Tuesday, 17 February 2015

'Smart meters', Big Energy and Big Utility >>>>>>>>> Award-winning documentary "Take Back Your Power" >>> >>> showing in Sidmouth Tues 24th February

Sidmouth's community energy coop will be showing an award-winning film at the Anchor Inn at 7pm on Tuesday 24th February:
Futures Forum: The latest SidEnergy news: meeting Tues 24th February

Here is the movie's website:
Take Back Your Power: Investigating The "Smart" Grid [documentary]

And here is the trailer:

Take Back Your Power - Official Trailer (2014 Edition) 

Transparency advocate Josh del Sol digs beyond the 2013 NSA spy scandal, investigating current utility and government programs involving mass in-home surveillance, eroding rights and causing harm in the names of "smart" and "green."

Take Back Your Power - YouTube

How aware are we of what's going on with the 'smart meter'?

The Energy Savings Trust think they're a good idea - but are aware of questions around them:

Are there any risks to consumers during the smart meter roll-out?

The UK Government is working with industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders to ensure that the smart meter roll-out is conducted in the best interest of all consumers, particularly vulnerable ones. There will also be a new code of practice for energy providers who install meters, to protect consumers from a range of potential problems including data protection and miss-selling.
A smart metering system will enable you to maintain control over the amount of consumption data passed on to the energy provider, as well as third parties.
Smart meters | Energy Saving Trust

The 'Big Energy' and 'Big Utility' companies think they're a good thing:
Smart Meter Upgrade - Control energy - British Gas
Smart meters - npower

There are, however, considerable concerns about this technology:

Opposition and concerns

Some groups have expressed concerns regarding the cost, health, fire risk,[33] security and privacy effects of smart meters and the remote controllable "kill switch" that is included with most of them. Many of these concerns regard wireless-only smart meters with no home energy monitoring or control or safety features. Metering-only solutions, while popular with utilities because they fit existing business models and have cheap up-front capital costs, often result in such "backlash". 

Privacy concerns

In BC Canada the electric utility is government owned and as such must comply with privacy laws that prevent the sale of data collected by smart meters, many parts of the world are serviced by private companies that are able to sell their data.[91]In Australia debt collectors can make use of the data to know when people are at home.[92] Used as evidence in a court case in AustinTexas, Police agencies secretly collected thousands of residences' smart meter power usage data to determine which ones were using more power than "typical" in order to find "targets" to pursue in marijuana growing operations.[93]

Lack of savings in results

There are questions whether electricity is or should be primarily a "when you need it" service where the inconvenience/cost-benefit ratio of time shifting of loads is poor. In the Chicago area Commonwealth Edison ran a test installing smart meters on 8,000 randomly selected households together with variable rates and rebates to encourage cutting back during peak usage.[105] In the Crain's Chicago Business article Smart grid test underwhelms. In pilot, few power down to save money. it was reported that fewer than 9% exhibited any amount of peak usage reduction and that the overall amount of reduction was "statistically insignificant".[105] This was from a report by the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility industry think tank who conducted the study and prepared the report. Susan Satter, senior assistant Illinois attorney general for public utilities said "It's devastating to their plan......The report shows zero statistically different result compared to business as usual." [105]

In the media

In 2013, Take Back Your Power, an independent Canadian documentary directed by Josh del Sol was released describing "dirty electricity" and the aforementioned issues with smart meters.[106] The film explores the various contexts of the health, legal, and economic concerns, and features narration from mayor of Peterborough, OntarioDaryl Bennett, as well as American researcher De-Kun Li, journalist Blake Levitt,[107] and Dr. Sam Milham. It won a Leo Award for best feature-length documentary and the Annual Humanitarian Award from Indie Fest the following year.
Smart meter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A campaign group sets out the arguments against:

Welcome to Stop Smart Meters! (UK)

Est. January 2012, Stop Smart Meters! (UK) is an independent, not-for-profit voice calling for an immediate halt and reversal of the UK's Smart Meter programme - which in itself is part of a global Smart Grid agenda (see map below).
Our campaign aims to raise awareness about Smart Meters so that people can become informed about Smart Meters and take necessary and appropriate action to resist them. This is a very long way indeed from what Big Energy and Big Utility are trying to do.
There are many serious problems presented by web-enabling our electricity, gas and water supplies and turning our homes into wireless, network-attached nodes on the Internet. From documented (and suppressed) health risks, unwarranted privacy violations and safety issues to the loss of sovereignty & control of our property in our own homes and much higher bills, the Smart Grid will cause far more problems than it purports to solve. In reality, Smart Meters are a money-making solution to a very different challenge - namely, how profit-seeking corporations can continue to monetise further aspects of our lives.
We encourage you to stand on your indefeasible human rights and to say a loud "NO!" to Smart Meters. Smart Meters are not mandatory - you are lawfully entitled to refuse one on whatever grounds you like. And if you would like to help other people do the same, please download and hand-out our leaflets to your neighbours and friends - this will make a huge difference in raising awareness about Smart Meters within your own community.
In February 2012, Stop Smart Meters! (UK) was invited to join the International EMF Alliance http://www.iemfa.org

Stop Smart Meters! (UK)

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