By B.N. Frank
Opposition to “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – continues to increase in the U.S. These meters have been associated with HIGHER bills, fires (see 1, 2, 3), explosions, and other extremely undesirable issues. Utility companies tend to increase customer rates for “Smart” Meter installation and frequent replacement. They continue to promote these devices as being beneficial to customers despite all of their issues (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). This is because “Smart” Meters are very profitable to them.
“Smart” Meters are 2-way wireless transmitting, whereas original analog meters are only 1-way transmitting. The 2-way transmitting feature allows utilities to collect minute-by-minute customer usage data which they can analyze in order to market more products and services to customers as well as sell to 3rd parties (see 1, 2). Utilities may also remotely turn off services and ration customer usage with these meters.
From Energy Central:
Ameren Missouri boosting smart meter rollout
Ameren Missouri is stepping up a smart meter rollout it began last year and plans to complete by 2024.
The company began the rollout in St. Charles County, which is part of the St. Louis Metro Area, last summer, but a story by Jaime Travers for Fox 2 Now said more people in the metro area will see Ameren Missouri workers as part of the company’s effort to replace 1.2 million meters.
Smart meters produce a wealth of data that can, among many other things, be used to enable electric utilities to offer their customers rate plans that reward them for shifting their power usage to off-peak hours, as well as to allow their customers to analyze their power usage and figure out how they can change it to save themselves money.
Ameren Missouri is trumpeting both of those capabilities as it does the rollout. Travers’ story said the utility “is encouraging customers to set up an online account to help them understand how they use energy and find ways to save” and is offering “new on-peak and off-peak pricing options.”
It will be interesting to see how many Ameren Missouri customers take the company up on its offer.
The rollout is part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy plan, which it launched two years ago and filed an update about with the Missouri Public Service Commission in February.
Despite Ameren Missouri’s promise that “Smart” Meters will allow customers to find ways to save energy, research has already determined these devices DO NOT reduce energy use by a meaningful amount.
Because “Smart” Meters are 2-way wireless transmitting, they create high levels of harmful electromagnetic radiation (see 1, 2, 3, 4). This has led to numerous reports (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and lawsuits (see 1, 2) because of health issues experienced after these meters were installed. Many utilities now allow customers to “opt out” because of all the complaints. In fact,
- Duke Energy customers in North Carolina do NOT have to pay opt-out fees when they provide medical statements confirming that “Smart” Meters will make them sick.
- A judge has allowed a discrimination case to proceed against a Maine utility that won’t waive fees for a customer with cancer.
- A California utility has refunded opt-out fees to one of its disabled customers.
A documentary about “Smart” Meters was first released in 2013, Take Back Your Power. An updated version was released in 2017 and is free to watch online.
Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Smart Meter Harm
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Smart Meter Education Network
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Wireless Information Network
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