OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

December 23, 2011

Spinning like a Top – Idaho Times-News Story on Smart Meter Battle


The Idaho Times-News story on the Smart Meter installations in Twin Falls Idaho is full of so much spin one wonders why it considers itself a news service at all.

The Idaho Central News Agency would be more appropriate.

Completely ignoring all the controversy about the spy-meters in general, and downplaying local opposition, the paper is reporting only  happy news about the installation of the spy-meters.

“Idaho Power Co. has finished installing close to 500,000 smart meters across its territory in Idaho and Oregon, finishing a three-year project intended to increase energy efficiency.

The new meters come with a digital display to make it easier for customers to see how much electricity they use. Company officials also say smart meters provide more-precise billing and shorten repair time on power outages.”

This ignores the real intent of the Smart Meters which is to move to time of use metering and billing to remotely monitor and control peoples’ access to and use of energy.

Reporter Kimberlee Kruesi goes on to quote an Idaho Power Co., spokesperson: “Davis is the company’s only customer who resisted the meters to the extent that local authorities became involved, said Idaho Power spokeswoman Lynette Berriochoa.”
At least two Twin Falls residents objected to the installation of the Smart Meters on their homes, and both had armed law enforcement show up with the Idaho Power installers.  (See the prior two OK-SAFE posts on this issue for details.)
The Idaho Power Co. rep went on to say, “We’ve gotten a positive response from our customers,” she said. “For the most part, people love (the meters).”
Kind of like how the Korean Central News  Agency reports the reaction to the death of their “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il.
The statements attributed to Vicky Davis in the Kruesi article are imaginary.  Davis was said to have concerns about the Smart Meters and “hacking,” but as she reports, “I never said that.”
What Davis is objecting to is the dual-use technology incorporated in the Smart Meters – they are both a surveillance tool and a reporting tool. (See her letter to the editor at the bottom of this post.)
See diagram below for the Smart Meter wiring:
PLCC (Power Line Carrier Communication) diagram from Engineers Garage.

This site goes on to explain that Smart Meters send a report hourly, not 4 times a day as Idaho Power Co. is quoted as saying.

How PLCC technology is used in meter reading?

Automatic Meter Reading using PLCC technology is quite useful as it saves a lot of human efforts and also makes the whole system more efficient. The automatic meter reading system consists of three components, namely, Multifunction Node (MFN), Concentrator & Communication Node (CCN) and Operation & Management System (OMS). Different components and their inter-connections are shown in the figure.

“MFN is a unit installed in household meters, either incorporated in the meter itself or externally connected to it. Its function is to take reading of the meter on an hourly basis and store it in a memory chip. CNN is another part which manages all MFNs within a particular area and collects meter readings from all MFNs. It is generally installed on substations and needs a computer. The computer is installed with Operation and Management System (OMS) which further manages all the data and meter readings from CNNs.”

There are real reasons to object to the installation of these spying Smart Meters and concerns are growing daily.

Too bad the local Idaho paper isn’t interested in doing real investigative journalism and reporting the truth about what is going on in Idaho with Idaho Power Co. and the Smart Meters.

Vicky Davis Letter to the Editor in response the lack of reporting on the Smart Meter issue:

Editor:

I spent somewhere between 10-15 minutes on the phone with your reporter, Ms. Kruesi explaining the issues with the Smart Meters.  In her re-written Idaho Power press release that included the local twist that mentioned me, she not only got the issue wrong, she made up a quote.  Please inform her that when she quotes someone, she must use their exact words and not her own contrived interpretation of what is said.

My issue with the Smart Meters is that they don’t just record usage of electricity.  The Smart Meter is a two-way communications device that records and reports second by second power usage within your home.  The communications signal rides on the AC current, which means that it travels throughout the circuit in your home.  Devices – appliances, lighting, etc. that have installed circuit boards will be controllable remotely.    Even if you haven’t bought any new appliances lately, the data collected on your personal habits as recorded, transmitted and stored in a database can be analyzed to discern your patterns of activity and habits.  This data once collected can be sold and used for marketing and other purposes.  Data is a valuable commodity and the data collected by the Smart Meters will no doubt become a profit center for Idaho Power.

The Smart Meter is a communications, data collection and control device.  Idaho Power is deceiving the public by pretending that “meter” is the same as “Smart Meter”. I was in the process of challenging their demand to be able to install such a device on my premises when they inappropriately called law enforcement to force the installation under the color of law.  The Times-News does a disservice to the community and discredits itself by publishing Idaho Power happy talk and then inaccurately reports opposition.

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