Westerville Electric Smart Meters

Westerville Ohio Electric Pushes Smart Meters

First of all, I realize this is a really long article because the issues surrounding smart meters and the Westerville smart grid, are very complex. The push for smart meters in Westerville, has some very controversial consequences, that I URGE all Westerville residents to educate themselves about what impact smart meters will really have on our lives.  The information being provided by the Westerville Electric Division and Westerville City Council is very vague, biased and lacking, to say the least.

If you are a Westerville resident, please consider contacting Westerville City Council, to share your opinion about the smart meter project.

WESTERVILLE SMART METER OPEN HOUSE AUGUST 10, 2010

According to the City of Westerville web site, an Advanced Metering Open House will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 5 -7 p.m., Council Chambers, Westerville Municipal Building, 21 S. State. St.  This is supposed to be an opportunity for residents to ask questions and share their concerns.  While I encourage as many Westerville residents as possible to attend this meeting, be forewarned, that Westerville City Council is biased toward this project and any information they provide must be thoroughly investigated to make an informed opinion.

AEP Already Installing Smart Meters in Columbus Ohio

I understand that AEP (SEE:  https://www.aepohio.com/save/SmartMeters/FAQ.aspx#10) has already begun installing smart meters in other Central Ohio Communities, without giving consumers a choice and without thoroughly educating consumers about the future impact of smart meters, on their lives.  So this article will also benefit Central Ohio residents, outside of Westerville.

June 25, 2010 Letter From Westerville Electric

As a resident of Westerville, I recently became aware of a plan by the City of Westerville, to install Electric Smart Meters in Westerville homes and like many residents, I have some concerns.  According to a June 25, 2010, letter regarding Advanced Metering Initiative (AMI), from Andrew Boatright, PE, Electric Utility Manager, Westerville has been approved for a $4.3 million federal grant, from Federal stimulus money, to install AMI for electric services.

While this letter is the first time I’ve been officially notified, I have since learned Westerville has been planning this Smart Grid, project for quite some time.  This letter invited residents to share their opinions at the July 6, 2010, Westerville City Council meeting, which I attended. It was very informative, not so much because of the information that Westerville City employees shared with the residents because I consider that to be more propaganda than education, but more so because many of the residents who spoke out against the smart meters, raised some very valid concerns, that I think more residents need to be aware of.

THIS WHOLE SMART METER PROJECT HAS CONVINCED ME THAT I PERSONALLY NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF KEEPING UP WITH WHAT MY LOCAL WESTERVILLE GOVERNMENT IS DOING.  Obviously we can’t just trust that they are always making the best decisions for the people of Westerville.

Westerville City Council gave each resident up to three minutes to express their opinion and concerns. As you might imagine, three minutes isn’t near long enough to discuss such an important matter that will, eventually significantly affect our lifestyle.  So I’m writing this article to share what I and other residents have learned about smart meters.

What is a smart meter?

According to Wikipedia, “a smart meter is an advanced meter (usually an electrical meter) that identifies consumption in more detail than a conventional meter; and optionally, but generally, communicates that information via some network back to the local utility for monitoring and billing purposes.”

Consumers will also have the ability to go online and see real time data about your energy usage.

Purpose of Smart Meters:  AC 78/85 Degrees

On the surface, the main purpose seems to be to get consumers to cut back on their energy usage.  Although, some think there may be a more sinister motive (GOVERNMENT CONTROL). One manufacturer of digital smart meters, MID,  recommends you set your air conditioning thermostat to 78 degrees, when you’re home, and up to 85 degrees, if you’re going to be gone for more than a few hours. It’s important to note that this information does not seem to be shared with the consumer by the utility company, until after the smart meter is installed, although with some further online investigation, the consumer can learn this detail.

QUESTION: Do we really need a smart meter to tell us how to cut back our energy usage?  Couldn’t residents choose to do this already, without a smart meter and get the same results?

(Westerville officials and residents – please feel free to comment to any questions you see in this post, at the bottom of this page.  You are also welcome to email me at petra@columbuscastles.com with any other questions you’d like me to add to this post because I’ll be sharing this with Westerville City Council)

According to a Wall Street Journal Article entitled “Smart Meter, Dumb Idea?” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124050416142448555.html#printMode) a Texas man says:

“There’s no mystery about how you save energy,” says the 71 year old retired furniture salesman. “You turn down the air conditioner and shut off some lights.  I don’t need an expensive meter to do that.”

I agree with this man because my family has already taken several steps to save energy costs in our home, long before the government was offering bailouts as an incentive.  Following are some of the steps we have taken to save on energy costs:  using fluorescent bulbs in most of our light fixtures, replaced our old windows with more energy efficient ones, installed insulating shades on some windows and closing them during the day to block out the hot sun,  installed ceiling fans to cut down on air conditioning usage, added insulation to our attic, turning lights off when we leave a room, etc. In response to high utility bills, this summer, we have also increased our thermostat from 74 degrees to 76 degrees.  We have made the FREE market decision to spend our hard earned money to help save our utility costs, yet we still see them rising.

Here are more recommendations to control your energy costs from MID, smart meter manufacturer: http://www.mid.org/news/why_high_bill.pdf:

  1. AVOID INDOOR HEAT BUILD-UP – Your AC runs less if you don’t let heat build up in your home. Draw shades and curtains, run major appliances ONLY AFTER 9PM and avoid using the oven or cook top.  (Note – some sources say peak hours are 5-7 pm, others say 5-9pm – we’ll discuss peak hours later)
  2. Don’t store your extra fridge or freezer in the garage – it’s too hot.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs.
  4. Do a FREE online energy check up to learn more ways to save energy, on the manufacturers site of course: mid.org

CHALLENGE TO CITY OF WESTERVILLE:

In preparation of living with smart meter technology, I challenge the City of Westerville to immediately adjust the “work” environment of ALL Westerville City Offices by setting your air conditioning thermostat to 78 degrees during the day and 85 degrees, after hours.  If our government expects residents to cut back on energy usage in their home, I think you should set the example and start first.  Think of how much tax dollars this could save Westerville residents, if the City of Westerville would start practicing the GREEN practices they wish to foist on us!  According to MID – every degree higher lowers your energy use about three percent.

QUESTION: Could someone, with the City of  Westerville, please share what temperature the thermostat in Westerville City Offices is normally set at?  Also, what temperature the AC is set on, in the City Council Public Meeting Room? When I was there for the July 6, 2010, City Council Meeting – it sure felt a lot cooler than 78 degrees.  So I truly would like to know.

ANSWER:  Another person who attended the Westerville City Council meeting on July 6, 2010, says he looked at the thermostat and the air conditioning was set at 73 degrees.  I personally find it hypocritical that our government expects consumers to use less energy, when they themselves are energy hogs!

(Also out of curiosity, since AEP is forcing smart meters on a lot of Central Ohioans, I wonder what they keep their office thermostat set at?)  Anybody know?  It’s time that these utility officials and our government practice what they are preaching!!!

Westerville Promotes AMI (Smart Meters)

According to the June 25, 2010, letter from Andy Boatright, with Westerville Electric, benefits include:

  • Enhanced customer service. For electric services, advanced meters will allow for immediate detection of outages. Residents will not need to call the Electric Division to report outages, which promotes rapid response. For water services, problems like leaks or an unusual spike in usage can be detected early, potentially saving money and/or preventing damage to the home.”
  • Energy  efficiency. The initial stages will streamline operations for our utility services, helping to reduce energy usage, conserve resources and manage peak demand periods. Longer term, residents will have more visibility into – and control over – water and electricity usage in their own homes.”

PETRA’S RESPONSE TO BENEFITS TOUTED BY WESTERVILLE:

Westerville Electric customer service experiences:

  • I have lived in many areas of Central Ohio and comparatively, my experience with Westerville Electric service has been, by far the best.  Whenever there is a power outage, I typically promptly call Westerville Electric and within a few hours the problem is fixed.  When Central Ohio has had major storms knocking out electricity, Westerville has typically restored power, within a few hours, while other communities have been without power for days.  While I think the enhanced customer service sounds like a benefit, I personally have never had a problem, in the 9 years I have lived in Westerville, that would cause me to say something needs to be done to improve service.  Other residents who spoke out against the smart meter project at the July 6, 2010, Westerville City Council meeting had similar experiences.  So to me and other Westerville residents, we don’t see smart meters being a huge improvement to our service.

Energy Efficiency:

  • I agree that smart meters would streamline the utility services operations because they would no longer need to send live human beings to our homes to read our electric meters – smart meters can do it remotely.  Quick disconnection of a customer’s service (for non-payment or when moving  out of a property) and reconnection are also something that can be done remotely.  If the smart meters are indeed accurate – then this is probably the most valuable benefit.  Obviously this would save the electric company man hours, gas and vehicle costs, which would help to reduce energy usage and could mean savings to the consumer, if the electric company chose to pass those savings on to the consumer.
  • However, the comments “manage peak demand periods” are vague.  How would smart meters help Westerville Electric to manage peak demand periods?  What actions would smart meters enable Westerville Electric to take?  We can look at other communities that already have smart meters and other sources, to speculate that some sort of “CONTROL” of consumer energy usage would take place.
  • “Longer term, residents will have more visibility into – and control over – water and electricity usage in their own homes.”  Really???  Based upon other utility company practices and articles I have read about smart meters, the “ultimate” control is held by the utility company – who is ultimately controlled by THE GOVERNMENT.  Yes, there are huge implications here.  I understand the “visibility” to mean that consumers will be able to go online and view real time utility usage data – sounds real exciting to me.  Like I have nothing better to do with my time than to constantly look up how much energy I’m using.

QUESTION:  We must ask ourselves: Do these benefits outweigh the possible unintended consequences, loss of liberty, immediate and future costs of the smart grid system and the huge security/privacy issues?

HANDLING PEAK DEMAND PERIODS:

PEAK HOURS listed on various websites range from 5-7 or 5-9 pm (obviously this is the time period most people are coming home from work then preparing dinner for their family, doing laundry, watching TV, cleaning/vacuuming, etc.)  Utility companies are recommending consumers AVOID USING ELECTRIC APPLIANCES during peak times.   If you take this seriously, this obviously would mean a major change in life style for most people.

Utility companies say that consumers can reduce their electric bills by choosing to avoid using electric appliances during the “higher priced” peak hours. Utility companies argue that they will then have lower costs because the grid will need fewer power plants, as demand levels out.

QUESTION:  If a lot of people try to avoid using electrical appliances during these peak times, wouldn’t the peak time then change?  Say everyone, in an effort to avoid the 5-7 or 5-9 pm peak time, starts doing their cooking, laundry, running their dishwasher, etc. from 8-9 or 9-10 pm.  Wouldn’t that cause a new peak time?

QUESTION: Since we know that government often passes laws that create very different results than they intended, we should ask ourselves:  What are some of the unintended consequences on our lives, culture, families, etc. caused by avoiding energy use during peak times?

Higher Electricity Rates During Peak Periods:

Eventually, utility companies plan to charge consumers a higher rate for their electricity usage during peak time periods, to discourage heavy use during peak times like on hot summer days.  However, a July 6, 2010, article in the Columbus Dispatch states “Programs that focus on energy efficiency and conservation also produced more savings than those that sought to move energy use to off-peak hours.”

During the July 6, 2010, Westerville City Council meeting, Andrew Boatright stated that peak energy usage only accounted for 3% of the total energy usage.  Yet, in a phone conversation I had, with Andrew Boatright, he stated that the eventual goal of smart meters would allow Westerville electric to control your air conditioning thermostat. Of course, Westerville would offer a lower electric rate rate to consumers who, in turn would allow them to control their thermostat, while those who don’t comply, would be punished with higher rates. I asked Andy to repeat this concept to me, because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I just couldn’t believe that our government actually wants the ability to control our thermostat and they seem to think it’s ok? At first I thought this idea was crazy and far fetched; kinda like something from the “Twilight Zone.”  However, as I did more online research, it turns out this is truly part of the goal for utility companies and our government.

QUESTION:  Do you think this is really about controlling our peak energy usage?

QUESTION:  What about restaurants and other retail establishments that are busy during peak times?  Will they be forced to pay higher electric rates too, which they will then have to pass on to their patrons, by increasing their costs of food and goods?  I can see some major unintended consequences here.  What about you?

Government Wants To Control Your Thermostat And More

“Would you sign up for a discount with your power company in exchange for surrendering control of your thermostat?” According to an MSNBC article, “Maryland residents received fliers offering annual discounts up to $100 in exchange for allowing their power company, PEPCO, to occasionally shut off their air conditioning units during hot days, when demand is high.  Pepco says consumers will hardly notice the change, and the two-way communication between utility and appliances will go a long way toward preventing brownouts.”

Another utility company would like the ability to control air conditioners so they can take turns coming on and off, reducing the drag on the electric system.

I believe all this is just the beginning of what government and utility companies will be able to do, through these smart meters.  Utility companies and ultimately our government could utilize the power of smart meters to:

  • control any appliance that the smart meter is networked with in our homes, whenever they choose to
  • turn off your power in an instant, with the flick of a switch

QUESTION: Do you think it is “CONSTITUTIONAL” for the government or a utility company to be able to control your thermostat or other appliances in your home, through these smart meters?  Do you even care if it’s Constitutional?

WESTERVILLE GOING INTO DEBT TO COMPLETE SMART METER PROJECT

According to the June 25, 2010, letter from Andrew Boatright PE, the Westerville Electric Division will finance the remaining estimated $2.7 million for the smart meter project, over 20 years.  Many residents who spoke out against smart meters are concerned about Westerville taking on more debt in a recession and very uncertain future economy, plus ever rising taxes.  Many feel since this is a new technology, that there will most likely be unforeseen expenses that would increase the cost to complete or expand the project.  All of the expenses for this project ultimately fall on the backs of the residents of Westerville.

FEDERAL GRANT ONLY PAYS 50% OF WESTERVILLE SMART METER PROJECT COSTS

Update from a July 15, 2010, letter I received from Mike Heyeck, Chair of the Westerville City Council which states “The federal grant pays 50 percent of project costs and is not designated to cover specific components of the project.”  While I personally still don’t have a clear understanding of the total costs of everything surrounding the smart meter project and related electric infrastructure updates required to support them, this means that at least $4.3 million is going to have to be paid by Westerville residents since the Federal Stimulus money grant only covers $4.3 million.  However, I have read about other costs related to upgrading the electric infrastructure to support the Westerville Smart Grid of $10.7 Million.  Whatever the amount, I have concerns about Westerville spending money on a project that is not absolutely necessary, during a recession that has no end in sight.  These are all costs that will ultimately be paid by Westerville residents, when there are no guaranteed savings promised, by installing the smart meters.

QUESTION:  Is $2.7 Million the total expenses that will be needed to complete the smart meter  project or are there additional costs, for other parts of the project?

QUESTION: I read about other costs related to upgrading the electric infrastructure to support the Westerville Smart Grid ($10.7 Million total).  What is all that for?  Does Westerville already have this money or will we be going into more debt, to pay any of that?

QUESTION:  What are the total costs, including the infrastructure needed to support smart meters, like the Community Data Center and other projects that are being done to prepare for smart meters?

QUESTION:  What other expenses does Westerville foresee? I hope Westerville Electric has taken an honest look at all the future expenses and will share them with residents.

QUESTION: How much money does Westerville already have in it’s budget to put toward these projects?

QUESTION:  How much money is Westerville going to have to borrow for the whole smart meter project?

QUESTION: Is it really wise, to go into debt during a recession, with an uncertain economic future?

QUESTION:  Many Westerville residents are concerned about the high taxes here.  Will this Smart Grid Project cause our taxes to go up even further?


WAIT UNTIL SMART METERS ARE PROVEN TO SAVE MONEY

Smart meter technology is still in it’s infancy, so there are many unknowns about what impact they will have on the consumer and if they’ll really save energy costs.  Many of the residents who spoke against smart meters at the July 6, 2010, Westerville City Council meeting suggested Westerville wait until this new technology is actually proven to save money. Some resident’s also expressed concern about government strings attached to taking the stimulus money.  Since we have seen our Federal government come back later and change the terms of banks who took bailout money, who’s to say the government wouldn’t do the same with this smart meter project?

Due to  Obama’s Federal Stimulus Bill, $3.4 billion in smart grid grants are being awarded to 98 communities across America.  Millions of smart meters will be installed in homes, however, full functionality won’t be possible until consumers pay for and install other devices, in home displays and home area networks, that allow the smart meter to communicate with and control various appliances in your home.  Until these devices are tested and proven, how do we know all of this is worth the money?

QUESTION: How much do these in home display and communication devices cost?  How reliable are they? Who will pay to maintain them?

TEST SMART METERS FIRST BEFORE INSTALLING THEM IN THE WHOLE COMMUNITY

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal: Concerns about smart meters in various states caused Connecticut Light & Power Co., “to do a pilot program first to test customer acceptance of smart meters and variable pricing. Some 3,000 customers have volunteered and the utility intends to see whether people cut energy use during times that prices rise. Some consumers will have “energy orbs” in their homes that change color, a visible indication of how prices are changing, as a way to stimulate behavior changes.”

“Proponents of smart meters say that when these meters are teamed up with an in home display that shows current energy usage, as well as a communicating thermostat and software that harvest and analyze that information,  consumers can see how much consumption drives cost and will consume less as a result.”

While I personally think doing a pilot program is a good idea to test this theory, one thing to keep in mind is the people who are volunteering for the project may be more energy conscious than the average consumer – which will affect their test results.  I do still think it’s wise to test a new idea on a few, before forcing the meters on the whole city of Westerville.  I’d like to see real data on before and after smart meter comparisons, that proves smart meters actually save money on utility bills.

However, what I prefer even more is allowing residents to vote on the smart meter project, before Westerville moves forward.  This really seems to be the only fair thing to do.

QUESTION:  Could Westerville do a pilot program and initially install the smart meters in homes of volunteers only and publish the results, before moving forward with installing smart meters in the whole community?

QUESTION:  Why not let Westerville residents vote on the smart meters, before moving forward with this project?

GOOGLE ALREADY HAS SMART METER TECHNOLOGY

If a Westerville resident really wanted to know how much energy each of their appliances uses, they could buy a smart meter from Google, which would allow them to go online and view their usage information.  This would be a more FREE market approach, to allow the consumers who care about such information, to buy their own smart meter.

CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS REVOLT

According to an article in the NY times.com, “customers in California are in open revolt. Some consumers argue that their smart meters are logging far more kilowatt hours than they believe they are using. Many also find it unfair that they have to begin paying for the smart meters through higher rates, when the promised savings could be years away.”

As a result of these complaints, on March 30, 2010, California Public Utilities Commission hired an independent firm at a cost of $1.4 million to test and validate meter and billing accuracy.

QUESTION: Can Westerville afford to risk a potential resident backlash against smart meters?

SMART METERS AFFECT PERSONAL FREEDOM

Many of the concerns Westerville residents expressed, at the July 6, 2010, City Council meeting were related to feeling a loss of personal freedom, to live in our own homes, without the government knowing our every move.  Smart meters would expose many details about how we live our daily lives to anyone who has access to our utility usage data.  Even worse, the government actually wants the ability to control how and when we use the energy in our homes.

SMART GRID PRIVACY AND SECURITY CONCERNS

Will saving the planet mean inviting “BIG BROTHER” into the home?  Have we really thought through all the implications of government having access to data about our energy usage? Consider the following quotes from MSNBC’s The Red Tape Chronicles:

Polonetsky, director of  The Future of Privacy Forum, states: “Knowing what’s going on in people’s homes . . . this strikes at some of our most core values.”  It’s really hard to predict the “unintended consequences” to the privacy in our own homes.

Larry Ponemon, a privacy auditor who runs The Ponemon Institute, says:  “Most people don’t think about the issues until they become a victim of privacy abuse,” he said. “I see the privacy issues here as potentially serious. I’m not sure if I trust the utilities. It’s hard to know how that information would be appended to other information and be used against consumers.”  “Once a company monetizes data it collects, even if the amount is small, it is very reluctant to give it up,” he said. Many companies he audits have robust privacy policies but end up using information in ways that frustrate or cost consumers, he said, “They talk a good game, but I’m sure (utility companies) will find ways to use the data, and not necessarily to benefit people but to harm people.”

“Data creep will inevitably happen. Already some consumers are getting statements that compare their use to neighbor’s usage — and “over usage” premium pricing isn’t far behind.  But what if the comparisons aren’t fair?  Most families would want to be compared to similar families – how much power do three teen-ager daughter households use?”

(PLEASE ALSO SEE THE COMMENT AT THE VERY END OF THIS ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT DAMAGE HACKERS COULD CAUSE -“Experts said that once in the system, a hacker could gain control of thousands, even millions, of meters and shut them off simultaneously.”)

MORE QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS about smart meters, shared by Westerville residents who spoke at the July 6, 2010, City Council Meeting.

QUESTION: Are these smart meters made in China?  Tax payers don’t like the idea of stimulus money going to stimulate the economy of China, when America’s economy is struggling.

QUESTION: Since we’re in a recession, has the City of Westerville made any cut backs in spending to avoid the need for raising taxes, in the near future?

QUESTION:  What will the electric rate be with new smart meters for residents WHO OPT OUT OF Westerville Electric controlling their thermostat?  I realize that rates are ever changing, but hypothetically speaking, if we had smart meters right now, what would the rate be?

QUESTION:  What will the electric rate be with new smart meters for residents WHO OPT INTO Westerville Electric controlling their thermostat?

QUESTION:  Since Westerville Electric has to finance some of the costs for the smart meters, I’m assuming that will be built into the cost of our electricity?  So I wonder how much higher our electric rates will be with smart meters, than what we currently pay?

QUESTION:  When would we see rates go down as a result of the costs Westerville Electric is saving by not having meter readers come out to our homes anymore?

QUESTION:  Security experts say smart meters and the smart grid system can be hacked, possibly causing major blackouts. Is it possible to secure smart meters?


AL GORE IS BEHIND SMART METER PUSH

According to a New York Times Article- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/business/energy-environment/03gore.html – “Al Gore is poised to become the world’s first carbon billionaire,” profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.”

Al Gore has invested millions into Silver Spring Networks a company that makes smart meters, just before the stimulus money came out.  The deal appeared to be a big payoff because the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, from the federal stimulus money. More than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.

You have to wonder how many other “politically” connected people are using inside tips to make millions off of the GREEN movement and government policies?

QUESTION:  Could any of this be about our government picking the winners and losers? Giving inside information about future government funding so “politically connected” people and campaign contributors can invest ahead of time?

WESTERVILLE RESIDENT TIES SMART METERS TO CAP AND TRADE:

This is all part of President Barack Obama’s Cap and Trade plan as he has said “Under his Cap and Trade Plan – electricity rates would necessarily sky rocket.”

ALSO SEE AN ARTICLE ABOUT: Christopher C. Horner shares that ugly truth in his latest book, Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America.

GREEN ENERGY MEANS HIGHER UTILITY COSTS

Utility companies also say smart meters are a crucial part of remaking the electric system to handle intermittent power sources like wind turbines and solar cells. As our government increases regulation and penalties to discourage coal production, they will create an “artificial” shortage, thereby increasing our utility costs.  Common sense tells me, since GREEN energy sources are not dependable and very expensive to produce, this can only mean higher energy costs to the consumer.

According to the US Department of Energy, when subsidies are allocated according to how much electricity is generated, it costs

  • $.44 per megawatt for coal
  • $.25 per megawatt for oil and gas
  • $1.59 for nuclear
  • $23.37 for wind
  • $24.34 for solar

QUESTION:  Can you imagine the “UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES” of higher utility bills on our economy? What it would do to the job market? What it would do to the cost of goods and services?

Higher utility costs means everything we buy will cost more, so we won’t be able to buy as much.  Americans would have less money to spend on goods and services because we are instead spending it on our utilities.  So the utility companies, their investors and political insiders will get rich, while many other businesses will struggle to stay in business.

Sobering analysis from the Heritage Foundation: “We’re hearing a lot these days from the nation’s capital about the coming “clean energy economy” and all the green jobs we’ll get out of it. If truth-in-advertising laws applied to politics, however, you’d have to replace the word “clean” with “costlier” – which is why this agenda is actually very bad news for jobs and the economy.

Take wind energy, perhaps the most politically correct energy source right now. The president has repeatedly visited wind turbine factories, boasting about the green jobs at each. Washington has heavily subsidized wind energy along with solar and other alternatives, and is now considering a law that would force electric utilities to use more of them.

Yet wind power is tremendously expensive. That’s why it needs billions in federal handouts in the first place. These handouts siphon tax dollars and jobs away from other parts of the economy. And the costlier electricity that results destroys additional jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector.

The president frequently mentions Spain as a model. Yes, Spain already has a clean energy economy, with thousands of wind turbines and solar panels covering the landscape. It also has 19 percent unemployment, nearly twice the U.S. level.

A study conducted by Gabriel Calzada, economics professor at the King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, estimates that for each green job created, 2.2 other jobs are killed.

Spain’s clean energy economy is not without its successes – if you include American pork. In 2009, Spanish energy company Iberdrola received $546 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Treasury. It expects to get an additional $470 million this year to install more windmills in America.

American ingenuity can create great things, including energy breakthroughs – but not when politicians and bureaucrats are telling the private sector what to do. Too much of the clean energy agenda involves Washington experts picking winners and losers among energy lobbyists. The rest of us have to live with their costly mistakes. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/04/In-Green-Spain-Unemployment-Nearly-Twice-Our-Woeful-10-Percent-Rate

Video of Lord Christopher Monckton speaking on October 14th, 2009 at a climate skeptic event sponsored by the Minnesota Free Market Institute about the global warming and climate change controversy.

Related articles:

Smart Meters and the smart grid will steal your freedom to choose –  http://ncwatch.typepad.com/media/2010/06/smartmeters-and-the-smart-grid-wlill-steal-your-freedom-.html

Smart Meters Steal Your Privacy – http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/no-more-privacy-smart-meters-are-surveillance-devices-that-monitor-the-behavior-in-your-home-every-single-minute-of-every-single-day

Wall Street Journal “Smart Meter, Dumb Idea? – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124050416142448555.html#printMode

California residents experience higher utility bills and many problems with smart meters:

http://www.turn.org/article.php?list=type&type=160

Columbus Dispatch: “Smart meters no foolproof way to save” –  http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2010/07/06/smart-meters-not-foolproof-way-to-save.html

MSNBC “What will talking power meters say about you? –  http://redtape.msnbc.com/2009/10/would-you-sign-up-for-a-discount-with-your-power-company-in-exchange-for-surrendering-control-of-your-thermostat-what-if-it.html

NY Times – ‘Smart’ Electric Utility Meters, Intended to Create Savings, Instead Prompt Revolt – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/us/14meters.html

California Public Utilities Commission Selects Independent Evaluator for PG&E Smart Meter Complaints – http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/NEWS_RELEASE/115561.htm

How Obama’s Policies Will Bankrupt America:  http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36854

LIFE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING:  Is this the ultimate goal of global warming followers and government?  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/09/AR2010070902341_pf.html

Heritage Foundation – What Obama Didn’t Say: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/06/03/what-obama-didnt-say/

Considerations for Christians

If you’re a Christian, we must always go back to discern what God’s word says about what is going on in our culture and remember where our future hope lies.  While we should not purposefully pollute and destroy God’s creation, as a Christian, we know that this earth was never meant to last forever. The Bible, God’s Word, says the earth is in a state of decay.  The global warming and GREEN movements are all part of an ever increasing pressure, a man made religion, to try and stop this decay. Many are deceived into worshiping the earth (creation), rather than the CREATOR, who promises to someday destroy it all and create a new Heaven and Earth where righteousness will reign.

ROMANS 8:  THE EARTH IS DECAYING BUT WE HAVE HOPE IN FUTURE GLORY

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

2 Peter 3 EARTH WILL BE DESTROYED BUT WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH

9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

MARK 13: EARTH EXPERIENCES BIRTH PAINS

5Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

ROMANS 1: MAN WORSHIPS AND SERVES CREATED THINGS RATHER THAN THE CREATOR

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.

HOW TO AVOID THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH?

Our only hope to avoid the coming destruction of the earth, is to be prepared before it happens.  How do you prepare?  Accept God’s FREE gift of salvation, by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  I realize this is not a popular view in today’s, I can believe whatever I want culture.  However, since it’s FREE you have nothing to lose, right?  Visit:  How to Go to Heaven to learn more.

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3 Responses to Westerville Electric Smart Meters

  1. Chris H. says:

    Everyone in Westerville needs to read this article. First we should NO WAY NO HOW accept any of Obama’s money!!! If we loose the grant oh well. As for Andy Boatright, wasnt it his idea a few years back to buy some sort of hydrogen fuel cell thing the city was going to run during peak times to help with demmand,and “save us money” what ever happened to that great idea and how much of that are we still paying for?? I’ve heard they dont use it because it didnt work out the way they planned. Also doesnt anybody remember those hot water tanks that the water co. would give you but it could only heat water at night, they didnt save any money in fact they started charging a rent for them and you were very limited on the amount of hot water you had. Same thing is going to happen with this. Also what about those of us that live in the parts of Westerville that only have electric heat? I don’t want my house to be set at 60 by the city because opting out of the program is too expensive. Am I going to have to keep my thermostat at 60 in the winter and 78 in the summer. Anybody that beleves they won’t charge an arm and a leg for opting out of the program needs to open their eyes. Also look at the other comunities and areas that AEP has put these meters in, i’d be willing to bet they are homes that the occupents are not paying for electricty anyways (assisted living, low income) areas. I know how to save energy, turn off the lights when you leave the room, etc… I dont need Obama or the city of Westerville telling me when I can and can’t leave the light on.

  2. Stephanni says:

    Thank you for a very informative and thought-provoking article. I am interested in reading the answers to your questions soon.
    I believe the city should lead by example with setting their work and home thermostats at 78 for the summer. Why not also turn the heat down for the winter too?
    We have our home set at 78 which is fine if we aren’t doing much, but the minute things start to get busy it gets knocked down a few degrees…and we still want to have that option.
    I believe education is our best chance to help save energy. After reading how much energy “standby” uses we took efforts to unplug anything not in constant use to help reduce our energy costs. Why not offer incentives to business and residents to see how much energy they can save on their own? Most people love a challange!

    Thank you again for all of your hard work.

  3. Rod Clay says:

    Petra,

    Wow, good job of covering a very complicated subject!

    But you haven’t said anything about the issue of security.

    Here is what I had prepared to say to the Council on Tuesday but didn’t have enough time to:

    Then there is the very real concern of security. A CNET News article last month reported “In a rush to take advantage of U.S. stimulus money, utilities are quickly deploying thousands of smart meters to homes each day–smart meters that experts say could easily be hacked. The security weaknesses could potentially allow miscreants to snoop on customers and steal data, cut off power to buildings, and even cause widespread outages, according to a number of experts who have studied the meters and looked into smart-grid systems.”

    And an article on CNN.com last year reported that “cybersecurity experts say some types of meters can be hacked, as can other points in the Smart Grid’s communications systems. [One] professional security services firm determined that an attacker with $500 of equipment and materials and a background in electronics and software engineering could ‘take command and control of the [advanced meter infrastructure] allowing for the en masse manipulation of service to homes and businesses.’

    “Experts said that once in the system, a hacker could gain control of thousands, even millions, of meters and shut them off simultaneously. A hacker also might be able to dramatically increase or decrease the demand for power, disrupting the load balance on the local power grid and causing a blackout. These experts said such a localized power outage would cascade to other parts of the grid, expanding the blackout. No one knows how big it could get.”

    Question: do we, do you, know that the implementation of smart meters here in Westerville will NOT be vulnerable to this kind of attack? Have you studied these threats and do you know what is necessary to thwart them? Have you discussed these dangers with the contractors you’ve talked to? Are you confident from your discussion with them that they are aware of these dangers and have the expertise to guard against them? Are you confident that the City of Westerville is not putting its energy grid, its business, and the safety of its citizens at risk by embarking on this relatively untried and untested path? What will you say to the citizens of Westerville if these meters are installed and next year at this time in the middle of a heat wave, on July 4th, the entire Westerville grid goes down for a day, or two, or more?

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