Weekly Standard – by Michael Warren
In the early days of the Obama administration, “smart power” was all the rage—and not just on the foreign policy scene. In April 2009, National Public Radio reported how one Allentown, Pennsylvania, mother was saving more than a hundred dollars each month on her electric bill. Tammy Yeakel’s power company, PPL Energy, had helpfully installed a “smart meter” on her home that could monitor her power usage in real time. The meter uploaded that information to PPL’s website, so she could identify peak usage times during the day.
“I love this site,” Yeakel told NPR. “I called PPL and said, ‘Did you design this for me?’ Because I’m one of these people who love to know where my dollars [are] going and how can I save.”
Thanks to her newfound knowledge made possible by the smart meter, Yeakel was finding all sorts of ways to save, like installing a storm door and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. And in the middle of the recession, those extra dollars saved were important.
The Obama administration wanted in on the action, too. From NPR:
President Obama wants to use stimulus money to help install 40 million smart meters nationwide to help Americans save electricity and money. Smart meters can track energy use daily, hourly, monthly and even instantaneously, and send that data to power companies. The advanced meters can save companies money, because they no longer need meter readers, and they can fix outages more efficiently.
Even with the purported opportunities to save, not everyone was pleased with the meters, especially since this new “smart grid” seemed to be getting things wrong. The New York Times reported in December 2009 that many customers in California were in “open revolt” over the nearly 4 million new meters already installed by the utility company Pacific Gas & Electric because they claimed the meters were running too fast and charging them for energy they hadn’t used.
One meticulous customer interviewed by the Times compared her usage for the month July 2008, before the meter was installed, to July 2009. She found her recorded usage jumped from 474 kilowatt-hours to 646 kilowatt-hours. Her bill was more than $20 higher. Another customer saw an even bigger jump in 2009, from 236 kilowatt-hours to 791 kilowatt-hours. “And he had recently insulated his attic and installed new windows,” wrote the Times.
Despite the growing outrage and the significant cost to PG&E to buy and install the meters—the Timesreported roughly $220 per house—the company planned to expand smart meter use. This was ostensibly in the name of saving the consumer and company money:
Power companies say the meters will allow utilities to vary the price charged to their customers by the hour to correspond to what those utilities are paying for energy in the wholesale market. This can help consumers save money, they say.
They also say the meters will be crucial to remaking the electric system to handle intermittent power sources like wind turbines and solar cells while continuously meeting customers’ needs.
But those happy days when people had the choice to be “smarter” (brought to you by your public utility company and friendly federal government) are apparently over in Illinois. A state law passed in 2011 now requires homes and businesses have the smart meters installed. And per a decision by state regulators last week, those who refuse the meters will now see an extra charge on their monthly electric bill. The Chicago Tribune has the story on what might be considered Illinois’s individual mandate on smart meters:
Commonwealth Edison customers who refuse to have smart meters installed will be charged $21.53 a month, regulators decided Wednesday.
“If customers make the decision to refuse a (smart) meter now and incur monthly charges associated with this choice it should be with full knowledge that this refusal is simply deferring the inevitable,” the Illinois Commerce Commission said in its order.
The message? Get smart, or pay up.
14 thoughts on “Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get ‘Smart Meters’ or Pay Fine”
These smart meters are horrible, they will track you, all of your usage, they are making people sick, making the birds leave, they are just very bad. We refused one on our home, they charge us $12.50 a month, because some one still has to come to our house to read our meter.
It’s cheaper than brain cancer 🙂
Yes it is!!! I will have to tell people that when they call me a loon!!! Good one! 🙂
If it attached to your house how much are you charging a month for them to have it there?
Two years ago I heard someone pounding on my wall. I go outside and there’s an electrician from the electric company installing a smart meter on my house. I have a tall fence and no trespassing signs but he still let himself in like he owned the joint. I decided to be nice. When taking off the old meter he mentioned that the lock wire was broken insinuating that I tampered with the meter (the as*hole). I still decided to stay nice to the guy. Anyway I haven’t had any problems with the meter but there is one thing I did and everyone should do and that is to “save your old electric bills”. Because with a smart meter (dumb meter) the butt hole at the electric company can wind that meter up and give you a bill of triple of what you ever paid. So keeping every bill receipt for years will give you some ammunition if you are ever ripped off.
these devices, the so called smart meters will kill you in the end.one equals a hundred plus micro wave cell phone radiation..and in the end the stupid f#@kers want to know all your comings and goings and doings..just another nsa toy stuck to your house so they.who the hell is or them..its them who want to know ,when you take a crap.when you breath ,when you fart..when you die..
““If customers make the decision to refuse a (smart) meter now and incur monthly charges associated with this choice it should be with full knowledge that this refusal is simply deferring the inevitable,” the Illinois Commerce Commission said in its order.”
OK Mr. Borg! You can take your Communist “Resistance is Futile” shit and shove it up your ass. It won’t work in this country. Refusing to listen to we the people is simply deferring the inevitable on your end, buddy. Hang the entire commission!
Yes SMART meters are so smart that they are smart enough to hack in and find more ways to steal money from you. More Communist bullshit at twisting the language. War is peace, Freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength, just like stupid is SMART.
Amen NC!!! Stay away from anything that says “smart” “smart growth” “diversity”, etc. all their communist words to wrap up there enslavement in, they make it look like it is there to help you!!
I am noticing all of the new neighborhoods here, are called smart growth development, that just means we are building cracker boxes for you to live in with no yard or parking, a nice IPAD in the wall so we can watch you, but you will have a “community” center, where are the good little commies can get together and gossip. F them! And they are charging $158/sq. foot and people are actually buying them.
Hahaha! I love your description Missy. The Cracker boxes are so true. And yes, the no yard thing pisses me off too.
A friend of mine lives in those kind of housing and I still don’t know how they get their car into their garage. They basically have to go in between two rows of houses that are back to back with each other in this little crack or alleyway until they get to their house and then pull in.
I’d hate to see what happens when the SHTF and everyone needs or tries to get out at once. They’ll have a gridlock in their own backyard. What kinda moron designed those things? He ought to be shot.
And more importantly, what kind of moron would want to pay to live in those things? Evidently, my friend is not too bright.
That is so funny!!! I live in an older neighborhood, but out of my kitchen window they are building one of these neighborhoods, and we drive thru and the people are parking on the empty lots, what are they going to do when it is full? Yes they are back to back, it is insane! Tell your friend I am sorry they fell for it!!
A friend of mine said she went to visit her friend who had bought one of these and they were on the very small patio drinking some wine chit chatting and the neighbor stuck his head out the window and told them to shut up he could not hear his TV!!!!!
NEVER!!!!! I think they are conditioning people for FEMA camps and close quarters!!
“A friend of mine said she went to visit her friend who had bought one of these and they were on the very small patio drinking some wine chit chatting and the neighbor stuck his head out the window and told them to shut up he could not hear his TV!!!!!”
Kinda makes you wonder how these houses are any different than apartments and you are probably paying more to live in them, in addition to having the Homeowner’s Nazi police organization or the neighborhood watch organization spying you every minute of the day.
I also got that cramped feeling being in their tight backyard too on their patio. Felt like a cage and that each neighbor can probably hear what the other is saying. Not peaceful and free at all.
Yes, they tell you what kind of landscaping you can have, etc. If you ever get a chance, use a search engine and look up River Ranch Lafayette, LA. You will laugh your but off, it is this “planned community” in the middle of Lafayette, with these million dollar mansions, etc. They by passed a lot of building codes for this one, it is sick how smushed these people are, I don’t see how they breathe. But they think they are special because they live in River Ranch, I think they are just plain stupid and bought into Agenda 21, hook, line and sinker.
At ConspiracyCon 2012 one of the presentations was on Smart meters.
Aluminum (screens or foil) blocks the transmissions completely. 🙂