Smarty Pants

I came home this afternoon to find a note attached to the door saying PG&E had installed our new Smart Meter.

Our new Smart Meter

There's been a bit of a controversy about the new meters, with people alarmed at how much their bills have gone up since the meters were installed. This, to them, says the meters are inaccurate (the meters have been audited, by the way, and found to be accurate). To me, a crazy change in readings like that says the old analog meters were inaccurate, which is not too surprising. Since the meters were proven accurate, the opponents have been trying to get them removed on some weird claim that they are a health risk because they use radio waves. People. They are so irrational.

Anyway, I've been excited to get one because gas usage is hard to measure and it's one area where I really want to cut down our consumption (step one is going to be installing a solar hot water system). As soon as our results start showing up online I will be there meter-stalking all day long, whenever I use hot water or cook something on the stove. I wish there were little appliance meters for gas, but for probably obvious reasons those are a real fire hazard, so no go. If laws were in my hands they would have to be built into gas appliances, but nobody seems to be into making me dictator.

Speaking of smartness, I finished prepping the walls in the back bedroom today, with the able help of Mr Kitty:

Mr Kitty shows Dot how to climb a ladder

It was only slight drama to get him down from there. As you can see, Dot was very interested in the proceedings, and has already made one clumsy foray up to the third rung.

Now is the time on Sprockets when we prime.

posted by ayse on 09/14/10

4 Comments

I've loved having the TED and Google Powermeter, and have been looking forward to getting similar information about our gas usage, too. We've had our smart meters for a while now, but still no real-time info, just the old monthly stuff.

They say the hour-by-hour thing should be up and running soon. What that means I do not know, but I'm very interested in seeing it.

I don't find electrical usage as interesting on an hourly basis, because the algorithm is so simple: turn off everything that can be turned off, hunt down vampire loads, and upgrade appliances to more efficient ones. Gas is a little less simple, since we have a water heater.

My mom's bill tripled. She was down to using one light and put everything on a power strip. Amazingly they said all the power was being used at night while they were sleeping (they don't even charge a cell phone so WEIRD). They are on their 3rd replacement of smart meter. Something not so smart is definitly going on there! I personally just got one and have had no problems. I kind of like having the much smaller meter that replaced the huge eye sore!

Some meters are expected to be faulty. That used to happen with the old meters, too. But nobody complained about them like this because it wasn't all new technology that they could be afraid of; it was something they understood that was just broken.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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