PG&E rolls out SmartMeters, grumbles ...

PG&E rolls out SmartMeters, grumbles roll in

There are 145 comments on the The Reporter story from Nov 14, 2009, titled PG&E rolls out SmartMeters, grumbles roll in. In it, The Reporter reports that:

PG&E's $2.2 billion program to install 10 million SmartMeters on homes and businesses throughout California to better monitor energy consumption is off to a rough start.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Reporter.

“de omnibus dubitandum.”

Since: Mar 09

Terra incognita

#23 Nov 15, 2009
Becca wrote:
Gee, how stunning. I go to my account online on PGE.com and I can read my bill, pay my bill, do anything that requires me paying them... however! I cannot compare my bills, or compare my usage. Everytime I click on it, I get a message saying that I've been logged off for my own safety... MY safety? Or their ability to NOT have me compare my bills??
That's why I save my copy of the bill for a year.
wise

Pendergrass, GA

#24 Nov 15, 2009
Becca wrote:
Gee, how stunning. I go to my account online on PGE.com and I can read my bill, pay my bill, do anything that requires me paying them... however! I cannot compare my bills, or compare my usage. Everytime I click on it, I get a message saying that I've been logged off for my own safety... MY safety? Or their ability to NOT have me compare my bills??
ever think of buying a small ledger and recording your monthly expenses? i have been doing this for years. want to know what my pg&e cast for march 2001, it written in my ledger. an ya'll think arkies is stupid.
Mr Hamilton

Grass Valley, CA

#25 Nov 15, 2009
F PG&E they are no longer family.They are another layer of government.All management is the same,college idiots who do not know the work.Upper management just looking for their 2-4 year run and big bonuses
nvr2latern

Petaluma, CA

#26 Nov 15, 2009
I'll bet their so-called "smart" system has already been hacked. A renowned scientist from Lawrence Livermore Labs has been reporting that the system is ridiculously simple to hack --- quite literally by high-school age hackers. You can that there's a market for this. And PG&E (who screws every residential customer in CA on a monthly basis) and the geniuses at the PUC have certainly made it very, very simple.
If you REALLY want to lower your monthly bill, all you need to do is have your address declared a "business address," and you'll realize a huge savings every month.
Mike

San Francisco, CA

#27 Nov 15, 2009
Energy Hawk wrote:
Based on my experience, it's entirely likely that your old mechanical meter is UNDERSTATING consumption. I once moved into a rental and my first month's PG&E bill showed zero electricity consumption. That was VERY quickly followed by a technician who sprayed some WD-40 into the working parts of the meter, which started working. The new meters are likely less subject to that kind of inaccuracy.
OK, then where can we buy some "opposite of WD-40" to spray in our existing mechanical meters?

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#28 Nov 15, 2009
I am a licensed electrical contractor who works with PG&E engineers and service people on a daily basis, and I ask a lot of questions to keep current in my skilled trade.
It seems like many articles written in the media are misleading and vague.
The new electric smart meters use a power line carrier technology called SCADA. The electric meters transmit data as a radio frequency on the mesh (grid) network, not in the air. But Commander Bunny claims his new electric meter is bleeding harmonic distortion on his ham radio gear.
The electric meters themselves are not a switch or circuit breaker, and are not capable of turning off your power at the point of demarcation. A main circuit breaker is a big device almost the same size as the meter itself.
The gas meters do transmit a radio frequency in the air since they have not figured out how to transmit data on gas yet !
What some people are talking about is if a customer opts for a radio tranceiver to control their air conditioning, it will be done by a separate system that uses radio control transmitted in the air from the power poles to inside your home. You will see antennae on the poles and PG&E must get your permission and come inside your house to install a smart thermostat. They are offering a $25 credit if you let them do that, it is optional, not mandatory.
Yes they are making new refrigerators and other equipment with special chips that can monitor usage of energy, but in order to utilize this technology one must have the Z-wave software installed on a computer that must run 24 hours a day. And how is that saving energy by running a computer 24 hours a day ? And just because one knows how much energy that was used yesterday, the energy is already used and is going to be used again today, unless you want warm beer and melted ice cream.
The smart meters will not save any customers any money, they are to save the corporation money by eliminating the meter readers. And yes the Supervisory Control And Data Accqisition system (SCADA)can be compromised by hackers with a PC and knowledge of the system and also an internet connection. There are many unanswered questions about security and privacy issues, and also fraud in billing data transmitted. This a HUGE can of worms !
BMX Biker

Pleasanton, CA

#29 Nov 15, 2009
Are these the meters that can automatically turn off your air conditioner in the summer, at peak hours?

We almost subscribed to that program, but as the installer was about to install the new thermostat, I changed my mind and said, "STOP! I've changed my mind."

He shrugged and left my house.

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#30 Nov 15, 2009
I just got a smartmeter, can't wait to see my next bill.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#31 Nov 16, 2009
PG&E's ripping-off it's so-called "Customers".

The meter is a transmitter that operates in the 900mHz spectrum, and They'll put it anywhere They feel like in complete disregard of Federal guidelines of RF exposure to People/pets.
They're special, They don't have to abide by safety guidelines, like American citizens.

So here's the deal: We put a transmitter on Your house, that in turn "talks" to Your Neighbors meter, thus extending the systems range, and We fire 5,000-10,000 Meter-Readers, so They'll save Themselves a princely sum of money, and You, the Customer, have to pay for the meter to transmit 24/7.
So They're actually wasting electricity, and passing-off the expense on It's Customers.

CALPUC told Me that initially They(PG&E) were planning on charging It's Customers $500 for the meter, but keep an eye on Your "line transmission-tax", it'll increase, and increase it will, that's how They'll get Their money back.

This so-called "Meter" will keep track of Your usage, and hours of usage, a complete violation of privacy, and since it's being transmitted, Your information can be read by anyone with a scanner that's 900mHz capable, and a laptop w/ digital interface.
So this will not only invite home invasions/burglaries, but also leave You wide-open for other types of criminal activity.(Personal info & such)

After I had my meter installed, I turned-off the breaker, and lived soley off solar/batteries, and candles, and the meter racked-up 24kW's in 5 days.
Then there's the issue of turning off Your power remotely, at a whim, which can be fatal for Folks living on medical devices that require power.
And, like Google, this info on Your usage will be up for sale as well, a complete invasion of privacy.

If You're the Type Who reads Your monthly statement, They say that as of Jan. 2010, expect an increase in Your bill.

9 out of 10 People I've spoken with have told Me that Their bills were considerably higher the next month after the meter was installed.

This is a huge power grab for controll of a Monopoly's customer-base, and a win-win situation for Them, and a lose-lose situation for Their long-time Customers.

More info:
http://turn.org/article.php ...

Fight this MONSTROCITY!

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#32 Nov 16, 2009
Pulipaca: First off..Hi!

As You well know this has been a HUGE issue for Me for various reasons, and I did forget to add that indeed, the meters have made my UHF/GMARS radios practically useless.
The meter broadcast in the 33cm spectrum, and Amatuer radio operators have a "Secondary User" allocation for the band.
I had a modest 900mHz Motorola system in My shack, but I knew that any interference I caused might result in fines, or loss of my license, so I boxed-up everything to be sure I would'nt cause an issue.

But my Neighbors meter gives me a solid 60/9 dB signal at over 70' away, on the secondary harmonic.

If this new meter was to send the Customers usage through data lines, rather than transmit it openly, I, at least would have 2 major issues-less to think about.(pertaining to this meter, that is.)
think about it, They've got miles upon miles of lines, would'nt it just make sense to "piggy-back" the info/data on the pre-existing lines?
Mom of Three

Vernonia, OR

#33 Nov 16, 2009
They don't have these in Nevada. And my friend's parents pay $58 a month to cool their place in Las Vegas during the hottest part of summer. Why? Nuclear.

On the other hand, y'all get some killer sun there, get on solar and get off the grid and yes, I do know how much it costs for solar.
Mr Fischer

Valley Springs, CA

#34 Nov 16, 2009
Its all ball bearings! I think you guys need a refresher course! Mitch Cumstein would never allow this to happen! God save the Queen!!!
jose

Menlo Park, CA

#35 Nov 16, 2009
To the BMX Biker........
The Transciever that PG&E wants to put on your a/c is not the same as this Smart Meter. It is just for the air conditioning system.
I have a two year old system and I will not let them put anything on it. If it damages the system I kinda think they would laugh at me if I asked them to replace or repair it.
I do know some folks that fell for this a/c system and on a couple of really hot days they were shut down for a couple of hours. Probably to charge someones electric car or something.
I kind of think that it is just a test program right now to see how many suckers that can collect.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#36 Nov 16, 2009
Commander Bunny wrote:
Pulipaca: First off..Hi!
As You well know this has been a HUGE issue for Me for various reasons, and I did forget to add that indeed, the meters have made my UHF/GMARS radios practically useless.
The meter broadcast in the 33cm spectrum, and Amatuer radio operators have a "Secondary User" allocation for the band.
I had a modest 900mHz Motorola system in My shack, but I knew that any interference I caused might result in fines, or loss of my license, so I boxed-up everything to be sure I would'nt cause an issue.
But my Neighbors meter gives me a solid 60/9 dB signal at over 70' away, on the secondary harmonic.
If this new meter was to send the Customers usage through data lines, rather than transmit it openly, I, at least would have 2 major issues-less to think about.(pertaining to this meter, that is.)
think about it, They've got miles upon miles of lines, would'nt it just make sense to "piggy-back" the info/data on the pre-existing lines?
PG&E has been installing radio controlled switches on their poles for over 15 years without fanfare. I noticed some antennas on poles on Tamal Vista in Corte Madera and asked my friend who works for PG&E what that was all about. He explained to me that they can reroute power on shunt lines if there is a problem somewhere in the system. They used to have to drive out to the location and use their hot sticks to do the switching, but now they can sit in the control room and remotely control the switches by radio. They have their own frequency that is encrypted data and also several voice freguencies. They used to use one down on VHF around 200 mhz, and later using uhf and mobile (cell) phones.
I know that you still don't believe me that the electric meters transmit usage data on the power lines, not in the air. I have talked to many people who work in the field for PG&E and they all said that the electric meters transmit RF on top of the power lines. If you go to PG&E's web site and look up smart meters it says that the electric meters transmit the data on the electrical mesh network, that is the electrical grid (power lines). They also explain that the gas meters do indeed transmit RF in the air. And no you will not be able to read anyone's electrical data with a 900 mhz scanner. The information can only be read by someone with a PC and internet connection. Also they must be familier with the SCADA system, and fortunately not many people know anything about it. The MMWD has been using SCADA for about 15 years. I almost took a job with them when they were first installing the system, but they didn't offer enough money.
Another thing my friend who works for PG&E told me is if you call them on the phone, you will not get much useful information from their operators, they aren't told much at all and often repeat what the media says. They have you fooled and a lot of other people too. Sorry CB, I know that you are smart and have a huge issue with the interference on your radios which is real. You should force them to clean up their act, maybe contact TURN and tell them your story. They are activists with lawyers.

Good luck and keep on fighting the good fight.
Mr Hamilton

Grass Valley, CA

#37 Nov 18, 2009
Now if there was a lyger in the yard attacking meter readers that would be different.Uncle Rico would not agree as well because he got a free bowl of soup with that hat.My head is kinda hot
Bob

San Jose, CA

#38 Nov 19, 2009
I ahd a punk show up in my driveway the other day to install a new meter and I sent him packing. I told him I was perfectly happy with my stupid meter.
Bob

San Jose, CA

#39 Nov 19, 2009
had

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#40 Nov 19, 2009
Bob wrote:
I ahd a punk show up in my driveway the other day to install a new meter and I sent him packing. I told him I was perfectly happy with my stupid meter.
Good for you to stand up to PG&E Bob. Please let us know if they are going to administer any punishment for your brave act.
If they don't punish you, then you are a hero and will set the precedent for a revolution in California. Good luck and please keep us posted.
Where I live in Marin County PG&E has not started installing the smart meters yet, they say sometime in 2011 maybe. I hope they get squelched before that. Thank you Bob !
Rate Hike

Walnut Creek, CA

#41 Nov 21, 2009
This is shocking news!
Asking

United States

#42 Nov 22, 2009
Do the gas smart meters broadcast on a frequency that could cause interference with a tv dish close to it?

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