- Measures how much electricity, gas or water you use in such detail that the utility is able to see your usage broken down, in some cases, to the exact time of day.
- May use radio waves to transmit this information to the utility on an hourly or more frequent basis.
- May allow the utility to send radio signals to the meter to remotely turn off your service.
In the next two sections ask yourself if the benefits claimed
in the section directly below are worth the costs to you described in the last section?
- To make you more aware of how and when you are using electricity with the hope this will cause you to voluntarily conserve.
- To localize and repair outages more rapidly
- To save the cost of meter readers
- To turn off your power remotely if you are late paying your bill.
- To (possibly) reward you for shifting some of your consumption to off-peak hours – or (very likely) penalize you if you don’t change your consumption habits.
- To be able, by remote control, to turn off certain appliances in your home during periods of peak load – such as your washer, dryer, dish washer, electric range and furnace. Programs of this sort are supposed to be ‘voluntary’ in the future – where you will be given some relief from the jacked up rates if you agree to participate.
Note that the benefits claimed above are mostly benefits to the utility which may or may not pass savings on to you. Note also that nothing prevents us from conserving energy now. Common sense tells us to turn off appliances and lights when they are not needed. Do we need a computer display or wall monitor to show us that we left the tv on in a room where nobody is watching or which lights are currently not being used? Keep in mind also that the federal government, through the ‘stimulus’ passed in 2009, has made it very profitable for the utilities to blanket the nation with these meters.
- You do not want the utility company, marketing companies, hackers and possibly would-be burglars to know everything that goes on inside your home. You have a right to keep private when you are at home, when you are sleeping, when you prepare meals, how many showers you take in a day, when you watch television, when you are on your computer.
- You do not want to expose yourself, your children or susceptible older persons in your home to 24/7 constant electromagnetic radiation when the possible health effects of such exposure are still being hotly debated among experts in the health sciences. Yes, most of us use microwave ovens and cell phones, but these exposures are for brief periods and they are voluntary.
- You do not want your door kicked down in the middle of the night because some law enforcement agency saw higher than normal electric use and concluded (wrongly) that you were growing marijuana in your attic.
- You do not want to give up your right to decide what appliances you will run and when you will run them.
- You do not want to see your monthly electric bill skyrocket – as has so often been the case wherever these meters have been installed.