Seattle smart-meter vendor says that if we know how their system works, the terrorists will win

fuggin terrorists

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So basically they’ve admitted the security is somewhere between useless to non-existent so they have to rely on secrecy…

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It’s appropriate for so very many things :smiley:

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Nothing to worry about. As soon as they hit the streets they will be taken apart and exploited just like every other security by obscurity system.

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Smart meters are only ever useful when the data is available to both the utility and the homeowner. Transparency is what makes the system useful. Imagine using a Nest in your home but not being able to get into the useful settings, instead trusting a 3rd party to make decisions on your usage.

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I am not convinced that I would benefit from smart meters even with access to all data, including electricity rates. The only devices in my household with a high(ish) power consumption and flexible usage are washing machine and vacuum cleaner, but least cost usage at 3 am would make my neighbors unhappy. Everything else (like lights or stove) is not really flexible in usage patterns.

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Agreed. His entire complaint is FUD cranked up to eleven. Which is not to say that the power company is in the right, necessarily, just that given his hyberbole he should be considered an unreliable narrator when it comes to what exactly those meters are supposedly doing, and how, and what information he (and the public generally is entitled to.

Everyone going on about “they won’t tell anyone how their meters work” or “they won’t allow their meters to be verified” is just buying right into the FUD. There isn’t a state in the US that doesn’t have legal requirements that 1) specify accuracy standards for electric meters; and 2) require utilities to prove that every meter they install meets those accuracy standards.

His exclamations of “unspecified and unverifiable sensors that monitor activity inside of private property and can communicate collected information in real-time to unspecified machines in remote locations” is crazy talk, period, and it leads me to think he’s demanding all kinds of detailed information about the meter-meter communications protocols, radio specs, encryption standards, and other detailed specs of the meters, data collection devices and backend computer systems.

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Money money money. They want the power PV generates, but they don’t want to pay for it. Or more accurately, they want us to pay a monthly fee to feed back to the grid, and then pay us wholesale volume rates to give them our electrons, which they will then sell back to us for retail prices. Pretty good deal for them, and they’re making excellent progress by the time-honored practice of buying some politicians to make the laws the way they want them.

This is the same outfit that forced through a law that the customers would have to pay for decommissioning the San Onofre nuclear plant, instead of the stockholders. Another sweet deal for them.

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It’s not for everyone for sure, I for one would have zero use for such a thing. That doesn’t mean they are useless. I know first-hand of some friends who have them and they love it. Electricity where i live is really expensive, and the city is known for misreading meters so having the data helps with appliance + home efficiency, plus proof of usage in case you get charged more. The water here is also city operated and there is no smart meter for that and there’s way more meter misreads and shenanigans as far as that goes.

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I don’t follow the discussion closely, but the planned mandatory smart meter here in Germany will cost about 50 to 100 EUR per year (rental fees) and, according to a study of the ministry of economics, can lower the electricity bill by 15 EUR per year for an average household.

interesting, I cannot remember any bigger* billing and reading issues with water and electricity utilities here

* i.e. widely reported in national media

Yeah, It’s interesting how much people’s experience vary with utilities. Here it’s not great and there’s a lot of bureaucracy, it’s probably worse here than anywhere else i’ve lived in.

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That looks like it should be emitting nucular energy.

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Nice coincidence - in the time between opening the tab and reading the article, a guy from the power company came by my house to install a Landis & Gyr smart meter.

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Co-defendant Phil Mocek, here. Thanks for drawing attention to this matter, Cory.

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No, I requested “Plans for, schedules of, policies dictating the performance of, requests for proposals to, contracts for, discussion of, and results of all security audits performed of “smart meter” devices (remotely-addressable electrical meters sometimes referred to as “advanced metering infrastructure”), along with metadata.”

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I do not yet have legal representation for this matter.

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Regrettably our state’s AG, DoJ, and FTC reps are so overworked (or well bribed, YMMV) that our complaints got the colossal brushoff, especially since it didn’t appear to be a widespread conspiracy, just incompetence on the part of the electric company for not getting enough of the right type of meter fast enough. I don’t think it’s planned, just low cunning; the latest trick is reading the meter early enough in the morning that the overnight usage registers, but the day’s generation doesn’t.

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I’m not a member of the WA bar and can’t give you legal advice. If you want, I can PM with you about options for trying to find an attorney licensed there for you to consult. I went to school with folks who now practice in the Seattle area and have met other friends and colleagues there over the years. I may not have any ideas or leads that are new to you.

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If it’s mandatory, how can they charge you a “rental” fee?

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