Power company came out today and replaced the old mechanical meter with the
new fancy-schmancy one.
Chatting up the meter-man, I learned:
1. The old meters are going to be junked. Not sold to Mexico or Lithuania
like the 'phone company did with their mechanical central office stuff.
We're talking, oh, one million meters in a city of 5.5 million. That's a
pretty big pile.
2. His quota is 60-100 meters swapped out per day.
3. One purpose is to allow the meter to be read from the street.
4. It is alleged I can check my meter on the 'net. We'll see.
Now it is happening where you live?
Here power, gas, water meter is all read remotely.
I heard they can even do it using the bird in the future.
The option is already there and a mtter of activating it.
They are coming here by 2012.
They will communicate with the power company using wireless technology
(no more meter readers).
They will report power outages and the restoration of power automatically.
The will constantly report usage so that the power company can adjust
the generation to just meet the needs and conserve resources (i.e. water
behind dams - hydro electric)
Smart appliances will communicate with the meter and if there is no
hurry start automatically when the rate drops (rates are/will be tiered
so that it will be cheaper at curtain times of the day).
They even say we will be able to control light switches remotely from
their web-page (I assume that will mean replacing switches to a wireless
Soon your appliances and switches will be reporting to the mother ship...
Yeah, that was the pitch given by the politicians, it sounded pie in the
sky, and in this area has proven to be so. Yes, rates are tiered, and some
times they are cheaper than other times, but never cheaper than they were
under the old flat rate. Possibly the midnight to 6:00 am may get close to
the old all day rate, but watch out for the supper hour rate, you may be
tempted to shut all power off at that time.
There's not much of a market for such labor-intensive stuff.
Yup. Just break the seal, take the old meter reading, pop out the old
meter, pop the new one in, seal it, and scan the bar code. Service is
interrupted just long enough to cause refrigerators to overload.
Or by radio or carrier-current. That's the primary motivator for changing
them. Service can also be controlled remotely -- they can easily cut
you off for non-payment.
True, depending on the utility. It also allows for time-of-day pricing.
See <http://www.pge.com/smartmeter for the spin from a utility that
has been the source of considerable public criticism over smart meter
Hope you all enjoy those fancy new meters. They are brought to you
courtesy of the fed govt and $3Bil more of our deficit. And like most
new spending, it was justified with a pack of lies. An example
being, that this was needed and is critical for solar and wind power
being delivered to your home. Funny I see all these new solar
installs popping up here without smart meters.
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul,
But though we had plenty of money, there was nothing money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said "If you don't work, you die."
Government started out as a banding together for common defense. Very
useful when the Vikings pull into your seaside village in their longboats.
I took an econ. course once that described the rise of government and it's
clear the shift occurred when instead of having to fight for your lord for X
months of the year, you could pay off your debt of service with provisions
Once taxation began, it tended to ratchet up until rebellions happened. I
can't recall a society that didn't snowball. When the revenue starts
flowing, it all gets spent and the temptation is to raise taxes, not cut
expenditures in almost every society that ever collected taxes. The US is a
perfect example - we were born out of a hatred of increasing English
Smart meters have been shown to have an enormous potential to cut down on
electrical consumption. But that feature, I assume, is at the bottom of the
list for the companies implementing them. To them, it represents a cost
savings (fewer meter readers) and a way to exert greater control remotely.
On Sat, 19 Jun 2010 21:14:17 -0500, Douglas Johnson
A couple days ago, the Public Service Commission in Maryland refused
some electric company permission to put in meters that would enalbe
billing by time-of-day.
The electric co. spokesman said that each homeowner would save 1400
over the life of, or some period of time, and the meters were only 200
dollar so it was a good deal. So I guess the customer would have to
pay the 200. That must be why the PSC said no.
We do have electronic meters that be read from their office, but I can
see how this would have to be fancier.
Our electric utility is a little better than that. They require meter
bases to have manual bypass. They changed all of the meters out here
maybe 4 years ago. I pulled in just as the guy was walking down the
front steps. He clipped the seal, opened the cover and connected jumpers
to the bypass tabs and was then able to swap the meter without service
And all the TV's and devices to reset, and some cable channels off for a
half hour or so while the cable box reset. Mine was done on Tuesday, and the
power was only off about 20 seconds max. What was more irritating to me, is
that my meter is on the back wall outside, and he slammed the wall several
times during installation, causing 3 of my music boxes to come off the
shelves inside. One broke, but I was able to glue it back together. Ah,
Cheaper, late night pricing could be nice!
Couple of minor points; our meter reader says he's supposed, at the
moment to be able to sit in his car out in thstreet and read meter
remotely. Doesn't always work and he has to walk to nearer the meter!
Secondly; sending the info via the electric power lines is being
banned in some countries because it can cause serious interference to
radio communications. The effect will vary from area to area depending
on the amount of radio broadcasting, off the air TV etc. But some
years ago a Civil Defense exercise in Austria had to be cancelled
because 'Power Line carrier/digital' signals disrupted the radio
signals to ambulances! For meters the alternatives may be the inter-
net or your phone line (if you still have one!).
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.