a problem with electric meters?

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Home Guy wrote:

So, how much do YOU think they cost?
"Various kinds of smart meters are available and in use around the country. Depending on its capabilities, a smart meter - at a cost of about $200 per home - also can play a role in how much information about energy use is made available to customers and how much money can be saved." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24459145/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/smart-power-meters-track-electricity-use /

My apologies. Nothing if all we're discussing are meters; that's why I prefaced the observation with "Aside". Next time I'll use "OT" instead of "Aside" so you won't nearly twitch to death.
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wrote:

How is that going to be $40? If it took 3 minutes to read the meter, it was about a minute longer to replace it. The guy had the power off for about 10 seconds and it took another 10 seconds to wrap the ring around it and clip on the seal. He was doing them 4 at a time (each trip from the truck) I bet they do 16-20 an hour.
I was in the garage at the time and I tripped the main for him but he said he does them hot all of the time, usually without even telling the homeowner he was there.
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On May 16, 1:29 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

utility companies are required by law in many areas to replace meters every X years....
i they have to replace them anyway a smart meter is likely a good choice.
i know a retired meter manager from duquesne light and will ask him some questions the next time i see him.
he has a retirement business building meter testers
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I asked the meter replacement man how many a day he does. He said "about 40." If the company absorbs about $30/hr for his labor ($240/day), that's six bucks. Then there is the cost for the truck, paperwork, disposing of the old meter, and other incidentals. My guess of $40 may be high, but not unreasonably so.
Besides, $40 in the original computation made the numbers come out more easily than if I had used $7.53.
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-snip-

Not in my neck of the woods he can't-- and I'm just in the burbs. In rural areas he might drive 5 minutes between meters.

$20/hr? I'll bet it is closer to $100 "all things considered" -- oh, and don't forget the other $100 for the truck he's driving.

There are a ton of 'hidden costs' buried in my electric bill-- but the meter isn't one of them.

-snip- Never heard of that one. I'll bet in NY, some guy would come out and eyeball it from the street and tell you to replace it.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Sounds like your power company uses the "Necessary Pole Management" system. When the pole falls over, they replace it.
In my neighborhood, Houston, we had a hurricane four years ago (Hurricane Yikes). The electrical distribution system was so dilapidated that four million people were without power for up to ten days! Since then, the local power distribution company has been beavering away to upgrade and rigorously maintain the system. It seems like once a month, some tree-trimming truck comes by whacks the bejesus out of everthing taller than a rose bush.
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wrote:

FPL got pretty aggressive about replacing bad poles after Charley and Wilma. As a temporary fix they drive a piece of guard rail metal next to the pole and strap it in. Eventually they come by with a new pole.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/pole%20repair.jpg
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wrote:

Maybe in an apartment building basement he can do that.

I live in a townhouse, and even here I think 3 minutes is unlikely, even wiithout goofing off. At my house he'd have to move things out of his way, garbage cans, etc, then squeeze past the motorcycle (1 or 2 minutes) then remove the old one (1 minute) and put in the new one (1 minute) , then go back to the truck to get another meter (2 minutes, 3 if has to unlock/lock the truck) then go to the next house 1 minute. And he will probably relax for 30 seconds between meters.
So I think we're talking 6 to 9 minutes/meter. Not much more for single family houses in small to modertate sized lots, except he has longer to walk to the truck and has to move it more often.

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On 5/16/2012 2:23 PM, micky wrote:

i live in a town of 32 square miles with about 2600 residences of all kinds (houses, ranches, apartments, businesses). it used to take about 8 days by a few people to read all the water meters manually. the town replaced them all with remote read meters (radio based), and it can be done in about 1 day by 1 person just by driving down the street.
most of the remote read electric meters being discussed here are readable without ANY labor costs, as they can be polled from the utility computers directly.
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chaniarts wrote:

And if the utility gets home owners to foot the entire bill for the meters, computers and software, then in this equation we have customers forking over $500 over the lifespan of the meter just so the utility can save $100 in meter-reading costs over the same period.
Brilliant economics there.
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Bob F wrote:

Here are some numbers for my jurisdiction (Ontario, Canada):
http://www.eda-on.ca/eda/edaweb.nsf/0/C132012C8366C33085256F4A0072C976
The startup costs for TOU meters are pegged at $240 / $250 per customer, and:
"In addition to these considerations, it is estimated that it will cost about $3.00 per customer per month for the incremental costs of the billing. Province wide this would be about $12.9M."
If you are not seeing any additional line-item charges on your electricity bill, and if any of your existing line-item charges (delivery, infrastructure, etc) haven't been increased, then you can be sure that the TOU rates you're paying were juggled so that the utility is recouping an additional few dollars per month for all costs associated with the TOU meter (cost of meter, installation, cost of installing / operating communications network, cost of billing software).
"The EDA believes that distributors should be properly compensated for the premature retirement of existing meters."
In other words, someone is going to pay for the "loss-of-value" when an existing (but working) analog meter is replaced by a TOU meter.
"The EDA opposes the creation of additional variance accounts to implement this initiative."
They don't want customers to see exactly what the smart meter is costing them?
"The EDA believes that the capital cost of the smart meters and associated systems should be allowed to be fully recovered within a timeframe that recognizes the rapid change in technology and in accordance with proper business principles and be placed in the rate base."
But they still want utility companies to fully recover the costs of smart-meter implimentation, and naturally this will have to come from customers - and in a timely (rapid) manner.
This document:
http://marylandsmartmeterawareness.org/docs/MarylandPSCcomments.pdf
claims that analog meters have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, while smart TOU meters have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
This industry PR document:
http://ci.ojai.ca.us/vertical/sites/%7B6CAA84A0-9B68-4637-964F-ED4B5D8E7542%7D/uploads/2012_SmartMeter_Ventura_District_Briefing_Packet_FINAL_.pdf
specifies a 20-year lifespan for the "Edison SmartConnect" meter.
This appears to be a professional study of smart-meter implimentation in 5 areas around the world:
http://www.worldenergy.org/documents/ee_case_study__smart_meters.pdf
===========Smart Meters do not necessarily bring environmental benefits. Like many new technologies, their rollout requires replacing an entire, fully functional, existing system. Their lifespan is expected to be short, at only 15 to 20 years (rather than over 30 years for traditional meters) and they use electricity to run – which requires extra generation to supply.
The overreaching conclusion of the study is that the policies governing smart meters, are decisive in limiting or maximizing the positive impacts of this technology. Smart Meters (AMI) are measuring devices which send consumption information to the utility using communication technology at pre-programmed intervals. They will also include more advanced features such as outage information, two-way communication capabilities, a remote on/off switch etc.
A fully functional AMI meter, such as those being rolled out in Australia and California, will have approximately 30 separate functionalities. Most of these functionalities will primarily benefit the utility unless expressly employed toward end-consumer programmes with the support of regulation and supportive market structures.
Main Conclusions of the Report
1) As a technology, (without appropriate regulation) smart meters provide more benefits to the utilities than to the end consumers.
2) Smart Meters do not benefit the environment without proper regulation.
3) Smart Meter enabled programmes can provide substantial, long term societal and environmental benefits if they are placed in their correct position; namely as a platform for efficiency programmes supported through appropriate regulation and market structures.
4) There are basic conflicts of interest caused when a utility which earns off of electricity sales, is asked to lower those sales through helping consumers lower consumption. Regulation and polity can overcome this barrier if it takes it into consideration.
5) If the correct structures are in place, and efficiency measures are rewarded, utilities and private companies tend to exceed the minimal requirements set by regulators in their drive to maximize the benefits of the new market structures.
6) Smart Meters and the communication technology required for energy efficiency programmes are expensive – at least €200 per household. They are therefore not necessarily appropriate tools for developing nations, or those were household consumption is low.
7) Regulators should calculate the impact of smart meter rollout, dynamic pricing structures and new tariffs on vulnerable consumers.
8) Regulators and utilities should take into account that an increase in costs for consumers should be included only with a method for controlling those costs, through easily accessible feedback information. Accurate monthly billing has not been found satisfactory enough by residential consumers or consumer interest groups. =================
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It is yet to see how they deal with our daily thunderstorms. I guess the question is whether they fail "on" or "off".
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wrote:

If you obstruct a meter here you get a nasty note on your door, threatening to disconnect the power. Meter readers are usually college kids and I think they get paid by the route so they move right along. The meter swappers were contractors too so they were not screwing around either.
It is probably different in a mobbed up northern union state but the meter reader union probably stops the remote readers anyway.
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On May 17, 12:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

think of the cost per year to read meters. employee, vehicle expense, workmens comp, social security, retirement etc etc...
the smart meters must save money over their lifetime, and the ability to disconnect no pay customers saves bucks too
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Bingo!
Nothing like a disconnect to motivate even the lasiest of welfare queens up off the couch to go pay their bill.
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wrote:

Well, I'm not a welfare queen, or a queen of any sort, or even femaile, but I've neglected to pay my bill. Once the power was disconnected in the afternoon and I had paid the billl soon after. By 5:30 I became convinced that the work day was over and I wouldn't be reconnected until the next day. So I cut the seal on meter, took out the meter, and removed the plastic covers on the 2 or 3 big prongs in the back of the meter, and recconnected myself.
I was surprised when the Electric Co. guy showed up an hour or two later. I told him someone else had come and reconnected it, and he left.
That sounded perfectly reasonable when I said it, but I eventually concluded that he his job was disconnecting and reconnecting, and for any location on a given day, only one person had that job. One guy per region. The fact that he was working to 7:30 or so is what convinced me. So he knew he was the only one who would come and no one else had come, but he didn't let on. He also knew I had paid what I owed.
I knew it would be easy to reconnect, because the first time I was disconnected, I found the plactic prong covers on the ground weeks afterwards, and figured out what they were.
When I get a smart meter, I won't be able to do that anymore. ;-(
;(
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micky wrote:

Hmm. I've got smart meters. When I requested a temporary disconnect, a guy came out and installed those plastic prong covers.
Wonder what's up with that...
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wrote:

Very good question. Maybe they don't trust the electronics.
I just got an email today from BGE and it says the smart meterrs will be installed within 3 years. Maybe when that happens I should write down whatever is on the metal seal, so I can tell if they've removed it again. I dont think I'll need the disconnect you wanted, however.
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I've never seen anything in widespread use that couldn't be hacked. It just means you'll have to know something about smart meters and how they work rather than how to use a pair of pliers.
Tomsic
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Maybe the people who run Mom's Gas and snacks can figure out how to get the program code for Pop's Fuel and Munchies, and shut down their meter, to put em out of business?
Middle of the summer, Rachel, who works for Progressive Gas and Electric shuts down the meter of her ex boyfriend, Martin, right in the middle of Martin's football game?
Right at the peak of the election, Progressive Gas and Electric shuts down the meters, at the Republican and the Tea party offices?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I've never seen anything in widespread use that couldn't be hacked. It just means you'll have to know something about smart meters and how they work rather than how to use a pair of pliers.
Tomsic
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