This advice is good for all utility customers on Smart Meters:
* Request your complete data in charts or lists. Make sure you ask for every measurement they take down to the second. Some utilities collect hourly (Alliant), some every few seconds (WE-Energies). If you don’t ask for this detail they will send you summaries by day, week or month. Ask for at least the past 2 years to get a good picture of things.
* Analyze your data. Look for patterns relating to appliance use, home vacancy periods, etc. Compare to these kWH charts, where usage data can reveal patterns within a home, when a family is away, when they get up, etc. No one asked your permission to gather all this detailed data about your utility use.
* Ask the utility if your meter communicates or sends/receives data with other meters. For example, Alliant electric meters, the Sensus Flexnet iCon type, constantly “listen” to each other and take turns sending your data to the cell towers. The neighborhood meter with the best connection to the tower at the moment sends each meter’s data. So, your private usage data readings might go to your neighbor’s meter on his home and property. Or maybe your neighbors’ private data might come to YOUR meter to be sent. Alliant encrypts it, but it is sent around, nonetheless.
But sending a customer’s data to other customer locations is prohibited by state code. PSC 113.0611 says the PSC “shall keep a record of employees authorized…to enter customers’ premises.” There is no such record of people receiving your data in your network. The law does not authorize other customers to receive YOUR private usage information sent to their properties, whether encrypted or not. This never happened when one meter reader would read your meter directly.
PSC 113.0302(2)(d) discusses Refusal or failure to permit authorized utility personnel to read the meter at least once every 6 month in order to determine actual usage. Again, only authorized utility personnel are supposed to have access to your data on your property from your meter.
*Tell your utility that you never gave them permission to pass your usage data among other customers’ meters. The private transaction between you and the utility should not involve other customer locations and devices. State code does not allow it. Give them notice to stop doing this, by law.
*Tell your utility you never gave them permission to obsessively collect your usage other than for monthly billing. Demand that they only take a reading once a month to bill you.
*Give state lawmakers copies of your requests made to the utilities and their answers.
*Tell lawmakers you never gave permission for the utility to obsessively collect your usage data beyond monthly billing reads, and you never gave permission for the utilities to send your data to via other customer meters. Mention state law that says only authorized persons may get your meter’s readings.
*Ask lawmakers to sign on to AB 345 to let you get a non-transmitting analog meter to be read once a month by you or the utility for billing purposes only. Remember, smart meters such as the Alliant iCon can be remotely updated and have endless data and networking capabilities. They can be changed without any notice to you, the consumer. In fact, they were installed without any notice to YOU, the customer. You were never given a choice about having a meter that obsessively collects and sends your hourly usage.
Updates could happen at any time with NO notice to YOU the customer. For example, the Integrated FlexNet SmartPoint meters can be programmed to report daily, hourly, 15- and 5- minute read intervals. We never gave these utilities permission to monitor and report our usage like this. Act now to push back.
The key word here is PERMISSION. We never had a choice about these new types of meters, which obsessively collect our data and expose our families to extra radiation involuntarily. Period.