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posted: 8/30/2012 5:00 AM

Smart meters smack of Big Brotherism

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Smart meters are both a literally unwarranted intrusion upon our privacy in our homes and part of a government-backed plan of behavior modification.

By reading your minute-to-minute power usage, it is possible to determine which major appliances you are using and when, and whether or not someone is home, or is awake or asleep.

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Some forms of illegal activity will show up as a pattern of power usage, and suspicious patterns could be reported to the authorities without prior determination of legality or illegality, and without a search warrant.

With smart meters and smart appliances, it will be feasible to turn off your air conditioning or clothes dryer to avoid a utility overload. The utility could reset your air conditioner or furnace temperature. Your electric water heater could be turned off during the night.

Your electric vehicle charger could be used to pull power from your car back into the utility grid. Time-of-day electrical rates will be used to "encourage" you to do your laundry or use your dishwasher at night. Many if not all of these things have been discussed and advocated in government agency position papers.

The smart grid and smart metering are being promoted as a cost-saving measure for consumers, but they are really measures to reduce the cost to the utilities of supplying electricity, and reduce the perceived impact of the electrical utilities on the environment.

Mark W. Bailey

Round Lake Beach

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