By B.N. Frank
Hawaiian Electric has installed what are often referred to as “advanced” meters or -2-way wireless transmitting “smart” meters:
What are Advanced Meters?
Advanced meters are modern electric meters that enable two-way data sharing between your home or business and Hawaiian Electric through a secure wireless communications network. Advanced meters look just like the analog electric meters but with a digital display. Advanced meters are an important component of our grid modernization efforts.
What are the benefits of an advanced meter?
- Unlike old meters that require a person to physically read the meter for billing purposes, advanced meters can capture and send electricity usage data to Hawaiian Electric via wireless technology. This means more privacy for homeowners, fewer trucks on the roads, less gas consumed, and cost savings through improved operational efficiencies. These savings are passed on to our customers.
- Energy use data can be collected in 15-minute intervals and securely uploaded to an energy management web portal that you can use to track your usage. This will allow you to better understand how different electronics and appliances contribute to your overall energy usage and how to make adjustments to better manage energy expenses. Learn how to read your advanced meter.
- Advanced meters play a vital role in helping increase our renewable energy capabilities to better provide for progressive technologies, such as electric vehicles which helps reduce carbon emissions, as we tackle climate change.
American opposition to “smart” meters – electric, gas, and water – continues to increase due to privacy and safety issues associated with these horrible devices. It even inspired a documentary film! Due to increasing opposition, some utilities allow consumers to “opt out” of “smart” meters – including Hawaiian Electric.
“Smart” meters are hazardous in a variety of ways including their propensity for fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). In fact, most “smart” meters have no built-in surge protectors. Of course, only time will tell if someone will investigate and expose how much Hawaiian Electric’s “smart” meters contributed to the devastation caused by the Lahaina fire. In the meantime, “smart” sensors have revealed damning information that does point directly at utility company.
From Hawaii News Now:
New data reveals dozens of power grid malfunctions as Maui wildfires began
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 11:28 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 12:26 AM EDT
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – While the official cause of the Lahaina fire has not yet been determined, the focus appears to be centering around Hawaii’s largest power utility.
Now an independent company has come forward with new information it says reveals dozens of power grid malfunctions, adding those equipment failures likely sparked multiple fires.
The data was collected by a network of smart sensors called Ting.
The sensors are distributed to homeowners by insurance companies. They’re designed to detect electrical hazards that could spark a house fire.
But Ting CEO Bob Marshall says when you take a look at the data as a whole, it can pinpoint problems on the power grid in real time.
On Aug. 7, at 10:47 p.m., surveillance video captured an explosion outside the Maui Bird Conservation Center — located in Upcountry Maui off Olinda Road.
Minutes later, flames were recorded burning in the tree line.
“If you look at the Ting data, all the sensors in that area. Ten sensors. Measured at that very instant a sharp drop in voltage. That is the actual fault occurring on the electrical grid,” Marshall said.
A fault is defined as an abnormal electric current caused by some sort of equipment failure. Examples include a transformer exploding, a fallen power line or when two lines touch.
“Any of those faults just like you see in the video from the bird sanctuary are likely to cause an arc or a spark,” Marshall said. “That means there’s molten shards of hot metal falling to the ground.”
Between Aug. 7 and Aug. 8, three major fires broke out on Maui.
During that same time period, Marshall said, 78 sensors spread out across the island detected a total of 122 faults on Maui’s electrical grid.
“And that’s not normal at all,” said Marshall. “There’s typically not more than a few faults on any given day on Maui. So this was definitely a result of the winds.”
In West Maui, he says, there’s evidence the power grid was under tremendous stress.
“Just looking at the sensors in Lahaina there were 34 faults measured between the 11 o’clock Monday (night) time frame and the 5 a.m. time period when they went offline. And those were increasing in frequency and severity,” Marshall said.
Around the same time Ting data indicated that power outage, a Lahaina man captured video of a down power line outside his home after he says he was awoken by howling winds.
“I heard a pop coming across the street,” said Shane Treu.
“Soon as I hear the pop all I hear is electrical like buzz going on the ground there. The fire from there, to me, it simulated a fuse. it just followed a straight line all the way up to the pole and that landed in a bigger pile of dry grass. And that just ignited.”
Fire crews were initially able to stop the spread of the flames but he says that relentless winds stirred up embers later reigniting the blaze. On Tuesday, the state told HNN that the official cause of the fires had not been determined — and likely wouldn’t be for some time.
“We will as in any incident of this nature eventually be looking at causes and measures that will improve safety in the future,” said Hawaii Emergency Management spokesperson Adam Weintraub.
“But again this is one where all of the assets that would be involved in investigative reports like that are trying to restore service at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Marshall says when it comes to the Kula fire the data is clear, “We have direct video evidence that there was a large arch flash, it corresponds to a fault on the grid.”
As for the fire that claimed an untold number of lives in Lahaina town, he believes there are significant indications problems with the power grid played a role. “Any of the other faults could have sparked a wildfire’” Marshall said. “So I think given everything we know, it’s likely the case.”
Hawaiian Electric released the following statement on the new information:
”Our immediate focus is on restoring power for our customers, supporting Maui residents and developing a long-term recovery plan. Given the amount of work we have underway, we are not in a position to comment on each one of these issues at this time.”
Copyright 2023 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Other ongoing issues associated with “smart” meters include:
- billing errors and higher bills (see 1, 2, 3)
- cybersecurity risks
- harmful radiation emissions (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- installation mishaps (see 1, 2)
- mechanical problems
- privacy violations and
- short lifespans
Nevertheless, utility providers and other proponents insist that “smart” meters are beneficial to consumers as well as essential for “energy efficiency” even though reports and studies continue to prove otherwise (see 1, 2, 3, 4)! So they keep forcing them on consumers (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) as these meters allow them to remotely control and/or ration utility use (see 1, 2) as well as collect consumer usage data to sell and/or share with 3rd parties (see 1, 2).
Adding insult to injury, consumers who are allowed to “opt-out” of “smart” meters are often required to pay expensive fees as well as accept meters that aren’t as safe as traditional analog meters.
Do you oppose “smart” meters? If so, Children’s Health Defense has made it easy to contact your legislators and ask them to support utility meter choice. Click here to learn more.
Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy-invasive and unsafe technologies. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Stop Smart Meters.org
- Smart Meter Harm
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Smart Meter Education Network
- Take Back Your Power
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- Children’s Health Defense
- Environmental Health Trust
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- EMF Safety Network
- The People’s Initiative
Image: Creative Commons Z Network
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