“Smart Meters” are being installed in homes and businesses all across Georgia by local utility monopolies. What makes “Smart Meters” smart? They collect your electric use data in “real-time” and transmit it wirelessly back to the utility (in Barnesville the utility monopoly is Southern Rivers Energy). This information is stored on the utility’s servers for a variety of purposes. The main advantage cited by Southern Rivers Energy (SRE) is greater service reliability, better quality of electric and quicker restoration of service after an outage. SRE claims Smart Meters will lower their costs because they no longer have to send a meter reader out. Instead, and this is important for you to understand – your use data is sent wirelessly, directly to their servers. SRE soothingly assures us, your use data can’t be hacked.
In spite of all the rhetoric for and against Smart Meters, there’s good reason to believe the following. Your electric use data will be on a utility’s server. That means any interested government party can demand that information from the utility. And the utility will hand it right over. In fact, the new NSA facility in Utah could simply tap directly into utility servers permanently – to fight the war on drugs, terrorism, and crime, of course. For those paying attention, the NSA, CIA, and the DHS have been very busy spying on ordinary citizens because doggone it, you just never know if those neighbors of yours are supporting Al-Qaeda, drug lords in Mexico, or are growing marijuana in their basement. SOMEONE has to watch out for you and that SOMEONE is Big Brother in the US federal government.
If you’re comfortable with that, then you’re going to be very comfortable and sympathetic with all US government 1984 Orwellian style surveillance programs. Go ahead and have your Smart Meter installed and let the government eye ball your electric use in real-time.
Another aspect of Smart Meters that SRE insists is not true is the future potential for remote control over your appliances in your home. You see, Smart Meters give the utility (SRE) powerful tools for controlling your electric use. Initially, this will be primarily at the meter pan level where they can remotely shut off or turn on your electric service. Any casual observer of computer networking systems will quickly understand that much, much more can be accomplished when you’re on the Smart Grid.
For example, smart appliances are now being manufactured that will communicate with your smart meter and consequently with the utility and your very helpful US government. The utility and the US government are interested in your electric consumption in context with the campaign for “Energy Independence and Sustainability” and mitigating those dangerous Green House Gasses (like CO2). If you refuse to get with the US government program and voluntarily cut your own energy use, the utility will be capable of remotely turning off or limiting the use of selected appliances through your Smart Meter.
But wait, let’s triple size your electric order. As you know, certain politicians are heavily invested in green technology. And their government position helps to ensure their investments are safe and sound. Solar power for example is “free” energy from the sun, right? From a utility electric generating position, solar and wind are actually far more costly on a cost per kilowatt than fossil fuels such as coal. Fossil fuel driven electric generators must be kept running on whatever fossil fuel they use because sun and wind are intermittent. That adds significantly to the cost of electric production. Lawsuits have been brought against Georgia Power to force it to purchase high priced solar power from one connected producer. PSC Commissioner Stan Wise has fought this and reports agendas like this have caused electric rates in Germany to soar to three times what we pay here in Georgia.
Smart Meters are capable of charging you based on the utility’s cost at the time of generating that electricity. As the utility is forced out of cheap coal and into expensive solar, you likely will be charged for your usage of the utility’s source for electric at that precise time of day. That means you could pay much higher rates for electric when the utility is purchasing solar or wind power. The US government has taken billions of your tax dollars to set up a system that artificially raises your cost of electricity, based on their political objectives. This is not free market – this is a Marxist centrally planned economy being constructed right before your eyes. And the bonus investment from your tax dollars is the government can monitor your electric use directly off the utility server.
SRE Annual Meeting: Saturday August 24 starting with registration at 8:30am.