First the facts:
"Despite the roadblocks, companies continue to invest heavily in meters. On Sept. 2, Cisco announced plans to buy Arch Rock, a San Francisco company that makes wireless technology to transmit data from smart meters to utilities. Says Charles Carmel, Cisco's vice-president for corporate development: "The smart grid will be a multibillion-dollar opportunity for players like Cisco and others for a number of years to come."
"Other utilities powering customers in states such as California, Colorado or Miami are also moving forward, such as Colorado Springs Utilities’ Automated Meter Reading (AMR) project. The project has been going for four years— aiming at over 530,000 installed smart meters (for electric, natural gas and water by 2010)— and has partnered with General Electric to install an Outage Management System (OMS) there."
"In the south, rapidly approaching targeted smart meter deployment is Austin Energy in Texas—a state that has its own power grid, avoiding federal processes. The utility expects to complete smart meter deployment this year."
"Even international companies are gaining footholds in the American smart electrical grid. In an effort headed by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, 20-30 million of Japanese government funds will be going towards initial grid development in a yet unknown New Mexico town."
"GE is not only working in Colorado Springs and in Miami-- but will also in the United Kingdom, who are working towards total residential smart meter implementation by 2020. GE’s smart meters are being employed by the government-led Energy Demand Research Project, a study that is working to determine consumer responses to improved energy consumption information. Korea announced last week new smart grid plans and Amsterdam’s Smart City Program has begun to install energy-saving technology from IBM and Cisco."
It always starts out as benign, doesn't it? "We're here from the government and we're here to help you." Oh sure. And I just fell off a turnip truck.
I'm so grateful, as I write this, that so far the "Smart Grid" meter has not been forced upon our house. I set my own temperatures. We buy what energy we need, nothing more and nothing less. I can turn on my clothes washer when we need to wash the clothes. Same with the dishwasher. We take baths when we need them. We use lights when we need them, not when we don't. Etc.
This is not going to last. Energy is a commodity that was once a matter of supply and demand. Enterprising private utility companies used to operate outside of government. People could buy from Utility X, Y, or Z and government was not in the picture except to secure rights of way for utility carriers. Sometime ago, cities got into the utility business. Now the States are doing their best to take over the energy business. The food chain, where the big fish eat the little fish, is alive and well in the government energy business. And don't be fooled that the Feds will let that be. We will have nationalized energy services at some point.
In America we have had energy to purchase for our needs. That is going to change. Someone else is going to decide how much or how little energy we are allowed to have for what purposes. That someone or someones are coming from the Federal government. Just as the government has involved itself in agriculture with subsidies to manipulate the prices and uses of crops, the government is going into the energy business in a big way. It's all for your own good you know. Their excuse? Saving the planet from your horrible warm house and pot of coffee.
So, who gave the keys to your electric meter on your house to the government? You didn't. I didn't. But bureaucrats who say they know better than you and I have stolen those keys and now they will decide on your energy usage habits. Our State and Federal legislatures are pouring our own tax dollars into "Smart Grid" programs, through the Stimulus Bill or other appropriations. Your utility company is being regulated by States and Federal governments to control your use of energy. At first they tell you it is to save you money, and/or it is to protect the energy supply, and/or "let us do it for you."
(as an aside, someone I know personally has said to me that "they must know better than we do because that's their job." OMG....I can't even pretend to address such ignorance. I wonder how anyone with the brain of an ant could think that at this point. She also always asks, "Well, what is in it for them?" She says, "They don't have any reason to do this, but for our own good." Can you say "Lobbyist money," I ask her? She rolls her eyes, not buying my explanation. )
I go back and forth on the idea of purchasing a generator for our house. I think I need to stop going back and forth and just do it. One thing that stops me is the possibility of the lack of gasoline to run the thing in case that supply runs dry and/or the price of gasoline due to our "dear leader." In years past we never had power outages. Unless there was some really terrible storm, our power never went out. Now we get them on occasions that aren't even storm related. No idea why, just blips and brown outs.
Rain barrels are on my list of things we should possibly buy. Funny, but I wonder if everyone had rain barrels, how low would the creeks get from lack of run off water to fill them up. We could be charged extra for the gallons we catch off of our roofs because we are greedily keeping the run-off for ourselves and not sharing it with the ground and the creeks. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't. That is how environmental Socialists think.
I think about what it would be like to go off the grid altogether, but I'm no longer 30 years old and the prospects of living like my great-grandparents lived sends me into depths of despair at my age. They lived off the land. It was not easy, those were hard lives. I remember my grandmother's hand wringer washing machine with the crank on the side of the wringer apparatus. When I was a kid, there were still those washboards around that you used to scrub your knuckles bare in attempts to wash the clothes. My great-grandmother's hands were gnarled and arthritic from all of her hard labor. There were good aspects of their lives. They farmed and had really great food. They canned the vegetables and fruits and had cold cellars in which to keep the canned goods. My grandmother's house was full of warmth and generosity. I have some lovely quilts she and my great-grandmother made and I cherish them. They were made from leftovers of shirts and dresses, so when I look at the fabrics I can treasure the picture in my mind of them wearing those clothes. It's funny how a child notices hands, especially the caring hands of grandmothers. But they were old long before we are old. Hard labor takes its toll on people.
Has anyone out there even read Karl Marx? (that is except for the Progressive Socialists in our government?) We are not ruled by idiots. We are ruled by very sly, clever, elitist, control freaks who will rake in billions from Smart Grid technologies. They already are. And here we are, just waiting to be economically raped. Get out the wash boards, the wringers, and the canning jars. (Will treadle sewing machines make a comeback?) And God bless our grandparents, wherever they are.
Oh, and by the way, the Obama administration just reinstated the ban on oil drilling and exploration yesterday for at least another six months. Isn't that just ducky? You can send him thank you notes when you buy that foreign oil at the gas station and pay $6.00 a gallon.
( THIS ARTICLE IS ALSO PUBLISHED HERE