The second phase of the assault on your privacy – is the installation in your home of ‘smart appliances’ – particularly your thermostat, hot water heater, dishwasher, washer and dryer, electric stove, your electric rechargeable car, and any other high demand devices. What will make all these devices ‘smart’ is a chip in each one that communicates with your ‘smart meter’ to allow the utility to know exactly which appliances you are running at any given time and, to be able to send radio signals to turn off individual appliances in your home. Utilities will say they need this in order to avoid brownouts – or to avoid having to build new generator capacity to meet peak demand.
The diagram below illustrates how the American Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) envisions the home of the future:
Right now the federal government is ‘encouraging’ appliance manufacturers to develop and sell these new ‘smart meter compliant’ appliances. We think it will not be long before there will be no other kind of appliance on the market.
Right now the utilities are telling people that programs that let the utility remotely turn off appliances are ‘voluntary’ and that those who ‘volunteer’ to participate in such a program will be rewarded with lower rates. We think these programs will be become less voluntary over time.
We have not heard about any phase two for the gas and water meters as yet, but that may come too!