DOCUMENTATION

DOCUMENTATION on Issues Regarding the installation & use of Smart Meters

1.) Violates 4th Amendment Privacy

They collect data constantly, and by definition are a “Surveillance Device” for which they have No Warrant.  Detailed Data is Collected & Stored about Customer, and can be displayed in graph fashion showing the “Load Signatures” as depicted below. That data that belongs to you!  In Texas, the PUC and even Oncor spokespersons are quick to admit that “Here in Texas, your data belongs to YOU!”  My Question to them is- “If I have not been asked for that data, and given my permission, then why are you taking it from me?  When I was growing up, my parents told me that to take something from someone without their permission, is STEALING!”  Therefore, since it belongs to YOU, doesnt it make sense that in order for them to have it, they need your permission to TAKE it from you?

So you want PROOF?  I guess I did say this is the section with the DOCUMENTATION? Ok, here it is!

The most blatant smoking gun that shows that the PUC and Utility companies are aware the meters collect this granular data, even though you will never seen this disclosed in any of their glossy propaganda, or on their FAQ’s about Privacy on their websites. How about a document that was put together by the Colorado PUC (links and excerpts below).  You can look at the first page and see what I am talking about with regards to the detail of data collection by the smart meters. But reading farther on in to the article is mind-boggling that they know that they are invading our privacy, and VIOLATING OUR 4th AMENDMENT to our Right to Privacy, but they JUST DON’T CARE!

SMART METERING & PRIVACY: Existing Law and Competing Policies (link to document)

Excerpt Pg. v.

Load Signatures show which electronic devices are operating in the home.
Sample of the Data the Smart Meters Collect – called Load Signatures

“Proper management of this new information pool could support energy efficiency efforts
and demand-side management (DSM) initiatives.3 However, insufficient oversight of this
information could also lead to unprecedented invasions of consumer privacy. Many intricate
details of household life can be gleaned from information obtained via advanced metering
infrastructure.”

Excerpt Pg. 1

“The information provided by smart meters and other smart grid technologies is

unique in both its depth and breadth. If its collection and dissemination goes

unchecked, such information has to potential to enable significant invasions into
consumer privacy. At the same time, smart grid information is useful for
facilitating demand response initiatives and the development of new business
models…an electric utility, the likely clearing
house for this information, could bundle consumer electricity usage data into data
streams in several ways, tuning their efforts to both protect consumer privacy and
supply a new revenue stream to help drive the transition to a model of electricity
management rather than electricity sale.”

Excerpt Pg. 2

“Though initially thought a daunting task to work backwards from an appliance’s demand to the identity
of the appliance itself, the load signatures of various appliance categories are surprisingly
unique, (4) and an impressive amount of detail concerning customer usage habits could be
discerned from NALM-generated information.”

Excerpt Pg. 5

Table-Data Use and Description -Smart Meter Data

Excerpt Pg. 9

“Data collection via NALMs (NALM – Non-intrusive appliance load monitor) has sparked privacy concerns before. In mid-2001, MIT’s
Technology Review ran a story on NALMs, reporting that, “[in] essence, non-intrusive load
monitoring is an information technology. And like any such technology, it could gather
information that customers would prefer to keep to themselves.”20

…However, the massive deployment of smart meters across the country and the trend
toward finer and finer interval data means that more and more information will be discernible
about more and more people. While the raw information about when an appliance event
occurred in a given home may not seem to be sensitive information, it could be used to construct
a detailed picture of residential life. Tracking appliance events means smart grid information
could tell you the answer to questions like
» How often does a given customer eat microwave dinners as opposed to cooking
three-pot meals?
» How many hours of TV does a resident watch? What kind of TV is it?
» When does a resident normally shower (and so cue an electricity draw from the
water heater)?”

Thirsty for more?  I’m sure if you are at all like me-your blood pressure is quite high by the time you finish reading all of that.

But, if you feel the need to proceed..

Washington Post article:

Experts: Smart grid poses privacy risks  (link to article below)-  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/11/experts_smart_grid_poses_priva.html)

“Instead of measuring energy use at the end of each billing period, smart meters will provide this information at much shorter intervals,” the report notes. “Even if electricity use is not recorded minute by minute, or at the appliance level, information may be gleaned from ongoing monitoring of electricity consumption such as the approximate number of occupants, when they are present, as well as when they are awake or asleep. For many, this will resonate as a ‘sanctity of the home’ issue, where such intimate details of daily life should not be accessible.”

According to the study, examples of information that utilities and partner companies might be able to glean from more granular power consumption data include whether and how often exercise equipment is used; whether a house has an alarm system and how often it is activated; when occupants usually shower, and how often they wash their clothes.

Other privacy risks could result from the combination of information from two separate users of the smart grid: For example, roaming smart grid devices, such as electric vehicles recharging at a friend’s or acquaintance’s house, could create or reveal additional personal information.

At a recent smart grid conference in Madrid, FPF co-chair Jules Polonetsky showed how researchers have already mapped unique load patterns of different equipment, showing that for instance washing machines pull power in different ways than other devices (graphic below courtesy FPF).

2.) RF Radiation Linked to Illness-

Headaches, Memory Loss, Nausea, Sleeplessness, Tinnitus (ringing in ears), Heart Palpitations, etc.  Also, long-term possible links to Cancer, per ‘WHO’, i.e World Health Organization.  Article Quote: “Over 70 studies have found effects at frequencies with very low-power intensity, many with implications for human health. Fifteen studies report effects among people living 50-to-1500 feet from a cell tower — including cancers, immune system effects, fertility problems, heart arrhythmias, miscarriages, sleeplessness, dizziness, concentration difficulties, memory loss, headaches, skin rashes, lowered libido, fatigue, and malaise.

And many of these symptoms mirror what some people are reporting within days of Smart Meters installed at their homes.

In addition, several studies report increases in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, which protects brain tissue from bacteria, viruses, and toxins. One study found increases in stress markers in human saliva near cell towers. Also reported are calcium ion changes in cells — with implications for the ability to metabolize. Other studies link exposures to Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig Disease, and Parkinson’s.

In fact, every system of the body appears to be sensitive to low-level electromagnetic fields — and why not? Living cells are electromagnetic systems.

Research by Magda Havas, Ph.D., of Trent University in Canada, and U.S. epidemiologist Samuel Milham, M.D., links something called “dirty electricity” with diabetes, malignant melanoma, and cancers of the breast, thyroid, uterus and lung. Dirty electricity is an industry term that describes a multi-frequency exposure when higher frequencies like RF couple with the lower frequencies running along power lines. BPL (Broadband-Over-Power-Lines) is 100% dirty electricity — that’s how it functions — and people barraged by it can now measure RF radiation emanating from their light sockets.

Of special concern are people with implanted medical devices like deep-brain stimulators for Parkinson’s, some pacemakers, insulin pumps, and in-home hospital equipment. The radio-frequency interference (RFI) inherent to Smart Grids can cause such equipment to go haywire, or even to stop. And RFI from ambient exposures has caused wheelchairs to go off peers or into traffic; automatic ignition switches in cars refuse to start until cars are towed to RF-free blocks; and surgical beds have jumped during operations.” (end of quote from Article: http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-23/problems-smart-grids

3.) Damage reported to customers electronic devices and equipment-

Appliances, A/C units, Surge Protectors, Computer circuit boards, Security Systems, Electrical Equipment, Pool Equipment, sometimes as a result of ‘Power Surges’, and you are left to fix at your expense! (One News Story of many:  http://www.khou.com/home/Viewers-share-more-smart-meter-installation-problem-stories-124527004.html )  You can find others just by doing a keyword search on your favorite search engine!

4.) INTERFERES with other Wireless devices-

Including Baby Monitors, Garage Door Openers & Medical Devices. (documentation coming, till then, just research on your favorite search engine!)

5.)  Smart Meters Not Secure - Have been Hacked in ‘Testing’.  They admit they are ‘working on it’, when it comes to Security.   InGuardian’s Joshua Wright (I believe this is a California firm), who’s firm was hired by three TDU’s (Transmission & Distribution Utility) to test the security of the meters, said his firm found “egregious errors, such as flaws in the meters and the technologies that utilities use to manage data from meters.  Even though these protocols were designed recently, they exhibit security failures we’ve known about for the past 10 years,” Wright said.   Also, the Washington Post Article:  (link here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/27/AR2009072702988.html)Yet security researchers have found that these devices often are the weakest link in the smart-grid chain. Smart meters give consumers direct access to information about their power usage and the ability to manage that usage over the Web, but that two-way communication also opens up the possibility that the grid could be attacked from the outside. Many such systems require little authentication to carry out key functions, such as disconnecting customers from the power grid.

Indeed, at this week’s Black Hat, the world’s largest cybersecurity conference held annually in Las Vegas, researchers from IOActive of Seattle are slated to demonstrate a computer worm that spreads by taking advantage of the software update feature built into a prevalent brand of smart meters (IOActive is not disclosing which). The worm could in theory give the attackers who launched it the ability to very quickly sever tens of thousands of homes from the smart grid.

  • Smart Grid Insecure: Article: “But could such a banal technology in fact be fraught with danger? In July 2009 — five months before the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC But could such a banal technology in fact be fraught with danger? In July 2009 — five months before the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the initiative — security firm IOActive demonstrated a worm that could rapidly spread through a smart-grid network, disabling meters as it went. The experiment proved what many cybersecurity experts already knew: hackers distributing the right malware could shut down the network. Britain would go dark.

‘Before, to destroy a meter, you had to take a sledgehammer to it,’ explains John Bumgarner, research director for security technology at think tank the US Cyber Consequences Unit. ‘That worm could destroy 300,000 [smart meters] in one go. The smart grid is going to be a major target for hackers.’  Marc Maiffret, a former hacker and now chief technology officer at computer-security consultancy eEye Digital Security, says: ‘If there was a war tomorrow between major powers, the first stages would include cyberattacks with the aim of completely disrupting critical infrastructure. If you have the right combination of factors — power running at full blast and interference that means you cannot redistribute it properly — sabotage can have very serious consequences.’ ” Link to article:  http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2011/03/start/the-new-front-line-in-cyberwar?page=all

6.) FIRE HAZARD

(2 fires in Arlington and 2 in Houston area among the reported fires in Texas.  Santa Rosa Mall in California – search online for “Smart Meter Fires”!)  Arlington Fire Department recommended cutting power to the home prior to Smart Meter being installed, but Oncor has NOT done so, and continues to install while power is on to the property.  Arlington Fire Report: http://www.bansmartmeters.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Arlington-Fire-Report.pdf

Story about the fires and the lack of caution that Oncor has displayed in ignoring fire officials recommendation. http://www.bantexassmartmeters.com/smart-meter-installation-fires/

 

7.)  Control over your Electricity Usage via financial incentives -

Once you have a Smart Meter (and corresponding receivers on appliances and thermostats, the Electric Co. will have the ability to CONTROL any appliances or Thermostat with the ‘Smart Technology’.  This is called Demand Response.  This article excerpt (below) explains, but note the first paragraph states in a round-about way that this program has been used in commercial applications by coercion, although, (for starters) in residential applications this will be voluntary, using price incentives.  I want to point out, that if they can coerce commercial to comply to involuntary power reduction (vial AC reduction, etc.), then, if the government decides it is in the best interest of reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ that individuals need to “do their fair share” to reduce peak usage, they could mandate such requirements through regulations.

Article excerpt follows: “Unlike some of the demand response programs for larger commercial and industrial customers, programs for residential users tend to be voluntary, which means that eligible customers sign up to participate in the program. The incentives for doing so are typically two-fold in that utilities provide some sort of financial reward for cooperating, and it helps ensure the reliability of the grid, serving the common interest.

Examples: 

Pacific Gas & Electric pays $25 to customers willing to participate in their Smart AC program, in which households with central air conditioning systems allow the utility to install a device that would allow the utility to turn down your cooling system in the event of an “energy supply emergency” in the summer, between May 1 and October 31.  Customers may opt-out for particular days if PG&E is given notice, though they will override your request in the event of an emergency.  Customers may cancel membership in the program at any time.

Similarly, ConEdison has a program by which households with central air systems can have a device installed that allows the utility to cycle the cooling system on and off, while a fan continues to move air in the home, during “system critical situations,” which the utility claims occur about twice a year. The program is voluntary and participants are offered $50 for their participation. It is possible to override the system, and turn the a/c back on, though participants who don’t override the system receive an extra $50 at the end of the summer.  Free programmable thermostats are also installed, which can be controlled via internet or mobile device.” (end of excerpt

8.) Numerous cases of Over-billing-

Two to 3X higher in Many Cases!  With No Recourse! Consumers are just given the tired out line from the electric provider, “It’s the weather”, or whatever it is, “You still need to pay the bill regardless, that is, if you want to keep your electricity on!”  In early 2010, enough complaints were received that the PUC requested Oncor to have the meters tested, which resulted in the ‘Navigant Report’.  The Navigant report stated that numerous meters had an event code of 2118, which the report said in most cases would result in higher bills.   Furthermore the Navigant report stated that Oncor should not have ignored the event codes that indicated the meters were not working properly.   Of utmost concern to me is that there has been no proof of Oncor having corrected the over-billing to the customers, although the report stated that the meters were removed from service.   As a result, I am calling for the PUC to determine whether these customers ever received remuneration for their over-billing.   Quote from the Navigant Report below, and a link to analysis of the report here: http://www.defranchiseoncor.org/SmartMeters/index.htm

News Story Examples of customers with extremely high bills: Texas examples: http://www.wfaa.com/home/Smart-Meter-moratorium-requested-by-Texas-senator-86298422.html

http://www.watchdognation.com/blog/smart-meters-become-urban-legends/

Another more recent Texas story, although it is not too specific:

http://6lawrence.com/news/local/smart-meter-customers-complain-of-higher-bills/

(Calif) http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_e013206e-e6c0-5059-b71b-64cc3e6b3a95.html

Rense Report gives additional likely reason for higher bills with the smart meters.   Link to article here:

http://www.rense.com/general94/meters.htm

Article Excerpt: “Heating elements in electric ranges, water heaters, clothes dryers and baseboard electric heaters all draw heavy current when first turned on. Heating elements are similar to electric motors. A heating element (and filament light bulbs) are almost a dead short when cold but as soon as power is applied these begin to heats up. As a heating element or incandescent lamp gets hotter it draws less current. After a period of time equilibrium is reached producing no further increase in temperature and power consumption is stabilized. Older electric meters respond fast enough to heating elements to add that in-rush current onto the electric bill.

To summarize, high starting current motors often draw very high currents only for a fraction of a second. Due to inertia, older mechanical disk electric meters cannot respond quick enough to register large motor starting current. But smart meters have no problem registering the brief, high power consumption from electric motors as these meters have no moving parts.”

Source: Ted Twietmeyer   tedtw@frontiernet.net

(end of excerpt from rense.com)

This is all I have for now, but this should be enough for you to get an idea of the details regarding each of the above issues.  If you contact the PUC on this, please post to this  websites comment section to let others know and be encouraged to do the same!

Any questions, or concerns, contact Cindy@bantexassmartmeters.com

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