Public Utility just installed a Smart Meter anyting to worry about?

Comixbooks

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
15,611
I read on the net there are Higher bills compared to the analog meters. He installed a Itron Centron meter which is a smart meter. I read about Health concerns with the newer meters along with higher bills anyone have experience with one of these?
 

alrashwa

n00b
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
1
Centron's are the flagship Itron meter. It uses cell communication and a variety of other radio standards to communicate either to a mesh network, cell tower, or truck driving by to collect readings. Being in an office full of hundreds of these for the last few years, I can tell you they're no more harmful to your health than your cell phone or your wifi router.

As for cost - it does tend to take people by surprise when the bill goes up. These are solid-state digital meters. The old spinning electromechanical meter you had was likely from the 60's, 70's, or even older. They get worn after years and years of spinning, so the readings they record become less accurate (sometimes spinning slower than it should) over time.

With the new meter, you might see a slight bump in your bill, but it's really just a result of the fact that it's a much more accurate meter.

Of course, having a device attached to your home is always a can of worms when it comes to privacy, but unless you ditch your cellphone and internet connection too, it's probably not worth worrying about.
 

/usr/home

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,161
Just watch your billing.

As for health concerns, it's total BS. You are surrounded 24/7 by WAY more RF than the meters give off.
 

schizrade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
4,835
Centron's are the flagship Itron meter. It uses cell communication and a variety of other radio standards to communicate either to a mesh network, cell tower, or truck driving by to collect readings. Being in an office full of hundreds of these for the last few years, I can tell you they're no more harmful to your health than your cell phone or your wifi router.

As for cost - it does tend to take people by surprise when the bill goes up. These are solid-state digital meters. The old spinning electromechanical meter you had was likely from the 60's, 70's, or even older. They get worn after years and years of spinning, so the readings they record become less accurate (sometimes spinning slower than it should) over time.

With the new meter, you might see a slight bump in your bill, but it's really just a result of the fact that it's a much more accurate meter.

Of course, having a device attached to your home is always a can of worms when it comes to privacy, but unless you ditch your cellphone and internet connection too, it's probably not worth worrying about.

/thread

I have all three.

My buddy out in a new development however is connected to a new system that can reprogram his sprinklers with the drive by of a truck and shut off his A/C on a "red flag" day. :mad:

You know cause adding generating capacity would be stupid.
 

Mopower

Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
519
You are afraid of getting cancer from this device in your house when there is a cell phone in your pocket all day long?
 

soupcxan

Limp Gawd
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Dec 10, 2010
Messages
256
I would switch from single-ply tinfoil to double-ply tinfoil, just to be safe.
 

tonyyy

Limp Gawd
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Nov 10, 2009
Messages
306
you should wear lead gloves when your typing on your computer too... your fingers might fall off
 

charold

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314
Well, some of the early "Smart" Readers did use Wifi boosted to reach very long ranges and had very high outputs of RF. It could possibly cause issues. If you are really concerned, do more research into it, look up your model of smart reader, see what technology your public utility is using, etc.
 

rma

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
200
i work with RF everyday (10KW to 100KW) in the area of 6 to 17GHz, and there aren't anything to be afraid of the radiation is so small with theses types that they wont hurt anything, your phone, TV signal etc. is much stronger,

Now to the higher electric bills :)

you properly live in the US, and the old analog meters are quite stupid, in their design, if you use some equipment that does not load in the angle of 0degree's, this is called Phase shift, and will "slow" the meter down, but new electronics meters can measure this and therefore you will be billed :(
electric motors can cause Phase shift, but even older Fridge/AC units will cause it to,

in Europe this way of tampering was quite normal, but the electric company's changed the meters with newer analog meters that where detection this and measuring it anyway.

hope this makes sense :)
 
Last edited:

DouglasteR

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
455
i work with RF everyday (10KW to 100KW) in the area of 6 to 17GHz, and there aren't anything to be afraid of the radiation is so small with theses types that they wont hurt anything, your phone, TV signal etc. is much stronger,

Now to the higher electric bills :)

you properly live in the US, and the old analog meters are quite stupid, in their design, if you use some equipment that does not load in the angle of 0degree's, this is called Phase shift, and will "slow" the meter down, but new electronics meters can measure this and therefore you will be billed :(
electric motors can cause Phase shift, but even older Fridge/AC units will cause it to,

in Europe this way of tampering was quite normal, but the electric company's changed the meters with newer analog meters that where detection this and measuring it anyway.

hope this makes sense :)

Care to explain a bit deeper please ? :confused:
 

CamaroZ28

Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
740
Care to explain a bit deeper please ? :confused:

I believe he is referring to power factor. In alternating current electricity, the power factor is the difference in phase between the current wave and the voltage wave. If both the waves are perfectly in sync, i.e. the peak current happens precisely when peak voltage occurs, you have a 1 power factor. In that scenario your Watts = VA, but when you have non-linear loads on the system (inductive or capacitive) your current and voltage waves start to peak at different times. This causes the power factor to drop and Watts = pf x VA. I don't know much about power meter technologies but I suppose that above poster was implying that older meters simply measure the Watts drawn while the new meters measure the VA's drawn.

Regardless of the difference in what the meters measure, I've never actually heard of a utility company in the US charging residential customers for anything other than kWh. In which case if your power factor is below unity (1) then you won't be charged for the additional VA's you draw on the system.

Typically for industrial/commercial facilities the utilities have a minimum power factor (such at 0.9) in that there will be no extra charges if you maintain a power factor higher than which is specified. This is because the facilities can consume large amounts of power and with a very low power factor will put significant strain on a utility's grid. Not something a residential customer should have to worry about.
 

FndTheRver

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Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
626
/thread

I have all three.

My buddy out in a new development however is connected to a new system that can reprogram his sprinklers with the drive by of a truck and shut off his A/C on a "red flag" day. :mad:

You know cause adding generating capacity would be stupid.

The last sentence looks like a big juicy can of worms just waiting to be opened....
 

epimetheus

Gawd
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
815
/thread

I have all three.

My buddy out in a new development however is connected to a new system that can reprogram his sprinklers with the drive by of a truck and shut off his A/C on a "red flag" day. :mad:

You know cause adding generating capacity would be stupid.

First, you know your buddy has to agree for the utility to have the capability, right? He probably gets a lower rate for allowing the utility to curtail his usage in times of high demand.

Second, adding generation and transmission capacity increases the rate base, thus costing you more money. You don't think utilities just eat the cost of generation and transmission system upgrades, do you? So if the utility can come up with a low impact method for not raising costs, I'm all for it.
 
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