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Re: [hreg] A Rough Rollout for Smart Meters in Texas

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  • Garth & Kim Travis
    Greetings, Accuracy is not the only problem. There is a percentage of the population that gets very sick from being near them. Just like Wifi, some of us
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 31, 2011
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      Greetings,
      Accuracy is not the only problem. There is a percentage of the
      population that gets very sick from being near them. Just like Wifi,
      some of us can't tolerate it. I am glad I live out in the middle of
      nowhere, as I am sensitive to these things. We don't go out for dinner
      anymore, there are stores I can't shop in such as the Kroger Signature
      stores.

      The health concerns are very real, but since the numbers are small, we
      are being ignored. However, if some of us react this bad, I wonder what
      this stuff is slowly doing to everyone. Once again, the human race is
      being used as guinea pigs.

      Bright Blessings,
      Garth & Kim Travis
      www.TheRoseColoredForest.com
      Bedias, Texas
      936-395-0110

      On 3/30/2011 9:19 PM, ralph parrott wrote:
      >
      > *A Rough Rollout for Smart Meters in Texas*
      >
      > /By KATE GALBRAITH <http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/author/kate-galbraith/>/
      >
      > Photo
      >
      > CenterPoint EnergyThe road is getting bumpy as Texans become acquainted
      > with so-called “smart” electric meters.
      >
      > So-called smart electric meters, heralded as vital for an
      > energy-conscious era, are having a rough rollout in Texas.
      >
      > The devices, which enable utilities to vary their rates according to the
      > time of day <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/us/14meters.html>, allow
      > consumers to save money — in theory. But according to The Dallas Morning
      > News
      > <http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-smartmeters_06.met.ART.State.Edition2.4c4df9f.html>,
      > hundreds of Texas customers have called to complain that the meters,
      > which are being installed by a Dallas-based electric company called
      > Oncor <http://www.oncor.com/>, are inaccurately raising their electric
      > bills.
      >
      > A town hall-style meeting
      > <http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Residents-Fight-Smart-Meters-86726112.html>
      > was held on the issue last Sunday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and
      > drew a number of anxious residents. The anti-smart meter crowd has also
      > posted an online petition
      > <http://smarturcitizens.blogspot.com/2010/03/smart-ur-citizens-petition.html>,
      > calling for a moratorium on installations until the concerns are resolved.
      >
      > A Texas lawmaker has gotten involved: Troy Fraser, a state senator,
      > called on Texas’s Public Utility Commission to suspend the introduction
      > of smart meters. The regulators, meeting last week, declined to halt the
      > installations, but did commit to bringing in an outside company to check
      > the accuracy of smart meters put in by Oncor and Centerpoint Energy,
      > which has been installing the devices in the Houston area.
      >
      > In a letter <http://www.oncor.com/news/newsrel/detail.aspx?prid=1238> to
      > the commission before last week’s meeting, Bob Shapard, Oncor’s chairman
      > and chief executive, acknowledged receiving several hundred complaint
      > calls, especially in the Temple-Killeen area (which is between Dallas
      > and San Antonio). From the letter:
      >
      > Our research and one-on-one conversations with these electric customers
      > indicate that, in nearly every case, the factors driving higher electric
      > bills in the Killeen-Temple area are extreme winter temperatures and
      > inefficient electric heating sources.
      >
      > In other words, unusually cold weather — which makes electric heating
      > systems work harder — was a key reason for the higher bills.
      >
      > But several homeowners told The Dallas Morning News that that their
      > bills were unusually high, even when the weather was taken into account.
      > Oncor has said it is looking into customer complaints, and Mr. Shapard,
      > in his letter, outlined a number of ways his company was prepared to
      > work with regulators to resolve the issue.
      >
      > The troubles in Texas are reminiscent of similar problems in California.
      > There, Pacific Gas & Electric, the major Northern California utility,
      > has been installing millions of smart meters — only to encounter
      > concerns about their accuracy.
      >
      > In Bakersfield
      > <http://www.bakersfield.com/news/business/economy/x1305354119/Bakersfields-SmartMeter-trouble-worries-industry>,
      > the complaints were particularly vociferous because electric bills
      > soared last summer right after smart meters were installed. P.G.&E.
      > blamed a scheduled rate increase, coupled with a bout of unusually hot
      > weather (which gave air-conditioners a workout).
      >
      > Under pressure from a state senator, California’s Public Utilities
      > Commission has just said that it will appoint an independent consultant
      > later this week to look into the meters’ accuracy, The San Francisco
      > Chronicle
      > <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/09/BU3V1CCQSI.DTL&tsp=1>
      > reported.
      >
      > *From:*hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of
      > *Eileen Nehiley
      > *Sent:* Wednesday, March 30, 2011 6:16 PM
      > *To:* hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > *Subject:* Re: [hreg] Smart Meters and Prepay: Will Realtime Data Create
      > Value for Residential Solar?
      >
      > FYI: Be aware that when the Smart Meter is installed that there is
      > potential to cause permanent damage to any electronics plugged in. This
      > happened to my daughter in San Diego less than a year ago. The electric
      > company notified apartment residents, but did not notify of the exact
      > date of installation. It fried her CPU & both PG&E and the meter
      > installing company deny liability. There is ample documentation on-line
      > of this happening. . . computers, TV's, etc.
      >
      > Eileen
      >
      > On Mar 30, 2011, at 2:00 PM, ralph parrott wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > *Smart Meters and Prepay: Will Realtime Data Create Value for
      > Residential Solar? *
      >
      > By Pamela Cargill <http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/u/PamelaCargill>
      > March 29, 2011 | 11 Comments
      > <http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2011/03/smart-meters-and-prepay-will-realtime-data-create-value-for-residential-solar?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-March30-2011#readercomments>
      >
      >
      > *Do you like this blog post? *
      >
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      >
      > If you drive a car, it is likely that you can quote the miles per gallon
      > statistics for your vehicle. In some cases, you might even have a rough
      > idea what your dollars per tank value is. But do you know your home’s
      > peak electricity use per kilowatt-hour cost? In other words, do you know
      > the effect of how what appliances you use and when you use them cost you?
      >
      > Toyota’s Prius introduced the mass-market concept of providing realtime
      > and longer term data about how driving habits impacted fuel use. In
      > summer 2008, when record gasoline prices were at the pump, America
      > became obsessed with miles per gallon and gained a clear understanding
      > of a dollars per tank value. Since then, many major automakers have
      > incorporated their own versions of either an average or realtime
      > mile-per-gallon readout to new vehicle models.
      >
      > Part of the reason why connection between the use and cost is easier to
      > make with autos is partially because consumers pre-pay for their energy
      > and partially because they prepay for this energy frequently, on average
      > three times per month
      > <http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/VIN_case_study_GasMerchant.pdf>.
      > What if Americans prepaid for their electricity like their gasoline and
      > had access to realtime information about how their electricity is being
      > used? Would this information help provide not only a deeper
      > understanding for the value of electricity, would it also help create a
      > better understanding of the value of residential solar energy?
      >
      > While prepay electricity service is common in other parts of the world
      > like Central America, rural United Kingdom, South Africa, and many
      > others, it is a relatively newer entrant to the US marketplace, where it
      > is currently targeted toward customers with poor credit or who have had
      > hard time keeping up with their bills. According to a recent article by
      > GreentechMedia
      > <http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/get-ready-for-prepaid-with-or-without-bikinis/>,
      > some prepay electricity services are available in Arizona and North
      > Carolina.
      >
      > <image006.jpg>
      >
      > In Texas, the First Choice Control First program couples Smart Meters
      > with the prepay program
      > <http://www.firstchoicepower.com/blog/first-choice-power-launches-%E2%80%98next-generation%E2%80%99-of-prepaid-electric-service-2010-01>
      > to help customers plan and make informed decisions about their
      > electricity use. Until this program rolled out, most prepay retailers
      > estimated how much a customer used, rather than tallying exactly.
      > Prepaid customers wanting to conserve didn't see much immediate benefit,
      > and had no feedback telling them when their accounts would hit zero.
      > With the prepay and Smart Meter coupling, prepaid home electricity
      > consumers can begin to gain a better understanding of their realtime and
      > average energy use vs. cost statistics.
      >
      > So why does this all matter?
      >
      > In the 1950’s, total residential electricity usage in the US was 288
      > billion kilowatt-hours. In 2001, household electricity use was four
      > times that at nearly 1,140 billion kilowatt-hours
      > <http://1bog.org/blog/infographic-the-energy-hungry-house/> and quickly
      > growing since. Growing demand for electricity has created urgent need
      > for new generating capacity often times meaning the building of more
      > coal, natural gas, and possibly nuclear generating facilities. Or,
      > utilities need to prioritize putting aggressive conservation strategies
      > in to place to reduce the need for new generating facilities.
      >
      > A study released in February this year
      > <https://www.smartstudytogether.com/> conducted by Lawrence Berkley
      > National Laboratory of Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) customers showed
      > that people will significantly conserve electricity during peak demand
      > if given price incentives and tools to modify usage. According to a 2009
      > study filed by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission
      > <http://www.centerpointenergy.com/staticfiles/CNP/Common/SiteAssets/doc/FERC%2006-09-demand-response_1.pdf>,
      > if 60 to 75 percent of customers stay on dynamic pricing rates or
      > participate in demand response/reduction programs like Smart Meters, the
      > nationwide reduction in peak demand would be 138 GW by 2019,
      > representing a 14% reduction in peak demand for 2019 compared to a
      > scenario with no demand response programs. This would equate to avoiding
      > construction on many generating facilities.
      >
      > According to Ken Devore, director of Southern California Edison’s
      > SmartConnect program, US utilities have deployed more than eight million
      > smart meters
      > <http://www.smartmeters.com/the-news/1476-smart-meters-deployment-looks-strong-for-2011.html>
      > with 60 million expected by 2020. This represents a significant
      > potential for prepaid electricity programs to roll out nationwide and
      > emerge into a wider marketplace outside of the traditional credit-poor
      > consumer markets. If marketed correctly, these programs could help
      > consumers better understand the cost of the electricity usage in the
      > context of appliance usage.
      >
      > As a corollary, this has a great potential to better contextualize the
      > value of designing residential solar energy as a conservation measure
      > that can reduce demand during peak hours of use, as opposed to many more
      > traditional solar design approaches which aim for best year-round
      > production. At the recent GreentechMedia Solar Summit
      > <http://www.chaolysti.com/events/themes-greentech-media-solar-summit-lcoe-reliability-scalability-utility-interoperability/>,
      > Fong Wan, VP of Energy Procurement for PG&E, delivered a keynote
      > outlining how predictability of output and the buffering and storing of
      > output from solar and wind resources would be key to their growth as
      > viable energy generation options. As the penetration of solar becomes
      > more dense on the grid, utilities will likely begin to require more
      > stringent requirements for how the output of those systems, from
      > residential up through utility-scale solar, match the demand from energy
      > consumers.
      >
      > At least on the residential side, prepaying coupled with the feedback
      > from Smart Metering could have an enormous potential to revolutionize
      > the design and understanding of the value of home solar energy systems.
      >
      >
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