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:

 

Act of Valor

I watched this the other night with hubby and I thought it was amazing.  It showed the amazing capabilities of our seals to do these special operations and protect our country from terrorist attacks.  I have an even greater respect for the men and women who serve our nation after watching this.  The neat thing about this movie is that the men are played by active duty navy seals, which showed somewhat in the “acting” department, but I thought that was what made this movie more unique.  I didn’t want to see drama, I wanted to see behind the scenes of these operations and this movie definitely gave me a taste of that.  It was a little hard to follow at first but I was able to put the pieces together pretty quickly as it was going along.  I did watch it with subtitles, but that’s nothing new for me, as I rather enjoy watching with subtitles so I don’t miss what is said and don’t have to rewind (yes, I know I’m weird!).  But overall, I would highly recommend!

Here is a link on more about the making of ‘Act of Valor’: http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/screen/making-of-act-of-valor-goodwyn.aspx

 

Quotes of the Founders

Lately, I’ve been educating myself on the Constitution of the United States.  I am a firm believer in continuing to educate oneself throughout life.  Things I have researched in the past and which continue to be of interest to me are: gardening, running, writing, science and many, many more topics.  I kindof get “on” a topic, learn about it and then proceed to something else that interests me.  I often go back and refresh my mind on things I have learned and learn more about them.  I am building up my knowledge one block at a time.  I have been accused of being a “jack of all trades, master of none”, but I do not look at it this way at all.
It’s obvious to anyone who has read this blog lately that politics is a passion of mine.  I really never wrote much about it though.  I have to say a big thanks to Grumpa Joe at Grumpa Joe’s Place, because after reading his blog for a while, I began to think, “why can’t I share my thoughts and feelings on this topic as well?”.  And so, I began to.
Ok, I know my thoughts are wandering a little but, all this to share something I came across when reading pocket constitution I picked up.  In the beginning of the booklet, there are lots of quotes from our founding fathers and some of them are fascinating, seeing where we’re at today!

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”          Thomas Jefferson

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”   Thomas Jefferson

I don’t really need to expand on these quotes as they sum it up nicely on their own.  I am very passionate about our country and the principles of freedom we are founded upon.  My dream, and hopefully a goal at some point, is to teach small classes about what I’m learning: “The Basics of our Constitution”.  I’m not talking about at a school or anything, but at a grass roots level.  We as a people have got to get educated in this regard.  Our founders knew this and had a LOT to say about the importance of education. For example:

“A well-instructed people alone can be a permanently free people”  James Madison

Lastly and VERY importantly:

” A primary object…should be the education of our youth in the science of government.  In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important?  And what duty more pressing…than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”                           George Washington

This is what I am…a future guardian of the liberties of this country.  And I do not take it lightly!  How about you?

To Veterans Everywhere:

I’m so very thankful for you!  Whether you have served in the past or present, your service has not gone unnoticed.  I am not from a “military family” and sadly have not been exposed to many men or woman who have served, other than the occasional occurrence.  But my regard and honor for all those who have served this country in the line of duty is extremely great.
Today, after church, my husband, baby boy and I, went out to eat.  An older man and his wife were in the booth next to us and he had on a black ball cap with gold symbols and the words military on the front.  I went over to him as we were leaving and told him “Happy Veterans Day”.  He smiled and said “Thank you” and I asked him if he had served and when he said yes, I replied with a big thanks and that I appreciated it.  I love little moments like this.  When I can tell one of our own that we care about the fact that they have given of themselves for  our country…that it means so much, protecting our freedom.
So to anyone reading, again, I just want to say Thank You Veterans! I admire you and all you do or have done for this great nation of America!

Sincerely, Gigglebox