Are Smart Meters Cost Effective?

By Catherine J. Frompovich

When it comes to costs regarding Smart Meters (SMs), the way their ‘windsock’ is blowing tells us that there’s a lot of uncertainty about consumers saving on their electric bills. Internet and personal stories confirm that many, if not most, electric utility bills have doubled – or even gone higher – after a Smart Meter was retrofitted on to private homes.

Furthermore, no one, including state public utility commissions, seems to want to address what appears to be “bait and switch” advertising promoting SMs or, the utilities—with the permission of states regulatory agencies—are perfectly satisfied legally ripping off consumers due to the way SMs can err or malfunction, then reset themselves with no trace of an error, which apparently is due to computer programs that run the SMs. [1]

As far as I understand the way it goes, before such innovative programs are to be installed in the public domain, feasibility studies on both costs and savings have to be done and presented to regulators first. Personally, I have to wonder how many utilities really do perform cost and savings feasibility studies and make them available as public information.

However, several states’ attorneys general performed such feasibility studies, and found some very interesting figures that aren’t favorable when it comes to savings!

Pennsylvania Smart Meter Awareness (PASMA) sent out a Press Release on July 28, 2015 that stated

“SMART METERS ARE NOT COST EFFECTIVE PER SEVERAL USA STATES ATTORNEYS GENERAL.” That PR documents costs and “savings” relative to SMs, which I think my readers will find interesting. I have permission to quote verbatim PASMA’s Press Release.

“After commissioning a feasibility study by “Big Four” accounting firm Ernst & Young, Germany’s Economy Ministry has proclaimed the European Union’s proposal for 80% of homes to be “smart” metered by 2020 as “inadvisable” since installation costs would be greater than energy saved,” according to Bloomberg News article “Germany Rejects EU Smart-Meter Recommendations on Cost Concerns” as report in August of 2013.

Furthermore, the “German Ministry of Economics will not follow EU recommendations to install smart meters for 80 percent of consumers. The ministry reviewed a cost-benefit analysis by Ernst & Young and is concerned that the greatest share of the costs could fall to households while the bulk of benefit could go to industrial consumers with larger opportunities to reduce power consumption and leverage load shifting. Ernst & Young’s study found higher costs than benefits for average households, reported Magdalena Klemun for GTM Research,” as reported in the above Bloomberg News of August 2013.

Keeping in that same vein of cost analysis, three Attorneys General in the United States came to similar conclusions:

“The Connecticut Attorney General did such an analysis and found that the ‘smart’ grid would cost each residential ratepayer roughly $411 ($444 with ‘stranded costs’ included) in order to save about $11 over 20 years. That’s a whopping 55 cents per year per customer in savings,” as was reported in the Sedona Times of April 7, 2013.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is on record as saying, “Consumers don’t need to be forced to pay billions for so-called smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know to turn down the heat or air conditioning and shut off the lights.”

In August of 2014, Attorney General Lisa Madigan reiterated further, “The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven smart grid technology, yet all the risk for this experiment will lie with consumers. The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit. I think the only real question is: How dumb do they think we are?”

Didn’t Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette say that there is “No net economic benefit to ratepayers.” And how about this remark he made: “What the record sadly lacks is a discussion of competing considerations regarding the program or the necessity of the program and its costs as related to any net benefit to customers.”

On top of the above, consider that Central Maine Power (CMP) was audited by Maine’s Public Utility Commission (MePUC) and there were some variances. You see, CMP had promised $363 million in savings from “Smart Meters” but that didn’t happen. What CMP did was in three years after installing Smart Meters, it went to MePUC for an 8% rate increase because their $363 million savings, actually had turned into a $99 million COST.

Why did projected customer savings morph into asking for a rate increase? Because the Maine PUC did not perform an independent feasibility study beforehand, and relied upon the erroneous information supply from Central Maine Power. Can or did that happen in Pennsylvania?

Has the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission performed an independent feasibility study on both costs and savings from the mandatory installation of Smart Meters? Where is that study, PA PUC? Aren’t such studies supposed to be done by law before implementing new policies that affect the public? Will you please produce it for Pennsylvania utility customers by submitting that feasibility study to PASMA’s Tom McCarey.

Furthermore, do utility customers know who’s behind the Smart Grid? Allegedly, it’s a consortium of large corporations called the National Grid headquartered in the UK and includes Verizon, Google, Cisco, and government backers from the Obama administration down! Supposedly, a $3.4 billion economic stimulus fund is supporting the installation of Smart Meters in 40 states, according to a 2013 Consumer Reports article. Who knows what that economic stimulus fund amount is now, especially since serious opposition has entered into the Smart Grid via Smart Meter fires, explosions, surveillance, and health issues.

Incidentally, Consumers Digest called Smart Meter implementation a “Boondoggle.”

In Worcester, Massachusetts, in a 2014 Smart Grid/Meter episode, this happened: The Massachusetts DPU intended for that state’s residents to pony up an estimated $7 billion for investor-owned utilities to deploy the Smart Grid/Meter mandates.

Apparently, utility consumers/customers are being ripped off, or hoodwinked left and right by PUC officials regarding the costs, savings, and who pays for Smart Meters!

Has the Pennsylvania Attorney General investigated the Smart Meter boondoggle, and what does Attorney General Kathleen Kane have to say?

PASMA finds it necessary to ask the PA PUC again, “Where’s the independent feasibility study on both costs and savings from the mandatory installation of Smart Meters in Pennsylvania?

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Consumers really don’t know where they stand regarding Smart Meter costs and apparently misguided ‘savings’. The SM savings reminds me of the nuclear power industry’s sales pitch when it was trying to get approval and its outreach to the public: Electricity will be too cheap to meter!

In a 1954 speech before the National Association of Science Writers, Lewis Strauss, then Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission said,

Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter… It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age. [2]

What happened to the “too cheap to meter” pitch? Has anyone not received an electric bill since nuclear power went online? Guess when the first nuclear power plant opened and what happened to it? Here’s something readers probably don’t know:

The world’s first peacetime use of nuclear power occurred when the U.S. Government switched on Experimental Breeder Reactor #1 (EBR1) near Arco, Idaho, on December 20, 1951. The town of Arco* became the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power from a reactor built near EBR-I, the BORAX III, on July 17, 1955. It was only temporary, but the way was paved for commercial use of nuclear power. The Arco reactor later suffered a partial meltdown — another World’s First. There’s no highway sign bragging about that.

*A yearly highlight in Arco is its annual “Atomic Days” celebration, usually held the second or third weekend in July. [3]



I doubt if any feasibility studies were done for nuclear power, since it was to be part of President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program. “Atoms for Peace opened up nuclear research to civilians and countries that had not previously possessed nuclear technology.” [4] Additionally, did anyone ever consider ALL the costs of ALL the problems associated with nuclear fission and technology’s inability to store safely all that radioactive waste for thousands of years? Who says nuclear energy is clean? It’s the most expensive and inefficient way to boil water to produce steam and power that also creates horrendous spent fuel rods [7]. Talk about radioactive pollution!

Somehow, the Smart Meter ‘innovation’ that’s being ramrodded down consumers’ throats without their knowledge of the costs, plus the adverse effects from microwave technology that facilitates and operates SMs, is nothing short of intentional misguided felonious activity, in my opinion. Why do I think that? The reason is the way it’s being steamrolled out across the USA and the globe. There has to be more to it than supposed cost savings, which just aren’t there! Numerous studies have proven that.

Smart Meters have costs no one probably considers: Brownouts from Smart Meters sending instructions from the utility to your home; possible fires or explosions from SMs “hot sockets” or arcing; identify theft from hackers getting your in-home personal use information via the very leaky cellphone network data will be sent over; and surveillance of what goes on inside the home 24/7/365! Oh, and then there’s all that “dirty electricity” that will be sent into your home’s electric wires. Appliances, i.e., computers, refrigerators, TVs, etc. can be blown either from SM fires or the number of Hz coming through the SM. Your appliances most likely operate on 60 Hz, whereas as much as 938,000,000 Hz can come through—“dirty electricity.”

Some other costs associated with SMs are damage to health and resulting healthcare expenses, since 93 out of 100 studies confirm negative oxidative stress [Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)] to human DNA from low radiofrequencies like cell phone microwave energy [5], the same technology that operates SMs. Cell phone microwaves are a class 2b carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization’ IARC. [6]

Are Smart Meters cost effective?

References:

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2012/10/29/a-software-startup-helps-utilities-decode-smart-meter-data/
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_cheap_to_meter
[3] http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2960
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atoms_for_Peace
[5] http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15368378.2015.1043557
[6] http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf
[7] http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/whats-the-deal-spent-nuclear-fuel

Image credit 

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)


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2 Comments on "Are Smart Meters Cost Effective?"

  1. LawrenceNeal | August 4, 2015 at 7:20 am | Reply

    All part of the population reduction agenda. Slowly cooking people with microwaves.

    • Correct. Add to that (as if that isn’t bad enough) the anxiety created by the increased bills. This is just one small part of a very large, all encompassing plan to create negative emotional energy, which dark entities feed upon.

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