- BC Games
Plenty of good reasons to reject Smart Meters
The letter regarding smart meters that appeared in The Undercurrent Sept. 27 and a similar view expressed by Tom Fletcher in the online version of The Undercurrent might be reasonable if health effects (regrettably based on outdated science) were the only objection to "smart" meters. It is disingenuous to quote radiation levels as a percentage of an outdated "safety" standard when there is plenty of peer-reviewed science to show effects on cell wall transport and metabolism at levels far below any heating effect.
Privacy: The "smart" grid gathers usage data from individual dwellings for sale to appliance manufacturers. This detailed surveillance is an unnecessary, intrusive invasion of subscribers' privacy, revealing their activities, absences, etc. I did not consent to have a surveillance device attached to my house as a condition for electricity supply.
Vulnerabilities: The "smart" grid itself is vulnerable to natural events and hostile attack, as former CIA director James Woolsey reports. Encrypted electricity subscriber usage databases may be hacked, as shown by recent cyber attacks against commerce and government.
Cost: "Smart" meters are ten times the cost of analogue meters, and their service life is much shorter. Apart from the initial investment of over $1 billion, there are recurring replacement costs forever. A fifteen year average service life (versus 45 years for an analogue meter) means $1.2 billion every 15 years (no doubt spread out). This cost will be added to the charge for electricity service, whilst also collecting money from the sale of subscriber data to corporate clients. The meter reading cost savings appear to be more revenue. Consumers opting to keep their analogue meters will pay an additional monthly $35 fee — paying twice for the same service. Consumers could provide monthly meter readings with audit checks once a year. Other jurisdictions offer a much smaller or no fees. Then there's the cost of house fires caused by "smart" meters. Plus the effective increase in tariff due to the forthcoming time-of-use billing. Touted asa peak reduction initiative, this is really just another tariff increase.