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smart meters
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25 / M / In a galaxy far f...
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Posted 2/7/13 , edited 2/19/13
By now most of you know about the new smart meters that power companies are installing at our homes. They, the governments, and "experts" all tout the pros to these devices. I have heard a lot of cons tho. Some being about privacy, health safety and cost. I have been given a choice, let them install it or pay more not to. My mind is pretty much made up about this, but i would like a second opinion (also third, fourth etc...). What do you think?








I made the decision to opt out of having it installed. thank you all for your comments.
Posted 2/7/13
I've not heard of such a thing, doesn't seem like it's a big deal though.

I honestly doubt that there is any health risk to these things (same like people claimed with CFL lightbulbs lmfao)

I doubt there is any privacy worries either, as they just read your power usage. I haven't seen anything pop up on ANY of the security/network security/grey-hat blogs/forums I visit in regards to this.

If you personally don't feel like you want one, don't get one! They gave you a choice, surely if there was something nefarious with them they would be MANDATORY don't you think?
Banned
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18 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 2/7/13
What the hell are those? We don't have those in England.
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20 / M / Norway, Oslo
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Posted 2/7/13
Never heard of it.
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M
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Posted 2/7/13
How smart am I anyway?
a619ko 
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21 / M
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Posted 2/7/13 , edited 2/7/13
It might be a US only thing...

I've heard about them and I think they're already installed at my house, courtesy of SDGE (San Diego Gas and Electric...)
http://www.sdge.com/residential/about-smart-meters/about-smart-meters
It certainly does look new, but our electric bill is about the same. 280-400 usd is on the norm.

If anything, they updated the meters to accurately charge us...that and SDGE had been losing out on some "missing" money.

As for health concerns, that meter is far away from me and does not bother me.
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33 / F / Canada
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Posted 2/7/13
We have smart meters in Canada as well. I had one installed in my old townhouse and I found that I actually preferred it over the old method. You're billed more accurately. I found that my bill went down overall because they weren't estimating my usage anymore.

I don't understand the paranoia... a friend of mine was fighting the electric company from adding it to his house. Makes no sense to me.... it's there for accurate billing. I'm not sure if the US has the same kind of peak/mid peak/off peak system that we have up here. The smart meter can tell what times my consumption is and bills me accordingly. I prefer it because I could see what time of day most of my usage is and change my energy habits to lower my bill.

Just my two cents... err five cents... we just eliminated the penny (good riddance).
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26 / M
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Posted 2/7/13 , edited 2/7/13
Eh? Err? What?

You mean this right?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_meter

So, the power company knows how much electricity you use at certain times of the day in a moments notice right? Using that information, they can probably figure out what kind of appliances you have, how you use your electricity and whether or not you domestic transformers and the rating of those transformers and all kinds of information up to a physical certain limit.

People do all sorts of stuff in their homes that use up power, they build massive electrical machines like Tesla coils and powerful laden jars or capacitor banks. They have basement/backyard workshops/laboratories. It's possible that those things can be figured out. Even security systems could be found out.

Yeah, the information that can be used for evil. That technology itself can be used for evil. But we've had nukes for well more than half a century and we haven't destroyed ourselves YET. If there is one thing that we can take from this is that there are people who know how to use the technology that we have created. Many of whom are those that help make the technology possible in the first place. People like Albert Einstein and Arthur C. Clark. Some of those people have been able to influence our stupid and childish governments and hence we have not YET sterilized our own planet.

I think that you are right to be worried. I think that many people who don't bother knowing about new technologies just don't want to be worried. But the fact that we, who don't understand how the technology works, are worried means that there are people who understand how the technology works who are worried as well. If we wish to have any technological progress however, we must all try to have a certain level of literacy of how our technology works.
maffoo 
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33 / M / England
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Posted 2/7/13

CarboKill wrote:

What the hell are those? We don't have those in England.


Yes we do - my mum and dad have one

I wouldn't want one though - I'd be checking it constantly and worrying about the cost
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33 / F / Canada
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Posted 2/7/13
I work in the tech industry, have read all of the pros and cons in regards the smart meters. Again, had a friend who refused to have it and was paranoid about it being installed in his home. We had many heated debates about this subject.

@maffoo - you wouldn't be checking it all of the time. When I get my bill every month with the break down, I can see my consumption habits. It's really not something that you stress about.

As for the radio frequency/health hazards that come along with it... well, you have a cell phone right? You're on the internet right now reading this post and more that likely using wireless internet right... not much different.
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27 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 2/7/13
it doesn't matter if you are not doing anything illegal. If you are growing pot then it uses a lot of energy.
maffoo 
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33 / M / England
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Posted 2/7/13

sashiara wrote:

@maffoo - you wouldn't be checking it all of the time. When I get my bill every month with the break down, I can see my consumption habits. It's really not something that you stress about.


I think I would be - I'm a bit OCD about these things, I even used to keep a spreadsheet of my daily meter readings

TBH after a while I would probably settle down, but to start with I think it would make me paranoid about my electricity usage - which I suppose is kind of the point.
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32 / M / So Cal
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Posted 2/7/13
It's the invasion of privacy and the inability to decide whether or not they're allowed to do so.

They can tell what device you're using and when you're using it. That's right ladies(and some fellas) they know when you're using your special toys, how long you do so, and how regularly.

Personally, I don't care if they know about my electrical consumption habits, but I'd like a choice about it.
We see ourselves as a country of immense freedoms, but it's an ideal in steep degradation.

If you want to know how we use our electronics and sell that information to business', give us the option and if we decide to allow you this information, give us a reduction in costs for our part in your money making scheme.
Posted 2/7/13

BearSol wrote:

It's the invasion of privacy and the inability to decide whether or not they're allowed to do so.

They can tell what device you're using and when you're using it. That's right ladies(and some fellas) they know when you're using your special toys, how long you do so, and how regularly.

Personally, I don't care if they know about my electrical consumption habits, but I'd like a choice about it.
We see ourselves as a country of immense freedoms, but it's an ideal in steep degradation.

If you want to know how we use our electronics and sell that information to business', give us the option and if we decide to allow you this information, give us a reduction in costs for our part in your money making scheme.


I highly doubt this.

Most "special toys" are battery powered, same with most devices (Phone, tablet, 3DS, PSP, laptop...etc)

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32 / M / So Cal
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Posted 2/7/13

Iainfixie wrote:


BearSol wrote:

It's the invasion of privacy and the inability to decide whether or not they're allowed to do so.

They can tell what device you're using and when you're using it. That's right ladies(and some fellas) they know when you're using your special toys, how long you do so, and how regularly.

Personally, I don't care if they know about my electrical consumption habits, but I'd like a choice about it.
We see ourselves as a country of immense freedoms, but it's an ideal in steep degradation.

If you want to know how we use our electronics and sell that information to business', give us the option and if we decide to allow you this information, give us a reduction in costs for our part in your money making scheme.


I highly doubt this.

Most "special toys" are battery powered, same with most devices (Phone, tablet, 3DS, PSP, laptop...etc)



I was just making a point while trying to be humorous. Everyone knows they're battery powered. Perhaps this isn't what should be concentrated on however.
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