Opponents of smart meters have warned of unhealthy radiation leaks from them; given examples of meters that have caught fire; discussed the ability of hackers to get in the system; warned of the surveillance aspect of them and discussed job losses they bring. Those are important, but so is knowledge of Agenda 21 and how smart meters work into that plan.
If you are unfamiliar with Agenda 21, Sharon Peker, an opponent, wrote a concise summary of it at the Chattanoogan,
“Smart meters are a tool of Agenda 21 and not to be tolerated. Agenda 21 is a UN game plan for radical transformation of the global society. Think “Sustainable Development” and Obamacare. Then there’s Cap and Trade, that Obama still desperately wants, which will allow the government to have a vice-like grip on how Americans live. As part of this, the electrical companies are installing “smart monitoring systems” to track usage of energy by residents. This represents only one area of control, but a critical one, as the Obama administration attempts to restrict individual rights.”
“Smart meters may be “smart” but they are not private. Once a smart meter is attached to a home, it can tell how many people live in the house, when they get up, when they go to bed and when they aren’t home. It can tell how many showers they take and loads of laundry they do, how often they use the microwave and how much and what kind of TV they watch. The information gathered from your house is sent to a neighborhood smart meter which then wirelessly transmits your information to a municipal network and to the national network which is the Smart Grid.
“’Privacy and cybersecurity are among the greatest challenges in implementing the smart grid,’ said Nick Sinai, energy and environment director at the FCC. Eventually the utilities will control how much energy you use and when and be able to shut off “smart chip”-equipped appliances remotely.”
These issues were raised at the blog MemphisShelbyInform.com and MLGW’s chief, Jerry Collins, responded to these concerns:
“I saw your blog yesterday regarding smart meters. There was an error in your blog. It stated that I said we would not eliminate meter readers. This is not at all accurate.
“I have always said that the implementation of smart meters system wide would eliminate about 170 positions including meter readers. I have also said that we would not lay off any meter readers, this may be where the confusion is. Instead of laying off meter readers we will eliminate the meter reader positions by attrition. This will be easy to do since the average meter reader only stays in that job for about three years.
“I assure you our implementation of smart meters has no relation to Agenda 21.
“Our governing principle is to always do that which is best for the customers as a whole. Smart meters are certainly in the best interest of our customers as a whole. Besides saving money through elimination of about 170 positions and associated vehicles other advantages of smart meters include:
“1. Virtual elimination of utility theft. Currently we deal with about 11,000 instances of utility theft each year. There is probably more that we don’t know about. If someone manipulates or removes a smart meter we will know about it and we will be able to take immediate action.
“2. Customers can leave the gates locked and their dogs in the yard because our meter readers will no longer require access to read meters.
“3. Armed with much more information about their utility usage, customers can make choices and change habits that will save them money on their utility bills. In our pilot project customers with smart meters and standard billing saved 2 percent on their electric bill as compared to customers with the old standard meters. Customers with smart meters and time of use rates saved 5.6% on their electric bill as compared to customers with the old standard meters. Extrapolated across our entire customer base this means our customers as a whole could save between $15 million and $30 million per year. Time of use rates will be voluntary, not mandatory. The customers will have a choice.
“4. The reduction in customer energy use will reduce the carbon foot print.
“5. There will be automatic power outage notification.
“6. When outages occur the duration of the outages will be shorter.
“7. There will be no estimated meter readings, currently about 3% of the total.
“8. As more customers sign up for time of use rates this will reduce the need for TVA to build expensive “peaking power plants” thereby creating savings for TVA, distribution utilities and their customers.
“9. Smart meters are available for electric, gas and water services.”
Collins does not address the concerns of fires, radiation or surveillance, really. If you believe in carbon footprints; if you believe that the meter reader causes you inconvenience worth giving them access to your life; if you think the utility really cares about saving you money; if you trust the government with information about you; if you think we shouldn’t use our abundant gas and coal supply; if you want your behavior modified by bureaucrats, maybe a smart meter is a good thing for you.
In the end, we may not have a choice in it. The movement is accelerating in localities across the nation, most of the time without citizens really knowing much about it. Just because the word “smart” is attached to it, it sounds good.
Maybe it should have the prefix “out” before it. That may be what happens to Americans if they succeed.