Smart Meters “Monitor and Control” Power Consumption
This is bad news for individuals who value their privacy and their safety.
While government bureaucrats are hailing smart meters as a technological marvel, a growing group of concerned citizens is bringing attention to the drawbacks of having one of these meters installed in your home.
“Favorable regulatory conditions are expected to aid in increasing smart meter rollouts over the next few years. Initiatives from governments, other regulatory organizations, as well as electricity utility companies are expected to drive the market over the forecast period. Mandates are set by these legislative bodies in order to prevent energy theft, ensure secure electricity supply, and monitor and control power consumption in households, as well as commercial and industrial locations.”
That quote comes from a third party report designed to determine whether investing in companies that produce smart meters is a smart choice.
Their conclusion? Smart money is on smart meters.
4 Reasons to Avoid Smart Meters
Smart meters are not everything they’re cracked up to be. While bureaucrats are salivating over efficiency gains and the potential for energy savings, a variety of groups without a financial interest in smart meters are doing everything they can to put the brakes on their adoption.
Maryland Smart Meter Awareness is one of these groups. They cite four primary concerns associated with smart meter use.
Privacy Concerns: Smart meters track and store data about your power usage. While a typical analog power usage meter provides a monthly view of your power usage, smart meters track your usage in 15-minute blocks.
With that information, power companies can tell when you get up in the morning, when you leave for work, when you come home in the evening, when you’re gone on vacation, and when you’re running major appliances. In the future, appliances will have chips that work with smart meters, so utility companies can gather very specific information about exactly when you are using which appliances.
The potential for abuse is great. Government agencies could use this information to build a snapshot of your life at home – and given all of the recent stories about the NSA, we don’t think this type of surveillance is too much of a stretch.
A bigger problem may be the potential for hacking. If a utility’s records get hacked, criminals could sell information about your daily habits, like when you come and go. I’m sure burglary rings and other unscrupulous individuals would be happy to pay for that type of data.
Health Risks: Smart meters emit intense pulses of radio frequency microwaves. For healthy adults, these energy pulses pose a minor threat, but if you’re sensitive to electromagnetism, you can expect more headaches, fatigue, and possibly even insomnia after your smart meter is installed.
For children, the elderly, and people who struggle with chronic illness, the situation is more serious. Microwave radiation is linked to learning disorders, neurological problems, and heart trouble.
Utilities argue that smart meters emit lower radiation levels than cell phones. The problem with this argument is that the average household already has several sources of low-level radiation, from microwave ovens to Wi-Fi devices.
We think homeowners should be given a choice about whether or not to add another, but in many states these smart meters are mandatory.
Fire Risks: There are several documented cases of smart meters overheating and causing house fires. Maryland Smart Meter Awareness claims that these meters have been linked to 900 house fires nationwide.
No Consumer Savings: These groups also point out that end user “savings” vary highly. Some people who already have smart meters have seen a drop in their bill, but as many as 30 percent of households have experienced bill increases after smart meter installation.
- Smart meters are a huge violation of your personal privacy.
- They may introduce safety risks into your home.
- They are not secure, so your private details may be compromised and used against you by government agencies or cyber thieves.
That’s a lot of reasons to put the brakes on the smart meter project.
To protect yourself and your household, check your local mandates about smart meters. You may find that you qualify for a waiver. If you do, take them up on it. If your local utility doesn’t offer waivers, do some research, and see if you have a local anti-smart meter group. They will have more information on how you can avoid having one of these high-tech nightmares installed in your home.