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The Smart Meter Challenge: To Help Conserve Energy

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I don't know, maybe you need to live next door to an open pit coal mine in order to be more understanding of the deployment of smart meters. If you want to help protect the environment, save mother earth for the generations, and reduce carbon in the atmosphere - then stay home, conserve power, and stop complaining about smart meters. At some point, a century old delivery system was going to have to be upgraded. The milkman is a thing of the past, and now, the meter reader is slowly disappearing.


California practically has the Oregon Trail running in reverse. The state is bogged down in a growing fight over the installing of smart meters. In the State's hot central valley, residents complained that the smart meters spiked their utility bills. In San Francisco, a small but vocal group have been arguing that the antennas are a potential health threat. People in Bolinas and Berkeley have been seen holding up signs declaring "ban the smart meters". Meanwhile, the town of Fairfax and Santa Cruz County are considering to ban the smart meters all together.


Angry homeowners have accused the meters of gross inaccuracy, blaming them for monthly bills that almost doubled. At least 450 PG&E customers have filed formal complaints with the State Public Utility commission. California regulators have launch an independent investigation that will subject the devices to a battery of lab and field tests.


And it's not just California. In Texas, "hundreds" of customers in Oncor's service district are complaining that the smart meters are not accurate and are causing high energy bills. In Maryland, the Public Services Commission has denied a proposal by Baltimore Gas & Electric to install 1.36 million smart meters. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners supported the finding that the smart meter program may not be in the best interest of the customer.


Contributing to inaccurate power bills is one thing, but there is some evidence of other technical problems. The AMI-SEC Task Force has been working on developing security guidelines and best practices for the smart meter infrastructure. The Task Force is considering the potential problem of cross-site request forgery. Cross site request forgery allows a hacker to hijack cookies stored in a user's browser and obtain access to the users system. In other words, is a smart meters radio signal secure?



From smart phones that can store your whole life, to smart cars that can map your ride across country, there has been practically no part of our lives that haven't been affected by technology. So it should come as no surprise that your electric company has a "smart" device of its own - the smart meter.


One state that uses them is Texas. It's a leader in the deregulated electricity market, championing changes like this new technology that offer savings to so many customers.

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