Videos: “The High Road to a True Smart Grid” Conference

Videos: “The High Road to a True Smart Grid” Conference

SchoechleBelow are presentations from a range of experts at a conference entitled The High Road to a True Smart Grid,  held at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on 28 January 2014.

The program cut through misunderstandings about the value of the ‘smart meters’ being rolled out across the country, and the misguided direction of electricity and energy policy in the U.S.  The panelists outlined a blueprint for a safer and smarter approach to both electricity generation and distribution in the United States—one that has all of our best interests, and the interests of planet Earth, at heart.

The conference featured an integrated interdisciplinary panel including Timothy Schoechle, PhD, author of the white paper “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid” published by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy (NISLAPP).

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One of the more interesting facts I have discovered in the Smart Meter and Advanced Meter installation saga is where the money for these programs are coming from. In doing the research on this issue I discovered that in 2009, as a part of the Department of Energy’s Grant Stimulus Program, billions of dollars was set aside to aid in the manufacturing and installation of both the Electric Smart Meter, as well as the Gas Company’s Advanced Meter. This money was to be distributed to the Utility Companies across this country to complete the project.

The money for this project the Department of Energy obtained from the taxes collected from you and me. Now the various Utilities have stated that the cost for manufacturing and installation of these meters will be passed on to the consumer in the form of a monthly fee to be attached to your bill. The utility companies have stated the savings passed on to the consumer will more than make up for the fee. The point is, if we have paid for the meters once, why do we have to pay for them again when they are installed. How many billions do you need?

Concerning the savings the new meter technology offers I offer the following story taken from the Letters to the editor of the “Chico Enterprise-Record” of 03/06/2013: ‘PUC No help on high energy bills”.

“Want the California Public Utilities Commission to help resolve problems with Pacific Gas and Electric Co.? Forget it.

My January PG&E bill was $966.27, which was almost $600 more than my normal winter bills. After zillions of calls to PG&E and filing a complaint with the PUC, I was told that if PG&E says your Smart Meter is operating properly then the “customer” is responsible for the bill. And that’s it. Neither PG&E nor the PUC make any overt efforts to find out what is the problem causing the high energy bills.

I am a senior citizen whose life is substantially the same day in and day out. No wild parties, no pot garden — it’s pretty boring. Yet our taxes are going to a government agency that is doing nothing to ensure that we are not ripped off. Otherwise, shut down the PUC. As for my February bill, it is twice as high as the February 2012 bill. Will it ever end? I found some interesting info at a website called No Smart Meters. Check it out. — Barbara St. John, Oroville.”

The above example is just the tip of the iceberg concerning the problems that have surfaced due to the attempts to modernize the electrical grid and the gas meter reading system. One of the most troubling problems to me will be the elimination of a complete vocation of individuals who would circulate through your neighborhoods and read the electrical and gas meters for a living.

Let’s step back and re-evaluate the Smart Meter and Advanced Meter program.

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The Southern California Gas Company’s Advanced Meter

As soon as I completed my last article concerning the issues still unresolved about the Smart Meter being forced down the public’s throat by the electrical utility companies, I received a notice in the mail concerning the upcoming installation of the Gas Company’s Advanced Meter.

According to the notice, the benefits of the Gas Company’s new meter will give customers the ability to track the hourly, daily and monthly usage of your gas. It will also increase accuracy, security and efficiency in the billing system.

Please take note of the following facts already established concerning the Electric Smart Meters and the Gas Advanced Meters:

1.) In December of 2012, a lawsuit was filed in Federal Court charging that health impacts from smart meters, and the smart grid have occurred causing San Diego resident Deborah Cooney to no longer be able to occupy her home due to the RF (radiation frequencies) given off by the electric and gas smart meters.

2.) Former CIA director, James Woolsey, says the hacking vulnerabilities of the Smart Grid render it, “a really really stupid grid.” Cyber security expert David Chalk says: “There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking – if not already infected – with some kind of Trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated.”

3.) The San Francisco Chronicle has confirmed *utilities are giving customers smart meter data to the government and third parties. Reporter David Baker writes, “Phone records and e-mail aren’t the only kinds of personal data that government agencies can collect on Americans. They can look at your home’s energy use, too. And that information can be revealing.”

4.) The Northern California ACLU writes, “transparency reports filed by the California utilities companies and obtained by the ACLU of California show that a significant amount of data about the energy use of Californians is also ending up in the hands of third parties. In 2012, a single California utility company, San Diego Gas & Electric, disclosed the smart meter energy records of over 4,000 of its customers.”

What this means to me is that if you have the Smart and Advanced Meter installed, your records of electrical and gas usage, can be sold on the open market and you will then be deluged with advertising in the mail and on your computer to purchase new appliances.

The Southern California Gas Company has provided an opt-out method. In the memo which they sent to our home it is stated, “If you defer installation, now, SoCalGas will contact you once the California Public Utilities Commission has ruled on our Advanced Meter opt-out program. You can decide at that time based on the rate approved by the CPUC, whether you want to formally opt-out and pay the applicable fees or allow the installation of an Advanced Meter at no incremental cost.”

That vaguely sounds like extortion to me.

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As a part of the continual battle in dealing with the invasion of the Smart Meters I want to add this additional piece of helpful information for those of you who have installed the Smart Meter. If you have experienced a fire in the home you own or are renting, a copy of the Smart Meter record of activities immediately before the date and time of the fire should be supplied to you upon your request. This record of activity can only be furnished to the account holder for that address. If the record of activity prior to the time of the fire shows any type of anomaly, that anomaly could indicate that the Smart Meter malfunctioned in such a way as to be the cause for the fire.

Why am I giving you this information? If you have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a fire in your home, and if you have insurance, be sure of this one thing, your insurance company will be looking for the cause of the fire. This is due to the fact that every dollar that goes out for the repair of your home and property, the insurance company will be trying to recover those dollars from the responsible party.

If your home or business has a Smart meter, make sure that your adjuster and insurance company makes the effort to obtain, and then review the Smart Meter record of activity immediately before the fire, as it just might relieve you of an insurance policy cancellation due to a fire which you did not start.

As an example of the severity of the problems experienced with the Smart Meter invasion, the following Court action has just been completed:

Mr. Larry Nikkel, a resident of the city of Vacaville, California, was reported as having died in a fire which started due to the malfunction of a recently installed Smart Meter. It is believed that the Smart Meter was arcing. The interesting element in this tragic story, is that the case settled out of court, which might possibly mean the Utility Company was backed into a corner and they bought their way out, as all records of the settlement are sealed.

One important fact to remember, if the utility company does not supply the record of the Smart Meter activity, it may be necessary to obtain that record through a subpoena.

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