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Smart Meter Wars Simmer

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By William Boardman   Email address removed"> Email address removed      

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.



Smart Meter Awareness Group, Naperville, Illinois by Napervill Smart Meter Awareness
 

What do you call it when the police come onto your property over your objection, without a warrant, and then arrest you for blocking the installation of a surveillance device?  You call it smart meter installation in Naperville, Illinois, one of the few places where there's still resistance to the unproven devices.  

Naperville, with a city-owned electric utility, has almost finished installing all its smart meters.   In March it plans to "conduct a [1]public proceeding[1] in order to consider proposed Federal energy standards and decide whether it will implement these proposed standards or decline to do so," as required by federal law. 

Naperville, where the police arrested a woman for filming public officials carrying out their public duties, all the while being filmed by a TV camera crew, may be an unusual place, but the issues raised by smart meters are national and global.  The woman, arrested on a public sidewalk, was charged with [2]"attempted eavesdropping."[2]   

With almost 50 million residential [3]wireless smart meters[3] installed in the United States by the end of 2012, smart meters have largely disappeared from news media at all levels, even though their usefulness and safety are no more assured now than when they were first proposed years ago. 

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Even Backers Offer No Guarantees for Smart Meters 

The projected usefulness of wireless smart meters won't be measurable until they have been more widely installed and in use for some time.  The most likely use will be a utility's ability to raise electric rates by charging more when usage is highest. 

Utilities might justify this by the cost of installing and operating wireless meter networks, although the installation has been heavily subsidized and utilities made the choice to use wireless meters even though a wired meter network is more stable and less expensive to operate. 

The human health effects of wireless smart meters have yet to be demonstrated, since their impact is cumulative over time.  Basically the utilities are running a massive health experiment and most of the population will be the guinea pigs. 

The security of wireless smart meters from hackers, government surveillance, marketing data collectors, or anyone else has yet to be demonstrated.  There is generally no protection, for example, preventing utilities from monitoring behavior and selling the data. 

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Despite these uncertainties, the relentless coercion exercised by governments and government-regulated utilities across the country has successfully overwhelmed  resistance in all but a few places. 

City Arrests Single Moms for Opposing Smart Meters 

In Naperville, the city not only proceeded with its smart meter installation before holding public proceedings required by law, the city also went forward in the face of a [4]pending federal lawsuit[4] that sought an injunction against their doing exactly what they did. 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 

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I'd rather have a smart meter than some bloke wand... by molly cruz on Thursday, Mar 7, 2013 at 5:17:47 PM
but the choice should be yours, no?  You may ... by William Boardman on Thursday, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:21:44 PM
possibly three, smart meters were the cause of hom... by Amy Schreiner on Thursday, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:06:19 PM
Most other countries when faced wth such temerity ... by Archie on Thursday, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:23:11 PM
we should be like most other countries?  We s... by Amy Schreiner on Thursday, Mar 7, 2013 at 11:10:21 PM