that would get a super clear picture.  But I’ll do what I can with what I have.  So, they aren’t perfect but I was excited to get them….Here are the pictures:

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Car Show!!!

We just went to the annual ‘Cavalcade of Customs’ car show in a nearby city.  It was a lot of fun.  We usually go every year, but this year was extra fun for all of us, I think.  First of all, because we have a little boy who really loves trucks and cars! Secondly, we went in a small group this year (me, my husband, our little boy, mother in law and young nephew) on the opening night, which was MUCH less crowded.  It makes a difference, believe me!  I took some pictures of the cars I thought were pretty neat.  Of course, my judgement is COMPLETELY dependent on the looks of a car.  My husbands opinion is based much more on what’s under the hood, looks are secondary.  But, I had the camera.  🙂  So, here’s to our night on the town!  Enjoy the pictures!

Monster Truck!”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohn Deere Monster TruckOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA One of the Bat-mobile carsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Toyota is one of our favorites! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A Favorite of mine!!! Love it! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis one’s for my dad 🙂 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo Stinkin Cute! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEye Candy!!! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m in love with the old station wagons… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike those gassers! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   My little man- big stuff!

“We Have Seen His Glory”

This song always moves me.  I would love it if you could hit the play button below and scroll down to read the words along.  God is good!  He is truly amazing! Hope you enjoy the song.  (I “bolded” some phrases that are especially meaningful to me)

He fed the thousands who did not have bread (Luke 9:10-17)
I saw him bringing people back from the dead (Luke 8:49-56)
He drove out demons from the demon-bound (Luke 8:26-39)
And taught us how to walk on holy ground

He made the leper’s skin like new (Luke 17:11-19)
The storm dissipated when he told it to (Luke 8:22-25)
Took jars of water turned it into wine (John 2:1-11)
The Savior even healed this heart of mine

Chorus:
We have seen His glory
We have seen His glory
We have seen His glory
The one and only son

I was there the day when the dove came down (Matthew 3:16-17)
Saw soldiers with thorns to make His crown (Matthew 27:28-29)
Felt the whole earth quake, darkness on the land (Matthew 27:51-55)
After he was dead, he came to life again (Matthew 28:2-10)

I was there when he said that he couldn’t stay
Was on the Mount of Olives watching Him fly away (Luke 24:44-53)
In the upper room with power, the Spirit came
To give us guidance as we declare His name

Repete Chorus

I see how he works in our lives today
Through the things not explained any other way
I have known his guidance and I understand
The contentment shown by His loving hand

I can see Him working in His family
Who are clearly following their destiny
I can feel his power in their unending love
An awesome power coming from above… above

Repete Chorus

We have seen the glory of the Son

A New Year

The new year is here! Here are some things I want to do this year:
Read my Bible completely, in one year’s time. (I actually started this one on December 15th.  Trying to be the early bird, I guess.)  I want to grow closer to God this year, more than ever before and ONE of the ways I want to do that is by reading, studying and learning the Word of God.

Read at least a book a month.  -This one is a continuation from 2012.  I made the same resolution and….COMPLETED it! Actually, I read well over 12 books.  But it is a goal I like to always have for myself.

Have a special day each month where I specifically give to others.  Whether it be going to the nursing home with my little boy, to visit or pass out treats; or, dropping off lunch to someone while they’re at work.  Something thoughtful and something that is giving (of myself and my time).  I really want this to be more often than once a month but I also want to set realistic goals for myself.  I think this is such an important one for me to be an example to my little boy.

Of course, I have general goals as well but nothing specific.  Just things like: be the best wife I can be.  Forgive others when I’m wronged.  Be a true friend.  Listen more.  Be more positive.  Things like that…things that are always ongoing.  Because as the song goes “He’s still working on me, to make me what I outta be”.  I am a piece of clay, still yet to be seen what shape I will end up as.  But, I hope it’s something useful, something of value to Him.    Happy new year everyone!