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Nevadans’ Fight Against Smart Meters

By Mike Hazard for
Citizen Review Online

 

December 2012

 

In the Beginning:

 

Nevada, like 48 other states in the union (AK is the only hold out I’m aware of) is now in the process of completing their ASD (Advanced Service Delivery) effort to the national Smart Grid that was originally introduced by George Bush Jr. and further implemented by Barack Obama under the 2009 stimulus package. Prior to the stimulus, smart meter implementation was already well underway in California.

 

Even if we had known about this part of the stimulus package, I doubt seriously that we could have actually stopped it. This is where Obama’s “Smart Meter” agenda really took off.  “I hope this investment will ignite our imagination once more in science, medicine, energy and make our economy stronger, our nation more secure, and our planet safer for our children,” he said before signing the bill in February of 2009.

 

There was a huge chunk of the Stimulus set aside for massive spending on our power grid system and other energy upgrades.   Out of the $787 billion Stimulus package, $30 billion was for a new electrical smart grid (including smart meters) and nearly $70 billion for renewable energy programs and tax incentives earmarked for the sluggish energy sector. Our tax dollars all earmarked for the ‘Green Energy Agenda’ while tens of billions of dollars for coal and nuclear energy were removed.

 

I’m sure Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) was all too eager to do his part to make sure the largest power company in our state, Nevada Energy, received their portion of federal money through a $139 million grant from the DOE (Department of Energy).  The PUCN (Public Utilities Commission of Nevada) was next to fall into lockstep with this agenda and approved in July of 2009 the ASD rollout at the request of Nevada Energy.   We the American taxpayers have paid for all of this through our federal income taxes and we Nevadans through our increased utility rates.  Furthermore, if Nevada residents agree to the Dynamic Pricing Trial (NDPT) we’ll be agreeing to allow one of the largest corporate monopolies in Nevada to control our electrical energy demand, retrieve our energy consumption data, compromise our privacy and security while exposing us to grave health risks from the RF (Radio Frequency) emitted by the meters while transmitting our energy consumption data without our permission.

This energy agenda actually all got started back in the 1930’s when science started then, to try and harness the energy information of Americans.  It was called Technocracy.   This is from Patrick Woods and his newsletter August Review.  He writes:

“Pro­po­nents of Smart Grid claim that it will empower the con­sumer to better manage his or her power con­sump­tion and hence, costs. The utility com­pa­nies will there­fore be more effi­cient in bal­ancing power loads and require­ments across diverse markets.

How­ever, like car­nival barkers, these Smart Grid hucksters never reveal where or how Smart­Grid came into being, nor what the ulti­mate endgame aims to achieve; per­haps most of them have no idea either, but simply repeat the mantra as if they know what they are talking about.

Tech­noc­racy is a total­i­tarian system of gov­ern­ment where sci­en­tists, engi­neers and tech­ni­cians mon­itor and con­trol all facets of per­sonal and civic life eco­nomic, social and polit­ical. Herein lies the real danger: Who are these unelected con­trollers and why should anyone believe that they would be benev­o­lent dic­ta­tors instead of tyrants? Amer­i­cans are a freedom-loving people who would cer­tainly reject Technocracy’s stealth takeover, if only they were aware of it. Indeed, Amer­i­cans did point­edly reject Tech­noc­racy in the 1930′s!”[End Quote] (http://www.augustforecast.com/2010/03/03/smart-grid-the-implementation-of-technocracy-2/ )

 

Fortunately, back then, the American public and the elected elite rebelled against it and it was soundly defeated.  It lay dormant for another 50 years until the 1980’s when George W. Hart reintroduced an interest in NIALM (Non Intrusive Appliance Load Monitoring) Technology  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonintrusive_load_monitoring)

 

To really understand the potential for what NIALM Technology is all about, I suggest reading this white paper on the subject by Elias Quinn (http://www.dora.state.co.us/puc/docketsdecisions/DocketFilings/09I-593EG/09I-593EG_Spring2009Report-SmartGridPrivacy.pdf)   Nonetheless, this is the heart of why we are seeing smart meters being installed not only in Nevada, but across the country as well.

 

Whether Nevada Energy or any power company or Public Utility Commission in America wants to admit it, this smart grid upgrade is not about saving energy or money for America’s electrical customers.   No, this is about increasing the bottom line of America’s power companies and subsequently increasing the profits for their shareholders.  But it’s even more disturbing than that. It’s about control.  It’s about knowing the intimate details of the everyday life routine of the American utility customers with such finite granularity, such infinite detail that any semblance of privacy that we Americans have come to know and appreciate will all but have disappeared.

 

Smart meters are not about saving energy or reducing the carbon footprint, and this agenda is not about being good stewards of the environment.  There is no federal mandate, and is not a requirement of any state law in Nevada or any other state of the Union.  The energy policy of 2005 only suggests the use of smart meters; it does not require their installation.  There were several other options NVE could have used.  This agenda is about controlling the American people from the highest levels of the federal government through HAN (Home Area Networks), NAN  (neighborhood Area Networks) and WAN (Wide Area Network) networks that are potentially injurious to the citizens of this valley, that legitimizes the invasion of privacy through the installation of a sending and receiving antenna without the express consent of the owner, and that will actually increase the utility rates of those who are already being energy efficient.

 

If Americans still have doubts about the purpose of the smart grid, then know now that, according to Wired Magazine, the American government is building one of the largest computer data storage facilities not only in the US, but most likely in the entire world.  “ Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”   (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/)

 

Here is more about how our government either has now or intends to have in the future an extensive surveillance network on the American public.  (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705352795/Big-Brother-is-coming-NSAs-19-billion-cyber-spy-center-a-power-grab.html?pg=1)     Naturally, NSA officials emphatically deny they are gathering information on American Citizens.

 

This will be the final step of control our government will have over every citizen of this country.  Every piece of data they can possibly collect about you, gleaned through smart meters, NIALM and HAN not to mention phone, e-mail, drones and other forms of surveillance will be stored in this facility.  There will literally be no place to hide.

 

NVE’s Slick Marketing Plan

Since the start of the rollout, NVE has used strong armed bullying and intimidated customers into accepting the installation of smart meters on their homes. They have come unannounced into quiet neighborhoods and disregarded signs posted to prevent smart meter installation.  They have been less than transparent about the purpose and the extent to which their overall goals are for the program and how far they will continue to push the scope of the technology and what the overall costs will eventually be for the program.  This is the game of shameful deception they are playing.  They could care less about health/safety, privacy/security, accuracy/reliability and customer service.

 

From the start of the rollout, NVE’s mantra has been that smart meters will save energy and reduce costs for utility customers.  Since then they’ve asked for 3 rate hikes and will be asking for another on in 2015 if not sooner.  At PUCN hearings smart meter coordinator Gary Smith lost no time touting the fictitious benefits of the ASD program.  His benefits included customer awareness on energy consumption in real time to be able to control the energy they use.  That might be true for some individuals who fixate on their electrical bill, but for most it is an insignificant issue.  We need power to run our households and we want power when we need it.  What company American or otherwise, who manufactures a product to sell, tells their customers to not buy it.  Ridiculous!

 

Then there is the threshold alert function.  Who in their right mind is going to cut back their consumption in the peak of summer when it is 115 degrees outside and they are approaching the limit of their projected budget for energy consumption they predicted when it was 85 degrees out. We can’t predict the weather in Las Vegas and who would be willing to go without a/c when we’re approaching a projected usage limit.

 

Smith’s purported outage management tool, which power company’s claim can identify outage locations sooner, is used as a slick marketing plan by every major utility company across the country, which is a lie.  Go sell that tool to all the people in Virginia, New Jersey or in Louisiana or Texas who have experienced major weather events like hurricanes and extreme heat waves.  Power companies can get to outages when they can based on personnel and equipment assets and severity of outage causes, period.

 

The Dynamic Pricing Trial Smith refers to only benefits those who don’t care about privacy. They don’t realize that by signing up for this program, the power company will be able to create a profile of their in home energy consumption with such granularity, that they will make millions selling it to third parties who will obtain a cache of endless advertising resources.  All privacy-concerned freedom loving Americans should stay away from this.

In This To Win It

 

The PUCN (Public Utilities Commission of Nevada) as in most states across the country has allowed NVE to use deceptive lies, threats and bullying tactics to accomplish their ASD rollout of the smart meters in Nevada since it started in 2010 under docket # 10-02009.  They continue to do so in trying to make opt out customers give up their analog meters and enable NVE to double bill us when meter reader charges are still incorporated into the current rate case for both the smart meters and the analogs.  This is big government corruption for allowing this to happen at minimum and possibly fraud and extortion in the worst case.   Now we are asked to pay again with higher utility bills, and less available electrical power not to mention having to subsidize gargantuan green energy projects like solar and wind that are the least efficient and most expensive of all electrical energy production on the market.

 

Nonetheless, Nevadans from both ends of the state have fought back vigorously, despite a compliant press who appears to carry a strong bias for the power company.   In testimony from deeply concerned Nevada ratepayers since October of 2011, we have seen not only a composite model of Nevada citizens, but also a clear persona of a public that we have become, which is a nation of freedom loving Americans. From nurses to engineers and scientists and from housewives to carpenters, citizens spoke out poignantly against any fees for opting out of a smart meter.  It was enormously clear that this is not a partisan issue and that it permeates the very core and all levels of the American cross section. Nevadans delivered comments with prowess, with dignity and with diligence to fact and resource.

 

It is clear that Nevadans prepared well for public testimony, have become allied together and have become a force to reckon with.  Nurses, WWII veterans and lay people from all stripes who had suffered greatly from the RF transmitting smart meters already or knew someone who had, have poured their hearts out with clarity and conviction.

 

All have heart-felt concerns and expressed a strong distrust of a monopoly that seemed to tower over them relentlessly. Without exception, everyone wanted the analog option and they expressed that desire with precision and confidence. Their willingness to fight and speak out against this unpopular corporate monster has paid off.  Nevadans now have an opt out that does allow them to have an electrical meter other than the smart meter.  There are almost 14,000 utility customers on that opt-out list.

 

This is crony capitalism and monopolistic manipulation of customers at its best and the fight against smart meters is far from over.   Smart meters are a wireless networking device that sends an RF (radio frequency) signal with a customer’s electrical consumption data to the power company in real time.  Smart meters replace the original analog meter, but have proven themselves to not be a ‘one size fits all’ situation and opposition to them is growing in our state, our country and around the world as well. Concerns are growing about health and safety, privacy and security, accuracy and reliability, and customer service related issues specifically related to the smart meters.

 

This is not a small movement when you consider that: Fifty-seven counties and cities in California have passed ordinances that have made ‘smart’ meter installations illegal within their jurisdictions. Fourteen states have created or are working on SM refusal programs by government or jurisdictional authorities. Thirty states have set up web sites and or organized groups to oppose smart meters.  One state, Vermont has passed legislation revising all of their primary renewable energy legislation and inserted sections to protect the rights of Vermont citizens so that they can have a no-fee Opt-Out if they wish. And finally, the countries of Australia, UK and Canada have multiple organized groups that oppose the installation of smart meters in their countries as well.

 

NVE is a well-seasoned veteran at playing the waiting game because they know from experience, that by doing so it will dwindle our numbers and then they get what they wanted all along, which is big bucks for all their shareholders. They are a powerful monopoly and their money controls the social and political climate in Nevada in more ways than you can imagine.  What they are doing has all the trimmings (resembles) of extortion, fraud and is patently illegal. However, the PUCN allows them to get away with it under the color of law so Nevadans and all Americans must remain strong, united and dedicated to overcome this criminal activity wherever it occurs to undermine freedom.

 

This is a fight ‘we the people’ MUST win! Our right to privacy, right to choose, our health and well being, plus our basic Constitutional freedoms as Americans, depends on us staying united and demanding our Analogs with no double billing be one of our opt out choices.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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