Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission Boasts About Collecting Customer Smart Meter Data and Sharing It

By B.N. Frank

There are many reasons – besides fires and explosions – to be concerned about the tens of millions of utility “Smart” Meters that have been installed on homes and throughout communities.  One of them is privacy.  “Smart” Meters collect data 24/7 on customers.  This data can and has been sold to 3rd parties.  This is sometimes referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.”

A recent article from Greentech Media discusses how Ohio’s PowerForward program is designed so that utility “Smart” Meters installed throughout the Buckeye State will collect and share customer data with 3rd parties:

But in simple terms, the DWG is focused on making smart meter data available to customers, the state’s competitive retail energy service providers and other third parties…

Collecting, storing, and sharing data 24/7 requires more energy use.  That’s another reason (besides fires and explosions) why it doesn’t make sense when environmentalists promote “Smart” Meters as eco-friendly and beneficial to customers.  Even though many environmentalists have been publicly opposing “Smart” Meters (See 1, 2) – Ohio’s Environmental Defense Fund attorney (and former Duke Energy Vice President), John Finnegan still promotes them.  In his 2017 blog, he also promotes sharing customer data with 3rd parties:

Sharing anonymized electricity data with third-parties would enable businesses to develop new products and services, too.


Basically, Green Button uses a software language that would allow Duke’s smart meters to interface with customers’ home energy monitors and appliances, as well as third-party energy-savings products and services.

Even though John promises that Duke Energy’s “Smart” Meters will save customers money – utility companies sometimes pass the cost of the extra energy use onto customers without their knowledge or consent.  He didn’t say whether or not this had happened to Ohio customers since the “Smart” Meters were installed.  However, he did state that customers paid for the current “Smart” Meters with rate increases AND that customers were going to pay additional rate increases for current “Smart” Meters to be replaced with new ones.

The controversial “Green New Deal” also promotes utility “Smart” Meters.  Besides the fires, explosions, extra energy use, and frequent replacement – these meters also emit wireless (microwave) radiation and other sources of Electrosmog pollution which research has proved is harmful to the environment.

Public Utility Commissions are supposed to protect the public by regulating utility companies.  Being a utility customer shouldn’t require that utility companies (or anyone else) collect, analyze, and sell data on exactly when customers use the washing machine, turn up the furnace, and flush the toilet.  Original analog meters didn’t operate this way.  They didn’t have all of these other issues either.

Utility “Smart” Meters are problematic everywhere.  A documentary was produced about them in 2013 – Take Back Your Power.  It was updated in 2017 and is free to watch online along with more updates.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Image credit: Pixabay

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