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.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#43 Nov 22, 2009
Asking wrote:
Do the gas smart meters broadcast on a frequency that could cause interference with a tv dish close to it?
Not likely, unless the sat. Installer used crappy coax, or did'nt properly install the end connectors properly.
Satelites run much higher up in frequencies, up to 10gHz, and unless it's a harmonic with the meter (multiple of 903-928mHz) You should be fine.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#44 Nov 22, 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.
You will get 3 letter, You already probably got the first one, it'll say "Congratulation, You're going to get an up-grade", and then two more asking for an appoitment scheduling for Your installation.
After that, they'll just shut You off, that's it.

They really value Their customers, eh?

Since: Jan 08

Fairfield

#45 Nov 22, 2009
This is my 3rd bill since the smart meter was installed. Bills have been around the same cost every month. In fact, if I wasn't home to know the meter was put in, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. No complaints yet.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#46 Nov 24, 2009
Asking wrote:
Do the gas smart meters broadcast on a frequency that could cause interference with a tv dish close to it?
The new smart electric meters don't broadcast anything into the air, they transmit the usage date on power lines, and will not interfere with any cable, satellite, radios or phones.
Commander Bunny is having interference problems with his ham radio gear and has determined that the cause is the new smart electric meters. Maybe his neighbors we given some old digital HID ballasts that are extremely dirty. They even cause interference on on radios and TV's. Lumatech has recently fixed the problem of harmonic distortion by much better circuitry and shielding, and just released a dimmable ballast. Junk those early digital ballasts, they are garbage and will cause the Bunny grief

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#47 Nov 24, 2009
Asking wrote:
Do the gas smart meters broadcast on a frequency that could cause interference with a tv dish close to it?
I appologize, I didn't read your question good enough. The gas smart meters do indeed transmit radio frequencies into the air, and so do the smart thermostats that are optional.
Since they are relatively new, it would be up to you to find out if they are causing any interference on any of your media. If they are, if I were you I would file a complaint with the PUC as soon as possible.
I don't have PG&E gas at my house and the electric smart meters are not scheduled to be installed in my county until 2011. I hope any problems and protests are addressed in the next 2 years, and hopefully the public will put the kibbosh on the boondoggle before they get to this area.
Ken Briggs

United States

#48 Nov 24, 2009
name one town or city where no one bitch about them
Bah

Moraga, CA

#49 Nov 24, 2009
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>The new smart electric meters don't broadcast anything into the air, they transmit the usage date on power lines, and will not interfere with any cable, satellite, radios or phones.


I am not sure you are right about that. I think Silver Springs Networks is providing the meter linking technology and they have a 900 Mhz solution. From their website. "To date, Silver Spring has delivered an RF mesh network that operates in the 900 MHz band." Power line data transfer certainly exists and is used in metering, but I don't think that is what they are using here. Yep, pretty sure you are not right.I'll keep digging though.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#50 Nov 24, 2009
Bah

Moraga, CA

#51 Nov 24, 2009
"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."

Actually, that is not right either. Nope, not right. http://www.smartsynch.com/SmartSynch_ge_i210c...

"The I-210+c SmartMeter is a 100% under-the-cover, ANSI-certified metering solution and consists of a solid-state meter, an advanced SmartSynch module and a communication device. This advanced metering device features a host of key monitoring and communication functionalities, including

Remote Connect and Disconnect"

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#52 Nov 24, 2009
Bah wrote:
"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."
Actually, that is not right either. Nope, not right. http://www.smartsynch.com/SmartSynch_ge_i210c...
"The I-210+c SmartMeter is a 100% under-the-cover, ANSI-certified metering solution and consists of a solid-state meter, an advanced SmartSynch module and a communication device. This advanced metering device features a host of key monitoring and communication functionalities, including
Remote Connect and Disconnect"
You're %100 correct.
If They want to brown-out an entire area, They will.
I feel for those with health problems that require some form of electrical device to keep Them ticking, but I'm pretty sure They don't care, seeing that They're willing to dose Folks with 900mHz RF radiation.
It's really simular to that OnStar-system new cars have, sure They'll have great commercials about the lifesaving atributes about it, but what They don't tell You They can disable Your vehicle's ignition, or deflate Your car's tires remotely as well.

I can see in the very near future this happening.

let's limit American Citizens Their electricity, or make Them unable to drive to the store because of some idiotic enviromentalist's whim.

Kind of explains the "cash for clunkers" bit...complete controll of the Masses.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#53 Nov 25, 2009
Bah wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not sure you are right about that. I think Silver Springs Networks is providing the meter linking technology and they have a 900 Mhz solution. From their website. "To date, Silver Spring has delivered an RF mesh network that operates in the 900 MHz band." Power line data transfer certainly exists and is used in metering, but I don't think that is what they are using here. Yep, pretty sure you are not right.I'll keep digging though.
The mesh network is the same as the grid network, it is power lines. The electric smart meters transmit usage data as a radio frequency on power lines, not in the air. I recently did a major upgrade to a house in Marin county, and I got the permits and notified PG&E to do the final change out for the new 200 amp service that I installed.
When they did it, they installed a new electric meter made by Landis-Gyr. The meter said smart meter on it, but they put a sticker on the glass over it that said "watt hour only".
I am still working at that job and I have looked at the new meter many times. It is the same size as an old meter, it consists of a small circuit board and digital display. There are no moving electro mechanical parts or antennas.
As an electrician, I understand the switching of power, whether it is 100 amps or 200 amps. Switching that amount of power cannot possibly be done with such a small device like a smart meter with no mechanical parts. A 200 amp switch or current limiting device (circuit breaker) is over twice the size of a smart meter.
The new smart electrical meters transmit usage data, and they use the grid power to do so on the power lines. They also can sense when the power is interrupted, when the power is interrupted there is no tone or data transmitted back on the power lines, and that is how PG&E knows that there is an outage.
To me it is simple, but to the average non-electrician, PG&E can tell you anything and you most likely won't question it. I suggest you do check it out some more, but from what I have seen in the media and what people perceive, most people don't have a clue. The only truth that I have seen is that the new electric smart meters transmit usage data on the electrical mesh network (power lines), and that the gas smart meters transmit data on a secured radio frequency, as well as the smart thermostats. All this talk about all other appliances reporting usage data only is done with ethernet cables connected to each and every device with cat 5 cables, and must have the special chips installed in each device to make it work, and a computer to hook up to. I do home automation and controls, but I have not yet had a customer request running cat 5 cables to all new appliance. It is way too expensive.
I have had people with vacation homes have internet connections to pipe heaters, refrigerators, circ pumps and DRIVEWAY HEATERS !
Can you imagine living in Belvedere and calling your third home in Teluride to turn on the driveway heaters to melt the snow and pre heating the spa for when you arrive ? Now that is a smart house.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#54 Nov 25, 2009
Commander Bunny wrote:
<quoted text>You're %100 correct.
If They want to brown-out an entire area, They will.
I feel for those with health problems that require some form of electrical device to keep Them ticking, but I'm pretty sure They don't care, seeing that They're willing to dose Folks with 900mHz RF radiation.
It's really simular to that OnStar-system new cars have, sure They'll have great commercials about the lifesaving atributes about it, but what They don't tell You They can disable Your vehicle's ignition, or deflate Your car's tires remotely as well.
I can see in the very near future this happening.
let's limit American Citizens Their electricity, or make Them unable to drive to the store because of some idiotic enviromentalist's whim.
Kind of explains the "cash for clunkers" bit...complete controll of the Masses.
A lot of people are under the deception that the On-Star system uses satellite phones. That is another myth. On-Star uses a satellite GPS receiver to get co-ordinants and is coupled with a land based mobile phone network to report to authorities and the individual vehicle. Even smart people are easily fooled by the play on words of the advertisers , and some even cook up their own answers to things that they don't know about ! Deflate tires ? I chihuahua ! Disable ignition yes. Cash for clunkers ? That is the Sonoma commute trains (SMART).
Power Switchoff

Berkeley, CA

#55 Nov 28, 2009
Stop watching the brain washing TV. Stop useing all those power consuming things, like washing machines, etc.
Socialist Joker

Orange, CA

#56 Nov 28, 2009
Big brother and the now discredited man made global warming hoax is really instilling confidence in the government isn't it!
Violet Blue

San Francisco, CA

#57 Nov 29, 2009
My friends one block away have a Smart Meter and they say their bill has been pretty much the same as before.
Watts Updoc

Petaluma, CA

#58 Dec 4, 2009
Give me some power!
robin

Vacaville, CA

#59 Dec 5, 2009
Pulipaca wrote:
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 !
Holy Toledo, Batman! Someone on topix who is not a moron!

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#60 Dec 5, 2009
robin wrote:
<quoted text>
Holy Toledo, Batman! Someone on topix who is not a moron!
Thank you robin. Do you think most of the people on the Topix forums are morons ? I think some are, but not everyone.
My whole reason to post is to inform people, and there are many who don't like to see people posting the truth, so they launch personal attacks against me. Only a few people do this, but when they do, I must retaliate with counter attacks. I don't like the game at all, and if people don't like reading the truth, they should simply ignore the truth.
But thanks again robin for posting something positive instead of a put down.

“I will now use my Lirpa”

Since: Aug 08

Washington DC

#61 Dec 5, 2009
The best way to beat this is to be energy self reliant! Both in the short and long term economicaly. Solar PV and Wind with Battery/Generator back-up...then off the grid.
Bah

Moraga, CA

#62 Dec 6, 2009
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>Thank you robin. Do you think most of the people on the Topix forums are morons ? I think some are, but not everyone.
My whole reason to post is to inform people, and there are many who don't like to see people posting the truth, so they launch personal attacks against me. Only a few people do this, but when they do, I must retaliate with counter attacks. I don't like the game at all, and if people don't like reading the truth, they should simply ignore the truth.
But thanks again robin for posting something positive instead of a put down.
Check your source, you've been misinformed. The meters use RF in three ways. One way is data over power lines to the nearest transformer, then broadcast (RF) to a cell tower. Next, meter to meter (RF) piggybacking data until transmitted (RF) to a node, then retransmitted (RF) to a cell tower (the mesh), and finally, meter directly to cell tower (RF). Not SCADA.
Meters that have disconnect capability are more expensive and would be deployed in logical locations, apartments, high risk customers, etc.
You are just not correct, nothing wrong with that.

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