I was quite surprised to read this thread.
The (private) electricity company I work for is smack in the middle of rolling out Smart Meters. My work involves (partially) programming the Smart
Meters and other communication devices within the network.
While I cannot really comment on Fictitious's situation as I don't have any information about the meter, company, etc.
I can, however, make these comments with regards to my
experience with Smart Meters and the electricity environment (in South Africa).
Smart meters have no way of telling what appliances you use. They can tell you the time of day consumption patterns, but for the average consumer,
this is no secret. It looks like this (electricity) - ignore the values; just the shape is important:
A spike in the mornings as the household wakes up, and down again as everyone leaves. Then a bigger spike as everyone gets home and start cooking,
watching TV, etc. And this consumption is also repeated on an annual scale with the peaks obviously in the winter. The data we collect from the meters
are used for billing purposes and in some cases (typically businesses) used to advise clients on how they can save electricity, i.e. money. The data
is otherwise useless to anyone. I cannot imagine the government, "Big Brother" or "the Illuminate" getting any valuable information from Smart Meters.
At least not the kind they can use for "population control" - mental or physical.
Smart meters are just as safe/unsafe as any other device in your house that emits radio waves. Your Home Entertainment system or Wifi connection is
probably a lot more "dangerous", and your mobile phone even more "dangerous" seeing that you stick it right against your face every time you make a
If these devices where dangerous I should be extremely sick as my office has half a dozen smart meters running right in on top of my desk at any given
time, and our entire building about twice that many. I am however quite healthy (touch wood). I haven't had a cold in over three years (touch wood) -
keeping in mind that I'm also a smoker.
From a business point of view, Smart Meters are a great idea. Less man power needed. (And yes, that means that meter readers are put out of a job. At
our company they will be reassigned to do other work such as Smart Meter maintenance etc. No one is getting fired.) Data capturing is done almost
completely automatically meaning no/less mistakes on bills, meaning less time on the phone trying to correct your bill that contains erroneous
readings. Credit control is much easier. No need for a technician to drive out to a client's house to cut the power because of none-payment.
Everything is done with the touch of a button.
If you are familiar with prepaid electricity it also means that you don't have to punch in a twenty digit code every time you want to load credit on
your meter. You simply pay the money and your token is automatically delivered to the meter.
The only possible disadvantage of a smart meter I can imagine for the client is that it would enable service providers (utilities) to implement time
of use tariffs. Meaning you will be paying more for your electricity during the peak times.
It's clear from this thread that folks have a huge misconception and misunderstanding about smart meters. They are not evil. I suspect this is how
people reacted when TVs, computers and cellphones first entered our lives as well. It's simply a new technology taking us into the future. It's not
the "Mark of the Beast
As to the person in the OPs situation that made threats... Unacceptable. If one of our technicians tried that, they would be fired. I suggest you
contact their supervisor and talk to them about the guy's attitude and threats.
And personally - I'd allow them to install a Smart Meter. It's really not "the end of the world" so to speak. It is however still your right to have
an opinion about said meters, and I respect that.
edit on 14-6-2013 by Gemwolf because: (no reason given)