Privacy Invasive and Problematic Electric “Smart” Meters “represent more than 64% of the 159.7 million meters in the United States”

By B.N. Frank

Opposition to utility “smart” meters (electric, gas, and water) has been ongoing in the U.S. and worldwide since companies started deploying them over ten years ago.  Utilities encourage or sometimes force consumers to accept “smart” meters (see 1, 2, 3) in order to remotely control and/or ration energy use (see 1, 2) as well as collect consumer usage data 24/7 to sell and/or share with 3rd parties, including government agencies and police departments!  Documented issues associated with these deplorable devices include billing errors/higher bills, cybersecurity risks, explosions, fires (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), installation mishaps, mechanical issues, harmful radiation emissions, and short lifespans.  Proponents insist that “Smart” Meters are essential for “energy efficiency” despite research that has proven otherwise (see 1, 2).  Complaints inspired a documentary film and led to Americans demanding “opt-out” programs as well as filing lawsuits (see 1, 2, 3).  Nevertheless, utility companies continue to install millions more of them.

From Utility Dive:

US smart meter penetration continues steady growth, tops 100M in operation: FERC

For the fourth consecutive year the number of advanced meters installed on the United States electric grid increased by approximately 8 million.

The number of smart meters installed on the U.S. grid has risen consistently in recent years to reach 103.1 million in 2020, according to an assessment of the country’s demand response and advanced metering capabilities published Friday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“This represents the fourth consecutive year that the number of advanced meters has increased by approximately 8 million,” according to the staff report.

Advanced meters in operation represent more than 64% of the 159.7 million meters in the United States, FERC said. There is some variance by census division and customer class but “estimated advanced meter penetration rates nationwide for each of the residential, commercial, and industrial customer classes were greater than 50% in 2020,” the assessment concluded.

Advanced metering is widely considered foundational to the efficient and reliable management of the electric grid, particularly as more end uses like transportation and heating and cooling are electrified.

More than 124 million smart meters are expected to be installed in the U.S. by the end of this year, according to data from the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation.

As smart meter proliferation has grown, so has customer enrollment in utility demand response and dynamic pricing programs, said FERC staff. And “data suggests that utilities continue to increase enrollments in programs designed to leverage advanced meter investments and customer participation in cost-saving programs.”

From 2019 to 2020, customer enrollment in retail incentive-based demand response programs increased by over 732,000 customers, or 6.7%, according to the report.

Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy invasive and unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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