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How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

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  • How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

    Smart Metering is coming across the country. Some areas already have it. Smart metering is the next step from AMR (Automatic Meter Reporting), and will give the utility much more information AND control. Like the ability to turn your power OFF if you get behind in your bill or in an emergency. Smart metering will also give them the ability to do real time use reporting, which is needed to implement time-based billing (TBB). What is time-based billing (TBB) you say, well it's where the whole electric supply grid started with 100 years ago. Long ago there was not enough capacity to provide unlimited power to everyone 24/7. Base generation that supplied businesses during the day supplied homes in the evening just as it does now, but they had limited capacity and as with anything where the laws of supply and demand dominate businesses and homeowners paid one rate during the day and another at night.

    With smart metering it will be possible to see with granular detail when and how much 'juice' you use. Currently if you have the old tried and true analog meter all they know is you used x number of KW between reading dates. Now they will know to the minute.

    Why will TBB be important in the future? Because as everyone installs solar for their own use and to sell excess capacity back to the grid the demand for base generation capacity drops DURING SUNLIGHT HOURS. In the evening once the Sun goes down or when clouds make solar arrays zero producers then that base generation will be needed. Now if there is a limited capacity of base generation the price for that electric will GO UP (supply/demand). Remember that in most places electric generation is controlled by private businesses though they are regulated. But business being what it is they will not choose to maintain a large generation capacity when there is only intermittent demand (nights/cloudy days). More generation capacity can easily be brought on line with peeking units, but their operating costs are usually higher. New found NG supplies may change that somewhat but they will still cost more to operate. Nuclear needs to run 24/7/365 to be cost effective, you can't turn a nuke plant on and off like a combined cycle plant or a gas turbine, it would shorten the life of the reactor and waste too much fuel during heat-ups and coast-downs.

    So do you have 'Smart Metering' where you live now?

    Have you heard anything from your utility about it coming soon
    such as in that little newsletter they stick in with your bill?

    If you have Smart Metering have you heard any mention about Time-Based Billing?

    How would/will you react to TBB?

    Do you have your own generation capabilities such as water, wind, or solar that keep you going most of the day and do you have plans for storage capacity (batteries with an inverter) or alternate generation (such as a gas, diesel, or NG powered standby generator) to see you through say 24 to 72 hours without sun or wind.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
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    ---------
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  • #2
    Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

    I have it here and the ability to log on and see usage is a nice tool. What I don't like is we are slamed with a sircharge for the next 3 years because we have it. I have OG&E for a power company and they have got to be one of the worst on the grid. They are trying to push a smart hours program that is nothing more than a well thought out plan to screw the consumer.
    SSG, U.S. Army
    Retired
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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    • #3
      Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

      Bob D.,

      Thanks, that was an interesting post.

      No, we don't have it here... at least not yet. I would imagine that NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas) will move that way as soon as they see it is profitable to do so. Though I haven't read anything about it, I would think that the State's Public Service Commission has probable already been tagged.

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

        We have it here in Ontario Canada as well. Personally I think it's a cash grab against the general public. All this supply and demand is bs when it comes to your average consumer. Due to the high demands of industry during the day everyone is being forced to pay higher rates during these peek hours and these rates do not come back down until I believe 9:00 at night. While I understand the principle of supply and demand there should be something on the books to protect the average consumer against the needs of businesses who use large quantities of it as part of there operations. What gets me is when you go into a store in the summer after hearing warnings regarding possible electrical blackout and that store has 1000 lights on, the AC cranked, every electronic in the store turned on etc. Charging everyone more during the day is not the solution as far as I'm concerned, my suggestion would be to implement a consumer rate and a business rate.

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        • #5
          Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

          We have it here in Glendale AZ SRP power company
          You have no choice in the matter so we are simply stuck!

          The good news it transmits around 900mhz so no Amateur Radio interference either way.

          To compensate you for being power frugal they simply raise their rates!
          I used less power in November 2012 compared to November 2011 and 2010 yet my bill was up 10%


          Cactus Man

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          • #6
            Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

            We have smart electrical meters where I live in Aus and have had no problems and with my solar system on the roof it automatical calulates how much I have pumped into the grid and what I have used every quarter if anything some have complained about them but there is no holding back progress

            Tony

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            • #7
              Re: How do you feel about 'Smart Metering'?

              We have smart meters in our area, however, one will never be installed on my house.

              They are offering $50.00 (oh boy, I'm on my way to retirement) to install one, and supposedly once you have it installed you can't get it removed from the electric company. (hmm..I already took one off for my Uncle).

              I just don't like progressive ideas, and well...that's why they make programable/smart thermostats so...I'll stick with that.

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