The DWP "SMART" Extortion Racket-totally off topic


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Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 8, 2013 - 10:36am PT
So like most of California.. I get this notice from the power company telling me they are replacing my analog meter with a "Smart Meter" (for "free"). Sure.. have at it.. My meter is actually insidean add-on on my house requiring the guy to stand at my back door and read the meter through a glass door. A PIA for the reader-guy.

But...I work with a bunch of hard-core conspiracy theory hippies who have been regaling me with the evils of these Smart Meters and brow-beating me to "opt out".

I figured it was a bunch of hippy hog-wash, so I go online to research.. The main issues seem to be people concerned about yet another wireless device emitting unwanted radiation and causing a health-risk, and the biggest issue for me personally.. widespread consumer reports of drastic increases in power-cost (double to triple previous bills)as soon as the thing is installed and the near impossibility of getting it UN-installed if the bills do skyrocket... so it's not so "free".

So after a bunch of lawsuits.. the power company is forced to allow people to "opt out" of the smart meter.. GREAT! go up against the man.. you're gonna PAY! ..a fee of $75 PLUS $10 per month forever.

So I have to pay.. for them to NOT to pay a guy to install a new piece of equipment that costs money and costs more money to hire a guy to install? And I have a new monthly fee for a perfectly serviceable analog meter that is already here?

I don't trust them.. don't trust them one bit BTW after reading dozens of articles so I'm looking at opting out. Although my meter is a pain to read.. it does give a working stiff a paycheck (unlike the Smart Meter) and by many accounts the stupid fee is cheaper in the long run.

Any thoughts?

I hate this sh#t.

SF bay area
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:41am PT
I wonder how the power of the smart meter signal compares with your typical wi-fi signal. Lots of us sit near our home and work wireless computers and routers so a smart meter may be insignificant.

My power bills seem unchanged after the switch to smart meter.
Fish Finder

Social climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:49am PT

How else are they going to pay for their millions and millions in dollars of lawsuits

that they have had to pay for both sides because they dont know how to let water flow by nature.


Trad climber
Butte, America
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
An elderly lineman told me a few years back when turning on the power at our family rustic cabin that old meters have a brass needle-bearing inside them that eventually wears out and slows the meter down.

He said to resist changing it if possible, as he was an old-schooler who didn't particular like change, but loved our cabin.

Keep your old meter, but it sucks that they are going to hyper-charge you for their old equipment...

edit: he also told me that "I didn't tell you that, though" (with a wink...)
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Double check the power company. If you want to monitor your power consumption you can get units that attach to your main power line into the home through a split core current transformer. The split core transformer can be installed without disconnecting your power. The unit can send your real time power consumption to your computer and can be monitored online. I have a unit at home, I will post up the name of it later. I think I paid less than 200 for it and the split core current transformers.

It is not an exact science because phase shifts between voltage and current (caused by inductive loads) causes variations in numbers between different monitors. But you should get a fairly accurate measurement.

Yes some peoples bill goes way up because the old meters (mechanical) were reading low. If you opt out they will install a new meter, not your old one. So you will be paying a higher bill plus the monthly fee. Most peoples bill does not go up

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
If we can't learn to control our own behavior and act responsibly, then, eventually, someone else is going to do it for us.

That's what I always tell my unruly students.

Hey, its a free country, right? Yeah . . . LOL

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
BTW, while they are not being used in this way, YET, I've heard that these things can be used to control your home remotely - turning things on and off according to your ration of power or carbon or some such criteria.

This would be worth looking into.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
Smart meters can not control anything in your home. There is a voluntary program where devices are controlled by the power company. For example, in exchange for a discounted rate on power you agree to put a controller on your AC. If the grid approaches max capacity the power company cycles the AC off and on, an AC rolling black-out, rather than a real rolling black-out.

the tin hatters hate this idea.

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Thats exactly what I'm talking about, Jon. The technology is in there, its just not being activated unless you agree to it, like you said.

I think it also requires "smart" appliances that can "converse" with the grid.


Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
The money's gotta come from somewhere. May as well be you.

The DWP pays its low-skill workers more than anyone else in the country - maybe the world. Then they're on the hook for high pensions and Cadillac healthcare based on these too-high salaries until the retired employees and their spouses are all dead. Retirement is at 50, by the way.

Plus, the DWP is the dumping ground for any laid-off employee no longer needed by the city of Los Angeles. If, say, Parks and Rec needs to pare down its payroll, their unnecessary employees aren't sent to the unemployment office. They're transfered to DWP. What does a parks professional know about providing water and power? Who the f*#k cares, as long as nobody in The Orange Vest Club ever loses "their" job.

And, the DWP pays the city of Los Angeles a multi-million kickback every year to keep the city clinging to the rim of the fiscal toilet.

So be happy. Your city is in solid financial shape. A bunch of people with nothing but a high school education and no marketable skills are drawing six-figure incomes and multi-million dollar pensions. And it's a safety valve of sorts that keeps unnecessary laid-off city workers on the payroll and off the streets.

You should be happy to pay a little more to fund a living wage, public-employee job security, and to keep your city leaders from looking like the math failures they are.


Trad climber
Portland, Or
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
California is headed for a 100% time of use (TOU) pricing structure for all end users, including residential. This means you will indeed pay more per kWh on summer afternoons if you decide to run your air conditioner during times when the CA grid is near its limit. Commercial and industrial instllaitons are already involved in this. Some aspects of peak load reduction have already been tried in residential, too, such as cycling of air conditioners, etc.

Wireless utility meters are part of this given signals can be sent (not just received) for some flavors of this technology. Yes, there is a Big Brother aspect to this. But consider the alternative, as well: electricity supplies are not unlimited and so certain demand reduction of various sorts is needed sometimes to avoid brownouts or worse. There are various ways to get there.

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Well I'm more concerned about the fact that I sit right next to a wireless router, place a wireless computer on my lap etc.

This bears some looking into. Does anybody have answers at hand.

Seems like an ez solution is to move the router into the next room.


The longer answer is that the intensity of a Wi-Fi signal is around is 100,000 times less than a microwave oven. The oven is a targeted device that operates at very high voltages and short distances. Wi-Fi routers operate at very low voltages, broadcast in all directions, and are used at relatively long distances.

Since radio waves follow the inverse square law like light, sound and gravity then each time you double the distance, you get only a quarter of the energy. In other words, the signal strength falls off very rapidly. At normal operating distances, Wi-Fi's intensity is generally so low that it's not worth worrying about: it's just part of the "smog" that is generated by radio and TV signals, AC mains wiring, the motors in home appliances, and the universe in general. (As my colleague Charles Arthur once pointed out here, the wavelength of Wi-Fi signals is the same as the cosmic background radiation: 12cm. If you're worried, don't go outside.)

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
Back when it was available, .22 Short ammo cost more than .22Long Rifle.

9mm Kurz is much the same.

Remember land lines? How it cost MORE for them not to bother listing you in the phonebook?

A week ago in the sushi bar a young brash man asked Johnnie if he does "half rolls".
After the kid left I told him that he should have said, "Yes, but they cost twice as much."

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
JTM, yer hippie friends got into some bad quinoa. Knott that the DWP isn't
trying to screw y'all, er, us'all.

Big Wall climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
keep putting those smart meters in peoples houses DWP!
the factory that i work in just last year was awarded that smart contract.
more smart meters is more work for me!
my condo was fitted with the smart meter 3months ago.
the entire project is still being tested to see if it "hold's water".

Feb 8, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
Hmmmmm,Ron Anderson has a smart meter, that deserves some lookin into. Sorry Ron, LOL

Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
I think a cell phone emits more radiation than a smart meter so the supposed "health risk" is not the issue for me personally. I'm not all paranoid about the CIA turning off my AC.. I don't have one. Even paying some guy $10 a month to keep his job isn't the issue (now that I think about it).

It's the widespread reports of increased bills that worries me. It's also the principle of charging you fees for a meter and service you already have to begin with. I'm also a bit bothered by the thought of people losing their jobs to an electronic device.

There is a cost to have someone walk door-to-door, to every house, just to read a single number at each house.

Er.. yes you are correct .. and 13 million new widgits made by Pyro and the manpower to install them into every home in southern California is what... free?? Hiring the flunkies to walk door to door is probably cheaper.

I think I'm keeping my flunkie.. how else is he gonna pay his baby-momma the back child-support he owes her if the damn Smart Meter takes his job?


Trad climber
Western America
Feb 8, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
They changed ours out last year and the bill went down. No tumors in us or the dog yet.


Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 8, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
I'm also a bit bothered by the thought of people losing their jobs to an electronic device.

Do you use ATM's? Self checkout at the store? Self serve gas? By your logic we should dig foundations by hand with small trowels to create more work.

Sorry. Sad but true. Reality is a harsh mistress...

On topic, mine got replaced (SoCal Edison though) without my being asked. Now my bill includes a nice graph showing me how much more electricity I consume than my neighbors.

I think it's fiction though. The house is heated by gas, I rarely run the AC, the kitchen is gas, and my wife and I live here alone and watch the lights etc. My only extravagance is to proudly light the American Flag at night, and that is a low voltage light. My neighbors on the other hand light up pools and tennis courts until all hours, and have all other sorts of lighting on all night. Maybe it's the stereo, those amps do dim the lights for a moment when I turn 'em on...

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Feb 8, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
time to pile on Ron

when i see "Ron" and "shot up" in the same context, i start to worrying about your foot

did thew dollar value of your bill go or the power consumption, or both?

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