"As taxpayers, utilities, and rate payers continue to pump billions into modernization of the electric power grid, controversy rages over the evolving “smart” technology that makes it possible.
While proponents praise it as ushering in efficient grid management and cybersecurity, others warn that the “smart grid” is nothing less than a tool of the surveillance state that government uses to destroy liberty and privacy.
...But the other side of the coin, opponents say, is that government can spy on and ration your energy use by means of these digital meters.
During the 2015 California drought, for example, bureaucrats used them “to catch citizens consuming more than their government-approved water rations,” as Alex Newman reported for The New American.
In what amounted to warrantless search and collection of data, Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier bragged, “We are using it specifically for an enforcement tool to go after those customers who we’ve gotten lots of complaints about,” and to fine them for using more than their “fair share” of water.
...In 2012, the Congressional Research Service warned about the criminal potential afforded by such detailed, up-to-the-minute recording.
“By observing when occupants use the most electricity, it may be possible to discern their daily schedules,” opening the door for hackers to plan robberies or worse.
Newman also related that the European Data Protection Supervisor, a European Union government agency, warned that smart meters allow “massive collection of personal information … unprecedented in the energy sector.”
...We know from experience that there are valid reasons to oppose the use of smart meters.
- We know bureaucrats can and do use them to spy on utility customers, even bragging about their unwarranted surveillance exploits.
- We know smart meters open the door to espionage and that they pose dangerous fire hazards.
- Claims of their cost savings do not take into account the billions of dollars in taxes and rate hikes used to bolster grid modernization.
- With such a litany of justified complaints, does it make sense to add questionable claims of ill health from unsubstantiated sources?
Sticking with verifiable facts is clearly the smart choice."