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Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1

I just got a Smart meter notice

I just received in the mail a notice that the Illuminating Company is planing on installing a smart meter on my house.

I used to work for a company that build the transmitter part of the meter. For what ever reason, they never seemed to work right in production, and when they went into the field, even more issues were discovered. I haven't worked there in 4 years, so I'm sure they may have made improvements on the board.

Anyhow, I'm curious if there are any other Illuminating company /FirstEnergy customers that already have a smart meter installed.
Have there been any issues?
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
I know there are several major manufacturers of smart meters with Itron being the largest along with Landis & Gyr, GE, and Elster.

I know Central Maine Power just installed Smart Meters. I contacted my utility (Western Mass Electric) and they have no current plans on installing smart meters.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
reply to Snakeoil
Our utility has been using GE smart meters for approx 7 or 8 years now. Never experienced or heard of any significant problems.

Gas meters were recently upgraded too. Goodbye estimated bills! Yay!

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to Snakeoil
I think the only concern may be unplugging your old meter from the pan and plugging in the new one into the pan's lugs that MAY have "relaxed" over the years and not fit tightly onto the new lugs. Some smart meters have caused fires where the pan was old and the meter lugs weren't making good contact with the pan's sockets.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
I hope they give me time to turn everything off and throw the main. I wouldn't want a surge to fry my stuff. Knowing my luck, if such a surge happened, they wouldn't be liable for it.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


Badger3k
We Don't Need No Stinkin Badgers
Premium
join:2001-09-27
Franklin, OH
said by Snakeoil:

I hope they give me time to turn everything off and throw the main. I wouldn't want a surge to fry my stuff. Knowing my luck, if such a surge happened, they wouldn't be liable for it.

Duke just came around and installed Smart Meters (well a contractor on behalf of Duke). The guy knocked on the door and told me to shutdown all computers, tvs, etc. He gave me around 10 minutes before power was cut. I don't think you need to throw the main.
--
Team Discovery: Project Hope


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to Snakeoil
said by Snakeoil:

I hope they give me time to turn everything off and throw the main.

I hope your utility (or the subcontractor they chose) is a bit more considerate then they were here. All we got was a letter from the utility specifying a several month period during which the meter replacements would be conducted. There was no advance notice of the actual meter replacement date (let alone a time window) and for most people it happened while they were away at work. My retired neighbors and a few others in the neighborhood reported that by the time they went to answer the door the subcontractor had already pulled the old meter (definitely no chance of a clean shutdown of anything).

There is speculation that this was done deliberately to avoid confrontation with customers opposed to the smart meter upgrade (I'm not saying that this would justify the behavior!).

If you have a UPS it shouldn't matter since the replacement is very fast (no worries about battery running down).
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
I support smart meters, especially considering people who own dogs. My grandma would get estimated bills now and then because she owns an Alaskan Malamute and utilities will not read a meter with a dog present no matter the size of the dog or the length of the leash/tie-out. Too many meter readers have encountered dog bites/attacks so utilities will not read a meter if a dog is present. Smart meters eliminate that problem and grandma has not gotten an estimated bill since CMP installed smart meters.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


chamberc
Premium
join:2008-08-05
Irving, TX
reply to Snakeoil
Oncor here was nice enough to leave a door hanger, but we keep our meter locked up so that no one can get to it without asking. That allowed me the time to shut everything down and throw the main.

It was always a pain to have to have them schedule meter reads since it was locked up, but no longer since they can read it remotely.


Tex
Dave's not here
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
reply to leibold
We got no consideration here. The guy showed up, rang the doorbell and, by the time my wife answered the door, he was already in the yard making his way to the meter. Before she knew it, the power went out. I agree that they do it deliberately to avoid confrontations. Luckily for him, our dogs were in the house or they would have chased him up a tree...or worse.


swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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reply to Snakeoil
The power outage lasted less than 30 seconds here, when they installed it. What is the reasoning for wanting to shut everything down? Power can flicker off at any given time without notice and come back just as quick during a normal day. How is this any different?
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts


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

1 recommendation

said by swintec:

What is the reasoning for wanting to shut everything down?

It is a sensible precaution against possible harm from the spike created by the sudden disconnect of inductive loads.

Most people will hold off on activities requiring electric power when they know that it is about to be interrupted.

I don't find it unreasonable to ask for advanced notice of a scheduled outage. A smart meter replacement is very different from an unexpected emergency like a blown transformer or a downed powerline.
--
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KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Cricket Broadband
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Snakeoil
Got mine about a week ago, the guy knocked on the door and said there was going to be a 5-10 minute power outage in the area.

He didn't mention why there was going to be a power outage though, but sure enough it was to swap the meter out.

I have an IR non-contact thermometer, and there don't appear to be any hot spots around the meter or base, so I'm not expecting any fires from it.
--
ROCK 'TIL SUNSET


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to swintec
I just remembered one big reason. My two dogs are contained by invisible fence. Power goes out, fence goes down. Of course they are "trained" so they wont typically cross the boundary. But tempt them with the juicy leg of someone working near their boundary. Someone may get chomped on. And the way I see it, the dogs would be in the right. If the guy just walked up to the house and started working without giving me notice.
Must knock and ask if I can bring the dogs in, which I do. But if they don't, then it's their fault if they get bitten.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to swintec
said by swintec:

The power outage lasted less than 30 seconds here, when they installed it. What is the reasoning for wanting to shut everything down? Power can flicker off at any given time without notice and come back just as quick during a normal day. How is this any different?

My power went out last week and it did not suddenly go out. It started with the lights flickering and the UPS boxes that I have my CPAP machine and computers plugged into started beeping and clicking. I was sleeping and hooked up to the CPAP at the time but the beeping from the UPS boxes woke me up. The flickering lasted about 2-3 minutes and five minutes later I was on generator power. It takes me a few minutes to haul the genny out of the garage, hook it up, start it and then throw the transfer switch. The power was out a good 30-45 minutes.

I think a transformer blew.

At least I had the CPAP on a UPS as you are talking about an $800 piece of medical equipment and the heated humidifier goes for another $250. My insurance (Health New England) only pays for the same piece of DME every 5 years. So I got the CPAP in 2010 and I have to wait until 2015 to get a new one. The supplies I get every three months as those are expendable.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Snakeoil
said by Snakeoil:

Anyhow, I'm curious if there are any other Illuminating company /FirstEnergy customers that already have a smart meter installed.
Have there been any issues?

BIGGEST issue is the HIGHER rates you will be getting.

i.e day rate, Flex alert rate(power shortage rate), peak rate, night rate. Some areas have a 3 or 4 rate cycle.

You will see your bill rise upwards of $100 to $200

the new DIGITAL meters are a CA$H cow for them just like data,texting is for mobile wireless.
--
Live Free or Die Hard...


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

2 recommendations

My bills have gone down.

No Drama.

No Drama.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

2 edits
said by Cho Baka:

My bills have gone down.

No Drama.

No Drama.

not here summer bills have gone up by $300
from $300 to $600 for 1 month

when it's 115 in the day time and 95 at night your going to want the A/C on

they claim to be Upgrading the infrastructure. they have not put up new line in many years expect for new residential sub devisions.

they also claim the base line usage is the "average usage " I sure the average usage is between 1,000 and 2,000kwh and not 600kwh

I highly suspect the "average usage" is from 50-60 years ago.



humanfilth

join:2013-02-14
cyber gutter

1 edit
reply to Snakeoil
Interesting tidbit about the contractors who replace meters.

Most of them are trained as , not an electrician , but as 'pull out the plug from the socket and plug in the new meter'.

The major issue is they are not checking the grip of the clips where the meter plugs in or the tightness of the bolts that hold the power lines back in there, as they are not an electrician to play with live wires with an insulated torque wrench.

This has resulted in some house fires that are definitely blamed on the replacement of the meter.
The Electrical authority will blame the home owner as responsible for the 'meter base' but unless the meter is unplugged, the home owners electrician can not check the hardware connections in the base.
The only partial out of the Electrical authority for house fires is a home owner who claims that their lights had been flickering for months at high electric usage loads.

Neighborhood router for smart meters. 900Mhz for this particular one, with a whole lot of backhaul methods available.
»www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps1···dex.html

This meter is being used by British Columbia Hydro Electric company.
»www.itron.com/na/solutions/Pages···rid.aspx
Fixed link:
»www.itron.com/na/productsAndServ···RON.aspx

Just a few high readings that the meters got sent back to for calibration testing.
--
Paranoia: Outlawing your Rights and Freedoms since 2001

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
I like our smart meters out here. It helps me keep a eye on the currant usage by going on-line, it updates every 15 min. I am way below the typical usage for the average residence for my type, size and equipment. We have the option for peak and off peak and flat rate billing. I use flat rate, since I am indoors at home most of the day in summer until the sun goes down. Peak would kill my wallet at .30 cents per kilowatt hour. .6 cents is off-peak, and .11 cents flat rate.

Only the non retired, tourist and new transplants go out in the summer day. The smart ones, and the retired we go out after sunset.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
I've never had a smart meter, I just worked at a place that made the transmitter and installed the transmitter into the meter. I saw the issues we had at with testing the transmitters, and had heard the sotries of problems from the installers in the field.
Hence why I am nervous about them.

Where as the average home user doesn't see the manufacturing process, the build and test engineers running around trying to figure out why theings aren't working like they should. Or the bench techs repairing the parts that were broken or tombstoned [typically when a surface mount resistor or capacitor or inductor is standing on one end, like a tombstone] on the boards.
So knowing all the issues for 3 or 4 years ago, has me a tad worried. Granted the transmitter board may not even be from the same company I used to work for.

--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.

tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
GE only rates the lifetime of these new smart meters @ 7 years...
What the failure modes are?? That's likely to vary by location to location.. Humidity, lightning, insects,etc..

Note: Their is likely to remote disconnect relay inside your smart meter, under software control.. be advised.. (significantly more failure points, increased fire hazard, loss of privacy/security)

Meanwhile the I've had the same old analog meter for at least 25 years or more.. (runs backwards when my PV system fires up)..
I'll keep mine..

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
said by tkdslr:

Note: Their is likely to remote disconnect relay inside your smart meter, under software control.. be advised.. (significantly more failure points, increased fire hazard, loss of privacy/security)

I don't get the loss of privacy thing. But maybe it is my usage patterns.

Good luck telling by the meter spinning whether I'm home or not.

Don't get me wrong, I'm irate at this whole NSA thing. But privacy loss from a smart meter? I don't get that.

jsouth
Jsouth

join:2000-12-12
Wichita, KS

1 recommendation

reply to tkdslr
You won't have a choice if the power company your served by decides to replace it.


Florida Pira

@comcast.net
reply to Snakeoil
FPL / Nextera Energy customers now all have smart meters....


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to jsouth
said by jsouth:

You won't have a choice if the power company your served by decides to replace it.

Not necessarily. Jurisdictions served by Pepco (The District of Columbia and Maryland suburbs) are currently considering rules allowing customers to opt-out. Customers in Maryland now have the option of deferring the installation until permanent rules are in place.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
said by pike:

said by jsouth:

You won't have a choice if the power company your served by decides to replace it.

Not necessarily. Jurisdictions served by Pepco (The District of Columbia and Maryland suburbs) are currently considering rules allowing customers to opt-out. Customers in Maryland now have the option of deferring the installation until permanent rules are in place.

If they do let you opt out, they'll probably install a dumb meter that has the same transmitter as the smart meter, the only difference would be that it would function like a traditional meter by recording only total usage (and not by time of day or total load) but would have the same remote read transceiver as the smart meters so they don't have to utilize meter readers.

The meters WMECo uses are dumb meters but they have transceivers in them that allow them to be read by a receiver in their vehicle. The meter reader just drives by and does not have to enter the property to take a reading. The city water department and Columbia Gas use similar technology on their meters.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to Snakeoil
their is no smart meters around this part of town unless they are new buildings!


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
said by chip89:

their is no smart meters around this part of town unless they are new buildings!

Those are probably just digital meters. All of the major meter manufacturers have discontinued analog meters. Also, the pocos use digital meters on commercial customers as they are billed for demand (load) along with usage.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Snakeoil
SCE doesn't require new tariffs after you go smart meter. You do have the option to use time-of-use billing if you want.

TOU billing would probably save me money as a solar customer, but I'm already OCD about power usage. I think I'd go nuts trying to optimize my usage around peak billing hours.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.