By B.N. Frank
Utility “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – have been nothing but trouble for customers in a variety of ways including increased bills, fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4). They allow utility companies to collect customer data 24/7. Utilities want this data to market other products to customers and to sell it to 3rd parties who will ALSO market other products to customers which makes them a source of “Surveillance Capitalism”. All privacy violating and data collecting technology provides nothing but trouble for customers and the environment too.
Since “Smart” Cities are also all about data collection it’s not surprising that they are teaming up with utility companies. Opposition to “Smart” Meters and other “Smart” City surveillance infrastructure – including streetlights – is increasing in the U.S. and worldwide (see 1, 2, 3, 4). Regardless, proponents keep trying to promote all of this as beneficial to the economy, modern, necessary for public welfare, and even cool.
More spin brought to you by T&DWorld:
Utilities Partner on Smart City Initiatives
Utilities across the United States are taking steps to modernize their business model as a result of smart city collaborations.
The future of the city is smart and in some U.S. cities — like Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; and Spokane, Washington — the present is already one of increased connectivity and efficiency. They are powered by citizens who possess more information about their electric usage than ever before and aided by utilities that provide them streamlined data in their homes, on the road and around town.
A smart city increases operational efficiency and improves public welfare by way of data collection. The pivot for electric utilities to integrate smart city solutions into their business models is a sensible one. Truly becoming a collaborator requires moving toward the common goals of the metropolises they serve and helping those cities become the most efficient versions of themselves.
For example, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), using smart home meters to provide detailed information meant for greener energy usage, can make cities and consumers smarter. It is one of several initiatives designed to collect information, educate consumers and increase efficiency. In Columbus, American Electric Power (AEP) contributes to the city’s Smart Columbus plan. This is one of many collaborations between U.S. utilities and cities playing an essential role in an attempt to reach the full smart city potential.
“Smart” Meters have been proven to be awful over and over again (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Customers are paying higher bills – not lower ones (see 1, 2, 3 ) – after installation. Some elected officials have stopped a “rollout” in their communities and states (see 1, 2) including Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
Activist Post reports regularly about problematic and privacy violating “Smart” technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Wireless Information Network
Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.