The new “smart” electric meters are touted as the easy solution to all your electrical problems- but are they? Or are they just another way for Big Brother to keep tabs on our personal liberties? Know the facts before your electric company installs one in your home.
- They are a breach of your privacy – Unlike the traditional meters, the new automated meter streams real-time data on your usage and other, undisclosed, information. On the manufacturer’s website it is stated that the electronic display “will show your kilowatt-hour usage, date and time and other network and diagnostic information that is useful to the electricity provider and does not relate to your bill or energy usage.”
- They threaten your health – The new electronic meter bombards our homes using radio-frequency radiation, the same as that of cellphones, which has been linked to a rise in brain cancer. People with “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or E.H.S., assert that radio-frequency radiation causes them to suffer dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleeplessness or heart palpitations.
- You have no choice – The electric providers install the new meters without your permission, frequently without even telling you they are going to do it. Not only that, but you can’t refuse it. The option to keep your old meter isn’t available. Whatever happened to the freedom to choose?
- You have to pay for it – Most providers start a monthly charge once the new meters are installed. So, I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it, but now I’m being charged for the privilege of having it. Not only that, but I’m still paying the same price for electricity that I did when they had to hire a person to drive out and look at it. Hmmm…
- You automatically become part of Obama’s “green grid” campaign – Whether you agree with the President’s ‘green’ policies or not. I’m all for saving the planet and reducing waste, but don’t I get a choice in how I go about doing it? Or is the next step federally enforced recycling and vegetarianism?
- The electric company can control your electricity – Sure, we all know that the electric company has the power to turn on or off your electricity at will, but now it takes even less time. With remotely controlled meters, all it takes is the press of a button, or a computer glitch, and you’re in the dark. I, for one, would like a little warning. Speaking of warning…
- Anyone can control your electricity – The new meters are compatible with the ZigBee communications system, allowing homeowners to “regulate and monitor” their electricity usage. That’s great in theory, but that means the meters can be hacked. What’s stopping the teenager down the street from sending messages in Morse code – using your lights? Or a neighbor, tired of your son’s garage band rendition of “Stairway to Heaven”, reducing the noise pollution by turning off the power to the house?
So when the new meter is installed in your home, relish the numerous benefits of the minute-by-minute monitoring system- such as the probable “raised rates during peak hours” and punishments for “over usage”. By the way, say goodbye to the meter reader- he’s out of a job. Ah, the joys of an automated society.