- Smart Meters are NOT the Smart Grid
- Markets will lead the way NOT the Utilities
- Take Action for healthy, cost effective Solutions
The first point is the conflated definition and greenwashing clarification. We left this chart up throughout the day and it was an eye-opener to most people. All along, people were surprised that being against so called “smart” meters did NOT mean we were against the actual “smart” GRID. This is very important information. Our booth emphasized the fire hazard today.
|Centralized Revenue Control||No New Meters required|
|Fire Hazard||Distributed Renewable Energy Generation|
|Costly (Capital, rates, TOU)||Sensors for outage detection|
|Loss of Privacy||Electricity Supply/Demand Balancing|
|Health Risk||Reduces use of Fossil Fuels|
|Grid Vulnerability by Hacking (9/30 substations)||Creates Green Jobs|
|Negative Environmental impact|
|Automation = Job Loss|
The second point was about Utilities versus the Markets. The Markets will be the driving force of rooftop solar energy and any renewable energy generation. The Utilities are stuck in a century old model that cannot change with the times. Seattle City Light for all its virtues as a carbon neutral, green energy provider are forced to focus on economies-of-scale, reducing costs by automating billing and other field services with “smart” meters. Demand for electricity, especially among residential customers, is going down just with conservation and energy efficiency programs. The Utility simply CANNOT afford to support decentralized, renewable energy. This is why incentives are being reduced and solar is NOT being promoted.
|Need to control users||Independence|
|Need to maintain or increase demand||Installations of Solar up 94% since 2015|
|Economies of Scale||Solar power becoming more affordable|
|Increasing rates built in||Decreasing cost built in|
|Monopoly, no incentive to change||Driving innovation and change|
|1 producer, many users||Many producers, many users|
Finally, we talked solutions, what actions can we the public take to move the conversation towards progress, cost effective, renewable energy integration into the electricity grid. We started the conversation with these obvious ideas:
|Need Storage R&D|
One person in our audience suggested creating special loan products that allowed people to pay the same monthly rate for electricity but to a loan provider, and the loan could be sold with the house. What a brilliant idea.