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A "smart meter" maybe not so smart!

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by jcstp, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

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    #1 jcstp, Feb 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016


    Smart Meter Hacking in a few minutes - Funny but scary video:
     
  2. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    @ [email protected]: let's be careful not to confuse Dumb Tariffs and Smart Meters!

    Smart meters ought to be the only thing deployed by utilities anymore, and old meters should be taken out of service in a timely way. Even if the tariff does not change, so you're buying power at a flat rate 24x7, smart meters pay for themselves by eliminating the need for manual meter reading, and by quickly identifying and localizing outages.

    Developing a sensible time-of-use or real-time retail tariff is harder. A former colleague of mine, Ahmad Faruqui is doing very good research and consumer behavior studies to help inform tariff development. It sounds like your utility, [email protected], hasn't been reading his papers!
     
  3. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

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    This video is not as much about knowing when to use your devices, but more to wat it divulges about your private life!

    With smart meters the utilities can know what programms or video's you watch on your tv!

    So it is not the klumsy video it looks like!

    Bit like "big brother is watching you" without you knowing!

    And it shows that hacking a "smart meter" is possible!
    So if utilities want to find out if you charge your car, it can easily do that without you knowing it!
     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Personally, I have given up the illusion that anything I do involving the Internet, phones, or just about anything else is private. Just lead a blameless life, and what have you to fear? (Yeah, like I do that....)
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    #6 bonnie, Feb 18, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
    My cable company can also tell them what I watch on tv.
    My car and phone report GPS location.
    My credit cards tell about my habits.
    My grocery swipe card tells what foods I like to buy.
    My magazine subscriptions are, well, telling. :)
    My internet activity is easy to track.
    I always assume my emails are public since my hard drive is routinely under legal lien and some are read to me during dipositions.

    I live my life the way I want, without apology. Big brother has been able to watch for a long long time. (I like to think Big Brother is amused by me.) And if I want to go off-grid, I know how to do it.
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  7. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I still don't get what smart meters are good for. They cannot serve as a hub to control home power usage, they can only meter usage and report pricing / tariff information. The smart grid needs to enable power consuming devices to communicate with the utility and to serve the user's needs with minimal impact on convenience, e.g. smart charging an EV so it is ready in the morning at 7am. The device needs a user interface and/or a communication interface.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Smart meters, at their simplest, allow the utility to read your meter without sending someone to your location. This is a huge cost savings (and reduces air pollution from all those meter-reading trucks).

    The meter also tracks usage by short intervals. This allows for real-time pricing or time-of-use pricing. Having a variable tariff provides financial incentives for customers to modify their usage to reduce costs, not merely by reducing usage but also by shifting usage to lower-tariffed times.

    So, although smart meters aren't the "hub to control home power", without a smart meter there's little or no incentive to invest in such a hub or any other means of shifting usage.
     
  9. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    While this is all true, I don't need a smart meter in my basement to tell me current electricity rates - and decide when to start the dish washer. A smart phone app or web portal would do the same for a fraction of the cost.
    Current usage of individual households is rather useless for the utility as long as dumb meters are in use in my local area. They can link a meter to the local distribution transformer ("Mittelspannungsebene") for a fraction of the cost to get a reliable information of current usage in the local area, covering all households, street lights, residential and business, and so on.
    Meters are read by owners/tenants and information is collected via web. I have seen only two utility employees in the last years - one to replace my dumb meter with a smart one and one to check a dramatic drop in my electricity usage.
    Most EVs will have a permanent data link. It is an easy software app to implement smart charging on the vehicle side, independent of charge location.

    So why is a smart meter a necessity for a smart grid?
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think you missed the point. The smart meter is there to tell the utility when you're consuming the power, so they can bill you appropriately. Otherwise they can't tell if you're running your dryer at peak rates or overnight. It's not about you - it's about your bill!
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    No, they can't. Distribution transformers don't have SCADA systems, so no utility that I know of has the slightest idea of what's happening at this level, in real time. More importantly, they can't assign cost-causation for people driving high usage.

    Smart meters have their own IP addresses and share information in real time, without user intervention. This is an important difference.

    Because utilities don't trust meters that they don't own. Although with recent reports of smart meter hacking, you have to wonder whether they should even trust that!

    Not everyone is altruistic; without a smart meter, you only get to feel good about your conservation efforts, but you'll receive no financial reward for shifting your usage to off-peak periods. Most consumers need that financial reinforcement of well-intentioned motives.
     
  12. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    It was many, many years ago when I came to the realization that at some point there would be an 'information event horizon', where the ability of computers and networks to track and exchange information would outstrip any ability of all but the most ardent tin-foil-hat-ism to remain isolated.

    How many people suspect that they can now often be tracked by their cash purchases? Recognizable, repeated patterns inevitably creep in.


    As for smart meters, I'm pissed that not everyone in California has them yet, and the super-nutso EMF yahoos (1980 called and wants their irrational phobia back...) have been able to slow them down. Or the people who don't understand why their bills went up (hint: you ran the dryer in the afternoon and had the AC set at a low temperature). Almost as off the rails as the vaccine/autism crazies.

    It does tick me off that there's a perfectly serviceable optical serial port on the smart meter and (at the time) there was no end-user purchasable interface available. Protocols like that should be public - security through obscurity is never an answer (I found the hacks online, but the hours involved was slightly more than I was willing to pay). But then our electrical panel needed replacing and I had them put in a TED at the same time, so I don't care as much any more.
     
  13. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    :redface:
     

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