SmartMeter concerns

SmartMeter concerns

There are 31 comments on the Eureka Times Standard story from Dec 18, 2010, titled SmartMeter concerns. In it, Eureka Times Standard reports that:

On Dec. 14 a pickup pulled onto my property and a very nice person informed me they were going to install a SmartMeter for PG&E. This was the first I had heard of this installation.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Eureka Times Standard.

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Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#21 Dec 21, 2010
Bah wrote:
Meters that can measure power flow both into and out of the residence are called "bidirectional." This is from the GE smartmeter page.
"Bi-Directional Metering
The I-210+c SmartMeter is a bi-directional meter that supports Net Metering. Both received and delivered data metrics
are stored in the meter and can be delivered to the utility as needed to support “green-credit” electricity programs
for consumers who own renewable energy facilities or participate in vehicle-to-grid systems."
Here is the link http://www.smartsynch.com/pdf/I-210+c_SmartMe...
Thank you Bah for the link about the GE I-210+C SmartMeters. That meter is not like the ones that I have seen made by Landis-Gyr that are being installed in my area.
They did not specify in what countries and what regions the I-210+c meters are being used if any, so until someone comes up with some documentation on the Landis-Gyr meters, we have no way of knowing if the current wave of SmartMeters are capapable of 2 way time of use metering.
I saw a flyer that was given to customers who had new SmartMeters installed, they said that the meter reader will still come and read the new meters until they get the infrastructure in place to read them remotely, and gave no time line at all. It could be years before the utility companies (PG&E in this region) start to actually utilize all the radio transmissions put out by those new meters. PG&E won't say, or tell their meter readers either. It is a shame that all the money spent by the ratepayers and taxpayers and energy to transmit data is not being used yet.
At least if PG&E was more truthful about the whole program, the goals and the time lines, the public might have just a little bit of trust in PG&E. But now it is nada, zip, zilch, they are lying hags.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#22 Dec 21, 2010
That business is so competitive right now that I can assure you that L&G would not shoot themselves in the foot by not offering a bidirectional meter. PG&E may choose not to buy them, I don't know.
As far as the rest of it, I'm trying to keep an open mind. It is the information age after all. Meters have been around and doing a good job for a hundred (give or take) years. This is brand new, I'm sure there will be mistakes made.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#23 Dec 21, 2010
Maybe I spoke too soon. I don't see such a meter offered on the L&G site. The use of the term bi-directional on their site referred to communication not power flow. Who makes the German electric meters? I know they are big on residential solar. In any event, PG&E could buy the GE meter for solar installations if it came to that.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#24 Dec 21, 2010
Here it is. They have a different name for it. Import-export meters. Copied from an article on their website.

"An import-export meter for micro-generation
The final product was customized to be an importexport meter for Scottish and Southern’s customers who operate their own renewable generation. To tie in with the desire to promote environmentally friendly energy the meters are supplied in a green plastic casing.
The import-export meters measure energy consumption as well as energy produced within a home from renewable power sources such as solar PV and wind turbines. Customers can request the meters, at no extra cost, usually in conjunction with the installation of a generator. Already five thousand meters have been installed to the full satisfaction of Scottish and Southern Energy and their end-users."

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#25 Dec 22, 2010
Bah wrote:
Here it is. They have a different name for it. Import-export meters. Copied from an article on their website.
"An import-export meter for micro-generation
The final product was customized to be an importexport meter for Scottish and Southern’s customers who operate their own renewable generation. To tie in with the desire to promote environmentally friendly energy the meters are supplied in a green plastic casing.
The import-export meters measure energy consumption as well as energy produced within a home from renewable power sources such as solar PV and wind turbines. Customers can request the meters, at no extra cost, usually in conjunction with the installation of a generator. Already five thousand meters have been installed to the full satisfaction of Scottish and Southern Energy and their end-users."
A few of my customers have the legacy AMI time of use and reversible electric meters, and in areas where PG&E is installing new Landis-Gyr wireless meters, they have not changed out the old TOU meters for people who back feed to the grid. So I guess that the import-export meters offered in Scottland are not being offered here in the US.
Scottland is an innovative country, they were the first to develop the X-10 power line carrier remote control systems in 1979.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#26 Dec 22, 2010
In any event, it is not impossible to measure power flow both ways. However, PG&E is not exactly open to competition, maybe even hostile, and widespread distributed power generation at the residential level would be competition. On the other hand, making investments that take decades to recoup requires some assurance on continued revenue streams.
Anonymous

Sacramento, CA

#27 Dec 22, 2010
Be prepared for sticker shock with your first billing once the "SmartMeters" are in place. Our electric bill DOUBLED! Others in the area had bills that were up to 5 times their normal usage. And don't bother calling PG&E about it. Even when it is an entire neighborhood complaining, their only answer was that the old meters must have been inaccurate (for the whole neighborhood?!). Your best bet is to write to the PUC. I understand an investigation is underway.
Solarman

La Quinta, CA

#28 Dec 22, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>Hi Solarman, cell phones put out 2/10ths of a watt for G3,G4, and CDMA cariers, which is all of them except for Nextel, that uses a propriatary network known as iDEN. Those handheld mobile phones put out 6/10ths of a watt, but they are going to be phased out in 2013. The higher powered lower frequency radio phones are much more reliable and powerful, but are expensive for the carriers to operate and need to go.
The old mobile "bag phones" did put out 3 watts, but they have been history for many years.
I am also very interested in what you said about the new SmartMeters not being reversible. That is also what my PG&E meter reader told me, but I have never found any documentation from anywhere to substantiate that.
The reversible meters are also time of use meters (TOU), enabling customers who generate their own power from hydro and solar to backfeed to the power grid. With feed-in tariffs paid, a customer can generate power during the day, feed it to the grid, get paid a higher rate and then use power at off-peak times at a lower rate.
The TOU meters are AMR meters that have been around for over 20 years, but the new SmartMeters are AMI meters that are supposedly not capable of being reversible.
With the new tests of electric vehicles and the possibility of using the vehicles batteries as storage for the grid, it seems that the new Automatic Meter Reading Infrastructure (AMI) SmartMeters will not support these goals of using vehicle batteries to balance loads.
It looks to me like the smart meters are what is called an embedded system. Basically its a micro-processor or micro-computer programmed for a specific job, often called expert system programming. Your type of smart meter may be firmware upgradable like the GE models, don't know for sure. Looked at the spec sheet for the GE meter, it doesn't specifically say, but the specs look a lot like the CPU specs used in GE PLCs. It may be a repurposed CPU programmed for power monitoring and consumption. There are several ways to get information from the meters. There was a move in the 1990s in Pennsylvania that used the power lines as an internet connection. If this was used, then each home meter would have its own IP address and could be accessed over the internet. I'm guessing the reason utilities haven't gone this route is fear of denial of service attacts.
Solarman

La Quinta, CA

#29 Dec 23, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>Hi Solarman, cell phones put out 2/10ths of a watt for G3,G4, and CDMA cariers, which is all of them except for Nextel, that uses a propriatary network known as iDEN. Those handheld mobile phones put out 6/10ths of a watt, but they are going to be phased out in 2013. The higher powered lower frequency radio phones are much more reliable and powerful, but are expensive for the carriers to operate and need to go.
The old mobile "bag phones" did put out 3 watts...
I am also very interested in what you said about the new SmartMeters not being reversible. That is also what my PG&E meter reader told me, but I have never found any documentation from anywhere to substantiate that.
The reversible meters are also time of use meters (TOU), enabling customers who generate their own power from hydro and solar to backfeed to the power grid....
From the Landis-Gyr web site I found this:"Architecture:
Our open architecture platform helps you get the most from your information The unique software platform provides the system and data applications necessary for fully functional two-way integrated metering infrastructure, suitable for both residential and industrial/grid metering.
System applications provide full control of all aspects of automated data collection. State-of-the art system architecture provides unrivalled scalability and flexibility.
User-friendly data management applications ensure you get the right data quality, in the right format and at the right time. They provide the automated meter data and process management that gives you seamless information flows.
Flexibility
Whether there are one thousand or one million metering points to be handled, our open architecture AMM platform helps you implement right-fit solutions. It offers unparalleled interoperability and flexibility in responding to changing industry standards, systems and technologies, ensuring a future proof solution.
Scalability
Our system architecture offers a fully scalable AMM solution that can have one or more AMR engines, depending on the energy company’s needs and circumstances. The modular structure allows optimization of the system, enabling required data to be gathered from each end-customer segment as cost-efficiently as possible. Multiple communication servers can be connected, optimising communication performance. It all makes the system extremely adaptable to different environments and requirements.
Interoperability
Our integration adapter enables real-time, automated data transfer, in the right format, between the AMM system and external information management systems. Using universal standards such as XML and Web Services, it acts as a common point through which all process information can flow. It therefore improves efficiency, eliminates overlaps in system maintenance and reduces manual work.
Building a smart grid
Smart grid functionality creates awareness of network status by identifying at which metering points power outages and voltage changes have occurred. This information can be used to increase efficiency by optimising electricity network capacity. This functionality contributes toward the development of a smart grid.
Specialised software tools
Specialised software tools enable the easy validation of incoming metering data and the processing of profile and tariff calculations. Metering points can also be remotely configured to automatically report any internal and external alarms detected.
There are tools for meter park management that automate meter installation and AMM system set-up. In addition, the tools for utility customer services provide customer service personnel with online AMM system access to the latest metering data as well as the control of various processes." The focus here should be on "open architecture". You can specify what you want to acomplish. So the real question is, What did PG&E specify when they purchased the meters?
old timer

Oakland, CA

#30 Dec 23, 2010
parkprotector wrote:
Be prepared for sticker shock with your first billing once the "SmartMeters" are in place. Our electric bill DOUBLED! Others in the area had bills that were up to 5 times their normal usage. And don't bother calling PG&E about it. Even when it is an entire neighborhood complaining, their only answer was that the old meters must have been inaccurate (for the whole neighborhood?!). Your best bet is to write to the PUC. I understand an investigation is underway.
Down south where the S-M meters are already installed there are a lot of billing errors. Then it is hard to correct.
kcc

San Francisco, CA

#31 Jan 5, 2011
do not install it, the bill will goes up!

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