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:


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.

December 14, 2011

Smart Meter Battle Escalating – Idaho Power Brings Guns to the Fight

In the ongoing battle against the seriously flawed Smart Meter program (which is not mandatory, by the way, despite what your utility company may be telling you), Idaho Power has shown just how far they’ll go  to get their spy meters installed on homes in Idaho.

They’ll bring guns to the fight.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Idaho Power showed up at Vicky Davis’ Twin  Falls home with declaratory order and a Deputy Sheriff  from Twin Falls County, to forceably remove the analog meter and replace it with a Smart Meter.

Sheriff Tom Carter“Upon taking office, I knew one of the things I wanted to emphasize was our service to the community in a capacity that goes beyond police work.”

Davis, an independent researcher and long-time resident of Idaho, has been resisting the installation of the Smart Meter since last year, knowing that their installation was not mandated, and that technology that makes the digital meter works is dual use – serving both as a surveillance device and a reporting system.

(See the earlier OK-SAFE post on the Smart Grid here.)

Another Twin falls resident, Bonnie Menthe, had a similar incident at her home.  She openly opposed the installation of the Smart Meter on her home, but Idaho Power installed the new meter while she was away.  A neighbor watching her home challenged the Idaho Power company representative when he showed up at the Menthe home accompanied by an officer from the Twin Falls city police.

The representative told the neighbor nothing was going on and proceeded with the installation. The city police officer declined to answer the woman’s questions.

Davis received written notification of the forced installation a few days earlier.  Menthe states she received no such written notice.

“Nothing like that was given to me, not stuck in my door.  I wasn’t home and they clearly knew that I didn’t want one. I have a notice posted on my meter stating my objection to the smart meter being installed.”  Menthe went on to say, “I have a six foot fence, and the meter is on the side of my house, with a metal bar to prevent the door swinging opened.  My neighbor says they (Idaho Power) had a step-stool like thing and climbed over the fence on that.”

Below is a reverse order timeline of events leading up to the installation of the Smart Meter on Vicky’s home.  She has also devoted a new webpage on her website Channeling Reality (www.channelingreality.com) called Smart Meter Drama.

From Vicky Davis-

12-13-11 “Idaho Power went to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to get a declaratory order to replace my analog meter with a Smart Meter.  They were accompanied by a Deputy Sheriff of Twin Falls County to enforce the order.
I’ll be on Deanna Spingola’s radio talk show on RBN on Thursday and Friday (12/15 and 12/16) of this week to talk about the Smart Meters and my research into energy legislation and the means by which America’s energy will be choked off in the name of efficiency.  Technology is dual use.   It’s a weapon as well as a tool.   It all depends on who is using it and for what purpose.
Deanna’s program is on from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm central time.
In some places you can listen live on the radio but for most of us, we have to listen on the internet. Listen live links can be found here:
Republic Broadcasting
Call in number for the program is 800-313-9443
12/6/11 – Vicky’s Response  to Idaho Power
December 6, 2011
Idaho Power
Dear Mr. Rick Astley,
On December 3, 2011, I received two duplicate letters from Mr. Rick Astley with Mr. Bell and Ms. Nordstrom listed as recipients of carbon copies. I intend to hand deliver this response letter to Mr. Chris Bell at the Idaho Power office in Twin Falls with the expectation that it will be faxed to the recipients who are located in Boise. I will however, mail a copy to Mr. Astley and Ms. Nordstrom via regular mail.
This letter is the response to Mr. Astley’s letter dated December 1, 2011 concerning my refusal to allow an Idaho Power employee/contractor access to my property to replace my current power meter with an AMI Smart Meter. I have never refused to allow the Idaho Power meter reader access to the property to read my meter nor have I ever refused access to any other Idaho Power employee/representative who made a request for access for any purpose other than for exchange of the meter. It was misleading to imply otherwise.
As I made clear in conversations with the Tru-Check contractor and Idaho Power Customer Service Representatives both verbally and in writing, I do not want a smart meter installed. Smart Meter technology – regardless of the method of communications, is a surveillance, detection, monitoring, data collection, and communications and control device. Those capabilities are outside the scope of a public utility chartered to provide electric service. If your charter has been changed to Idaho de-Power and Spy, then please advise me of the law that requires me to submit so that I can verify it with the Sheriff’s office and my attorney.
Rest of letter here.
12/1/11 – Letter from Idaho Power to Vicky Davis
Dear Ms. Vicky Davis,
As previously explained in my letter to you dated 9/19/2011 Idaho Power must replace existing meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure pursuant to Idaho Public Utilities Commission Order Nos. 29362, 30102, and 30726. Once installed, this infrastructure will enable Idaho Power to provide enhanced customer services and reduce its operating expenses to keep customer rates as low as possible.
Idaho Power personnel or its exchange contractor, Tru-Check, recently attempted to exchange the meter at *****, Twin Falls, ID on 8/31/2011; however, you refused the Company access to its meter. Under the terms of service outlined in Utility Customer Relations Rule 302.05 (IDAPA, a utility may terminate service to a customer that denied or willfully prevented the utility’s access to the meter.” Although Idaho Power does not wish to terminate your electric service or take legal action against you, Idaho Power cannot ignore the lawful order of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to exchange the meter. Idaho Power anticipates it will need only five minutes to exchange the meter and that your power will be interrupted for just a few minutes at most. You need not be present at the time the exchange occurs.
Rest of letter here.

Vicky’s article on this subject is entitled The Heart of Darkness in the Power of Light and is available on her research website Channeling Reality here.

People in Oklahoma are fighting the installation of the Smart Meters as well.  We’ll post more on the Oklahoma resistance effort later.

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