Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 7: Smart Meters/Smart Grid

(This is a video presentation of the following analysis.) 

The ultimate goal of the policy makers that propagate the sustainable development philosophy is to have every human action, including humans themselves, tracked in real time, in order to manipulate society towards the direction of the controllers pleasing.  Even behind the walls of their homes, human action needs to be tracked in order to ensure "sustainability".  The amount of water or electricity you are using, at what times, and for what purposes, need to be known, to ensure you are engaging in sustainable practices.  This is where smart meters come in.

A smart meter is an electronic device that records electricity or water consumption in intervals of an hour or less and sends that information back to the utility company.  Smart meters allow for two way communication between the meter and the central system.  This allows the utility company to see how much you are using, what you are using, and at what times.  These smart meters are part of a smart grid system, which refers to an array of technologies that allow for two-way communications and computerized automation of the electrical grid system.

In 2012, the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research put out a very interesting report which discusses smart meters and smart grid technology, including the various surveillance aspects and potential issues of smart technology.  From the report:
"Historically, electric utilities only had access to total consumption data for their individual customers. In contrast, with smart meters, utilities can: 
1. estimate how many people live in a house by watching the number of cycles of the hot water heater, 
2. know when the residents are home by the energy cycle of the TV, and
3. know when the residents wake up by the energy signature of the coffee maker or toaster."
As you can see, this technology has the potential to be very intrusive.  The report admits that this data can be used by those with malicious intentions:  "...criminals could use the data communicated by smart meters to (1) identify the best times for a burglary; (2) determine if residents are present; (3) identify assets that might be present; or (4) commit fraud, identity theft, or corporate espionage."

Many people have also expressed the potential health concerns about the increased level of radio frequencies being emitted from smart meters but the report claims "there has been extensive research on this subject, with most studies finding little if any risk."

While I find these potential dangers of smart meters to be valid, I see a much larger danger with the full implementation of these smart monitoring systems.  We know through the Connecticut climate change papers, as well as through related documents, that policy makers pushing the sustainable development program continuously mention their desire to reduce carbon emissions by reducing energy consumption.  They believe increased energy use would be a threat to our environment therefore look to do anything possible to reduce use.  A likely problem arises when you combine their insatiable desires to control our lives with this smart technology.  Let us examine some of the possible actions to be taken to reduce your energy use.

In a 2013 state document titled "Comprehensive Energy Strategy" it is discussed how the state should "support behavioral change that helps to shave the peak load through advanced technologies like smart meters and appliances."  One possible way to change our behavior, as discussed in the document, is to charge more money for using electricity during periods of "peak demand", this is called dynamic pricing.  Smart meters make this possible as your electricity usage is tracked in real time.

Another possible solution to consumers using too much electricity during peak demand is to have the electric company turn down your power from a central location.   The document states "[a]n array of new technologies makes it possible to manage power demand from end uses such as residential air conditioners and water heaters by automatically reducing these electric "draws" for brief periods of time. "  Along the same lines, is a suggested strategy called "Conservation Voltage Reduction" which "lowers the voltage at which electrical power is delivered."  I am no expert in this area therefore cannot speak with any expertise on the details of these programs, but it would seem to me that this technology allows for your electricity to be manipulated from an outside operator.

It is important to note this is not the work of greedy capitalists operating in a free market.  The spread of smart meters is dependent on government grants and regulations.  The two electricity providers that operate in the state, Eversource and United Illuminating, are highly regulated monopolies.  The level of government involvement into the electricity market is incredible.  For example, quoting from that same state document:
"Legislation enacted in 1998 mandated sweeping changes to the structure of the electricity sector. CL&P and UI were ordered to sell off their generation assets and begin operating solely as electric distribution companies. "
The state did this under the guise of lowering electricity rates, but as with much government intervention, it did not achieve it's stated goal:
"While proponents of restructuring anticipated that the switch to competitive supply would lead to lower electricity rates, electricity rates climbed precipitously after deregulation, reaching an all-time high in 2009."
Of course they call their regulation failure "deregulation" as a way to make the people think that not having enough government involvement was the problem.

Some would even question if this increase in electricity rates was a result of the incompetence of our officials or secretly the policy makers goal was to increase the cost of electricity.  In the previous section in this analysis titled "They Want Us Poor" I discuss how some policy makers in the state have such a desire to reduce our carbon emissions that they praise high energy prices as a way to get us to consume less.  On top of that, these climate change policies already have a direct effect in increasing the cost of electricity in the state as seen by the creation of the Connecticut Green Bank which is funded by a surcharge on our electrical bills.

Connecting this idea to the topic at hand, smart meters are marketed as a way for people to save money on their electrical bills but there have been many reports throughout the country of increased rates after smart meter installation.

It is always good to show the Rockefeller connection to all of this as it seems there is always one there.  Quoting from the document "In 2009, approximately 3,000 Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) customers (1,500 commercial and industrial customers and 1,500 residential customers) from Hartford and Stamford participated in the pilot Plan-it Wise Energy Program, which included smart meters and pricing plans with different rates for peak and non-peak periods (dynamic pricing)."  This Plan-it Wise Energy Program was a collaboration between Connecticut Light and Power and a company named Accenture.  Accenture has received multiple $100,000 and up grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.  For more information on this curious Rockefeller connection, read my other analyses on the subject.

After evaluating the full cost and plan, the state of Connecticut "decided not to approve a comprehensive deployment of smart meters", instead recommending "that CL&P (now known as Eversource Energy) begin installing smart meters at a more moderate pace."

The other electricity provider in the state, United Illuminating, has become part of Avangrid, a “green” international utility company. Its website states that it plans to install two million natural gas and electric Smart Meters across its service territories, including Connecticut, between 2014 and 2023.

It seems like the spread of smart meters is going to happen one way or the other.

Lastly, I would like to leave the reader with an example of how revealing this smart technology is and how it can be used against you.  In the process of investigating a murder in Arkansas, investigators used the suspect's water and electric smart meter to determine what the suspect was doing at specific times to build a case against him.  While in this case the smart meters may have been used to solve a murder, putting this technology in the hands of the control-freak technocrats that are designing this sustainable development system and are hell-bent on reducing our energy consumption can lead to a nightmare scenario with every move you make, even in your own house, being monitored and documented.

Related Reports:
  • The Problems With Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 6: They Want Us Poor - December 29, 2016 (link)
  • The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 5 - Connection to the United Nations - December 7, 2016 (link)
  • The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 4: The Rockefeller Connection - January 25, 2016 (link)
  • The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 3: The War on Cars - November 9, 2015 (link)
  • The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 2: Inaccurate Data - September 28, 2015 (link)
  • The Problems with Connecticut Climate Change Policy - Part 1: Is Man-Made Global Warming Real? - September 21, 2015 (link)