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fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to pike

Re: Smart meter coming

said by pike:

liebold,

I agree the likelihood of anyone discovering my TV viewing habits (or even caring for that matter) via smart meter is about nil. But to say it's impossible is inaccurate, if not ignorant.

They can already get it from your DVR. TiVo already makes a good bit of money selling data about viewing habits, including what you watch and what you ff/rewind.

I'm as big a tech nerd as anyone here on DSLR but sometimes even I look at something and have to wonder if we're simply looking for a problem to solve. I don't really see too much of a benefit for the typical residential electric consumer with the smart meter. I think the utility is the real winner here, by eliminating the job of the meter reader and then pocketing that cash as profit. And all the while billing the consumer through PUC approved fees to deploy these new meters.

To be fair, it is nice to have real-time usage stats, but realistically I think those of us who will really use the data already invested in a product like the TED 5000 (I know I did).

It's about demand pricing. The utility already pays demand pricing and now is looking to pass that along to the consumer. Would that be better than a straight rate increase? I think so. I like the ability to control my cost increase. If that means setting laundry or the dishwasher to run at 2AM, I can do that. Technology makes it all possible.

There's also the ability to remotely manage the network. They can also determine if a power outage has occurred because the meter hasn't reported back. And yes, they can disconnect deadbeats rather easily without risking employees being assaulted by said deadbeats.

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to pike
said by pike:

said by AsherN:

I always chuckle at the privacy and eavesdropping. They have TOD patterns. That tells nothing other than overall usage in the home. A peak at noon can mean either I'm doing a load of dishes, or I just fed a quarter in the bedpost.

What are you basing your statement on?

»www.h-online.com/security/news/i···385.html

Tin hat much? First, the interval are longer, second, to analyze TV viewing data, they'd need precise time and light data for every broadcast availabe to me. And if I turn on another TV, or light, it all goes to hell

said by pike:

said by AsherN:

TOD billing makes you change your habits a bit. It's not a big deal.

So you don't mind being inconvenienced just so the shareholders of the electric utilities can take home a few extra pennies this year. That's great but I have a sneaking suspicion you're in the minority here.

DOn't care. I do care about lower bills. inconvinence is a subjective thing. example. My dishwasher has a single 4 hour delay. To start the dishwasher, I need to press 2 buttons. If I press 3, it waits 4 hours to start. I doubt that 3rd press means a whole lot to me.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to SparkChaser
We are served by a co-op so the shareholders of our utility are the customers (members, actually). I absolutely want them to save money. We have the lowest rates in the state.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to leibold
said by leibold:

said by pike:

What are you basing your statement on?

»www.h-online.com/security/news/i···385.html

In order for their experiment to succeed they had to eliminate other sources of variable power consumption (such as additional TV sets or computers) and most importantly had to change the smart meter reading interval to an extremely fine resolution of 2 seconds.

Also I wonder what kind of TV set they were using and how the TV was configured?

An LCD TV with the dynamic contrast feature disabled (such that the backlight remains at a constant level) will have negligible difference in power consumption between a light and dark scene. Too small for a smart meter to measure.

Also, if you get your TV through a set-top-box from a cable/satellite/iptv provider, doesn't the TV service provider already know what you're watching?


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to pike
said by pike:

So you don't mind being inconvenienced just so the shareholders of the electric utilities can take home a few extra pennies this year. That's great but I have a sneaking suspicion you're in the minority here.

Nope. I want people to pay for what they use versus spreading out the cost. Wholesale electricity already has demand billing.


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
reply to SparkChaser
When we got them installed at my last residence they were the greatest thing since slice bread. There was NO downside to them. Everything about them was a win-win situation.

I wish I had them at my current residence. (Service is from same provider but they haven't upgraded the technology yet at the current place.)
--
The signal is usually drowned out by the noise.


Dude111
An Awesome Dude
Premium
join:2003-08-04
USA
kudos:13
reply to Speedy Petey

 

Something you should read my friend

»www.google.com/search?q=cache:ht···ance.pdf

One day someone came home AND THIER HOUSE WAS 80 DEGREES!! (The electric company shut off his air conditioners!)



Really i mean: YOU ARE PAYING THEM,WHAT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO TURN YOUR STUFF OFF??

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
disregard.


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell

1 recommendation

reply to SparkChaser

Smart meter coming

DWP installed them here in December. For years I have kept tabs on my use by reading the meter twice a month and since the digital was installed there hasn't been any unusual change in KWh or the bill, but I wonder if/when they will try to go to time of day billing. That is already an option with this muni power company for customers who want lower rates in some areas.

The POCO might be waiting to do so until they have converted everyone to smart meters, and at this time the tech who installed them said they are still being tested, which explains why only one of ten meters are digital at one of the nearby apartment buildings, and only two of about twelve in another apartment building next door. Also the meters I've seen are not all the same brand and don't display exactly the same info.

The meters installed where I live unfortunately have a five-digit display but don't display less than 1KWh increments and apparently no instantaneous use.

With the old mechanical meters if I wanted to quickly determine a small change in power use I could just count the disk revolutions in a given time. Now I would need to remove all variable loads and take two readings over a number of hours or sufficiently long enough to read a difference when the smallest increment on the display is 1KWh. Maybe when customers get the ability to obtain their readings on the POCO website they might have finer resolution, but for now only direct readings.

All the tin foil hat wearers really crack me up. They're worried about some low power RF transmitter outside your home, and that "they" will profile your appliance usage patterns, which is quite an iffy feat to pull off from a technical viewpoint, yet they walk around with an activated cell phone, possibly even a smart phone in their pocket that is collecting all kinds of juicy bits about their whereabouts, who they communicate with and so forth, not to mention holding an RF radiator up close to their head for minutes (or in my case, hours) at a time when in use! If someone wanted to profile your household habits it would be much easier to observe directly from nearby than by reading iffy power use fluctuations.

I'm more concerned with billing problems, the time of use issue, and someone cracking the SCADA system to screw with customers by shutting the power off.

The gas company here is awaiting PUC approval to put in digital meters and as someone mentioned above, already sent notice that customers can opt out by paying a small monthly charge to keep their old analog meter. Interestingly our POCO has not given customers the choice to opt out.


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell

1 recommendation

reply to Dude111

Oh No!!

said by Dude111:

Something you should read.... One day someone came home AND THIER HOUSE WAS 80 DEGREES!!....

Not going to bother opening the link to read that, so I'll make an edumacated guess that the customer had signed up for load shedding service in exchange for a lower rate. Our POCO offers that service too. One day the area's consumption was close to 100% and the POCO decided to shed some non-critical loads for awhile so they signalled AC off, consistent with the customer's agreement that allowed it during a power shortage. So what's the mystery? Where's the evil crime?

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to Dude111

Re:  

said by Dude111:

Something you should read my friend

»www.google.com/search?q=cache:ht···ance.pdf

One day someone came home AND THIER HOUSE WAS 80 DEGREES!! (The electric company shut off his air conditioners!)



Really i mean: YOU ARE PAYING THEM,WHAT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO TURN YOUR STUFF OFF??

I can't vouch for everyone, of course, but around here, "they" (PG&E) are given "the right to turn your stuff off" by the customer. It's an opt-in program.


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
reply to shortckt

Re: Oh No!!

Southern California Edison, (SCE), is the provider here. The smart meters can be read with a 24 hour delay. You simply access the SCE website with your account. It shows your usage by the hour for the previous 24 hours. The meter simply supplies information via a friendly computer generated report that is VERY clear and simple.

The meter has no power in controlling your usage. However, I do not recall if that was or was not an option for it to do so. I don't think so. However, by default it did not control it.

What I've described above is as good as it gets by my standards.
--
The signal is usually drowned out by the noise.


mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07
reply to SparkChaser

Re: Smart meter coming

Smart meter thread...you know I just the oil and filter changed on my car yesterday. Funny coincidence.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to Dude111

Re: The reality of electricty generation

said by Dude111:

YOU ARE PAYING THEM,WHAT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO TURN YOUR STUFF OFF??

Electricity unlike other forms of energy is very difficult to store. The grid has to constantly maintain a delicate balance between generation and consumption. Peak power generation is extremely expensive.

Utilities offer discounts to customers if they allow power to be cut during peak times. I'm serviced by public service of NH with plain old mechanical meters. There are optional heating and hot water rates that disable use during peak times and other rates that allow the utility to disable power as needed during peak times using radio control typically a few time a year. Large user have been dealing with peak time of day charges for years.

Here is a link to the PSNH program called Heatsmart:
»www.psnh.com/SaveEnergyMoney/For···ing.aspx

Ultimately if the utility is unable to shed enough load they institute brownout procedures.

Personally I think time of day billing for residential customers will be a good thing, to reduce the need for expensive peaking plants. However rather then having the utility shed load directly I'd much rather see some sort of more autonomous system where your home network is aware of time of day energy costs and communicates with smart appliances to limit peak load.

/tom



djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Blogger

Re: Oh No!!

said by Blogger:

Southern California Edison, (SCE), is the provider here. The smart meters can be read with a 24 hour delay. You simply access the SCE website with your account. It shows your usage by the hour for the previous 24 hours. The meter simply supplies information via a friendly computer generated report that is VERY clear and simple.

The meter has no power in controlling your usage. However, I do not recall if that was or was not an option for it to do so. I don't think so. However, by default it did not control it.

What I've described above is as good as it gets by my standards.

SCE has the Summer Discount Program (SDP). They come and install a box on your AC that gives them the option to control it. The've had this program for several years, well before smart meters. It has been great (saving an easy $40/mo during summer) up until last year. They got really carried away, cycling it on moderate days when the CA-ISO showed no shortfalls.

Edison is not forcing smart meter customers onto TOU rates, at least not yet.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to tschmidt

Re: The reality of electricty generation

said by tschmidt:

However rather then having the utility shed load directly I'd much rather see some sort of more autonomous system where your home network is aware of time of day energy costs and communicates with smart appliances to limit peak load.

/tom

That's what I'm hoping will come out of it. I don't mind a little time shifting of activities to get back some of that 25% increase I mentioned previously.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Jonathan Swift


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to Blogger

Re: Oh No!!

said by Blogger:

The meter has no power in controlling your usage. However, I do not recall if that was or was not an option for it to do so. I don't think so. However, by default it did not control it.

The smartmeters installed by PG&E have the ability to communicate with (and control) electrical equipment in your home (using ZigBee home automation protocols) however for now this ability is not enabled. The stated goal is to provide a public website where the homeowner can use PG&E's smartgrid to control his/her appliances remotely. My expectation is that at some point in the future we are given a choice to either turn off some appliances at periods of high demand or keep them running at a premium rate (which I have no problem with as long as I get to make the choice).

The smartmeter can also communicate with an AC load shedding device (two options: disconnect relay or set-back thermostat). Those devices are optional but customers agreeing to install them will get a reduction on their monthly bill. I believe this option is just an interim solution until more elaborate controls are developed.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

SCADAGeo

join:2012-11-08
N California
kudos:2
reply to djrobx
said by djrobx:

SCE has the Summer Discount Program (SDP).
---
It has been great (saving an easy $40/mo during summer) up until last year. They got really carried away, cycling it on moderate days when the CA-ISO showed no shortfalls.

I suspect you were affected by San Onofre going off-line in January 2012, and I wouldn't be surprised if the frequency of cycling increases this summer, too.

jeddak

join:2001-12-28
Visalia, CA
reply to djrobx
said by djrobx:

SCE has the Summer Discount Program (SDP). They come and install a box on your AC that gives them the option to control it. The've had this program for several years, well before smart meters. It has been great (saving an easy $40/mo during summer) up until last year. They got really carried away, cycling it on moderate days when the CA-ISO showed no shortfalls.

Up here in the Central Valley SCE has not noticeably cycled our A/C in a long while. A few years ago they got so carried away with the program that we nearly dropped out, though. Location, location, location, I guess.

Our meter does seem to incorporate a real time use display, which seems like an obvious good thing for any meter to employ. There has been no change in our bill since the installation of the meter. I have been impressed that in an area where cell phone connectivity is poor (to say the least) the meter seems to manage.
--
_Jed_


F100

join:2013-01-15
Durham, NC
reply to SparkChaser

Re: Smart meter coming

I am pretty sure my digital electric meter is not wireless RF. It transmits usage to a local node over the power cable itself. I think these have to be relatively close so they are usually deployed in more dense areas. It's sort of like Ethernet over Power Line networking.

You might want to ask which type of meter is being installed.

Our city is installing 900mhz water meters that spew pulses into the unlicensed 900mhz spectrum. Will probably pay hell with old 900mhz cordless phones and baby monitors.

brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1
reply to SparkChaser
I heard it transmits cancer rays to your brian cells.

Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19

1 recommendation

reply to shortckt

Re: Oh No!!

said by shortckt:

said by Dude111:

Something you should read.... One day someone came home AND THIER HOUSE WAS 80 DEGREES!!....

Not going to bother opening the link to read that, so I'll make an edumacated guess that the customer had signed up for load shedding service in exchange for a lower rate. Our POCO offers that service too. One day the area's consumption was close to 100% and the POCO decided to shed some non-critical loads for awhile so they signalled AC off, consistent with the customer's agreement that allowed it during a power shortage. So what's the mystery? Where's the evil crime?

Exactly!

This has NOTHING to do with smart meters. It is a remote override system that you opt into.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
said by Speedy Petey:

said by shortckt:

said by Dude111:

Something you should read.... One day someone came home AND THIER HOUSE WAS 80 DEGREES!!....

Not going to bother opening the link to read that, so I'll make an edumacated guess that the customer had signed up for load shedding service in exchange for a lower rate. Our POCO offers that service too. One day the area's consumption was close to 100% and the POCO decided to shed some non-critical loads for awhile so they signalled AC off, consistent with the customer's agreement that allowed it during a power shortage. So what's the mystery? Where's the evil crime?

Exactly!

This has NOTHING to do with smart meters. It is a remote override system that you opt into.

Indeed, absolutely nothing to do with smart meters. Such devices to remotely turn off large non-critical loads have existed for several decades before the concept of smart meters was even invented.

The earliest of devices were purely electro-mechanical. The utility would inject a high frequency signal over the power lines to which the switching device would respond by either turning on or off. No electronics involved at all. Not exactly sure how they did it, probably some type of vibrating reed that would resonate at a specific frequency.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
Here's a video of one of those ripple injection motor-generator sets running:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4gouT4m0cM


I don't know what's on the receiver end, but the above system must have some sort of active electronics, since it's a coded pulse train that's delivered (based on the sound of the motor). I guess a simpler system could exist where the load device just filters for the signal frequency and closes a relay with the filter output.


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
Very interesting stuff. I poked around a bit and was disappointed to find there is very little information online pertaining to how the ripple control receiver works. This may be because they were not widely deployed in the US.

However I was pleased to learn that in South Africa, a domestic water heater is called a "geyser".

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to SparkChaser

Re: Smart meter coming

Not sure what the big deal is and why people are freaking out.

They put one on the side of my house (cellular based, complete with IP address) for the solar panels and it just sits there and minds its own business.


mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet
said by ke4pym:

Not sure what the big deal is and why people are freaking out.

They put one on the side of my house (cellular based, complete with IP address) for the solar panels and it just sits there and minds its own business.

Because why should the electric company know how much electricity a customer uses, and when they use it? That's an invasion of privacy.
--
Ich habe kein Mitleid - Me
You're a daisy if you do. - Doc Holliday
And as always, have nice day.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by mob:

Because why should the electric company know how much electricity a customer uses, and when they use it? That's an invasion of privacy.

So, don't buy electricity from them.


Dude111
An Awesome Dude
Premium
join:2003-08-04
USA
kudos:13
reply to mob

 

I agree!!!

People agree to pay them for usage which should be enough!!


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pike

Re: Oh No!!

said by pike:

However I was pleased to learn that in South Africa, a domestic water heater is called a "geyser".

The smaller on demand heaters get called that in Ireland and Australia. In Ireland they pronounced it Geezers.