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Friday, May 13, 2011

Smart Grid to Track Internet, TV and Ice Cube Use

Everyday you go through your usual routine. You wake up to the alarm, take a hot shower, cook breakfast and drive to work. Then at the end of your day you drive home, cook dinner and try to relax by surfing the Internet or watching TV before you go to sleep and do it all again tomorrow.

Many of us take it for granted that our daily routine is a private ritual, that no one else on the face of the earth is aware of exactly what we are doing at any one time in the privacy of our own home.

Well that is all about to change thanks to the Smart Grid.

The Smart Grid is being sold as a modernization of the power grid which includes a distribution system that will contain a two way communication between your home and the utility company. This communication system will allow 'Demand Response Appliances' (the creation of which is being spearheaded by GE) the ability to 'talk' to the utility company and inform them of it's energy use, time of operation and function. Demand Response Appliances also allow the Utility company the ability to shut them off during times of Peak Energy use in order to cut down on the demand of the power grid, thereby reducing the need for rolling blackouts.

The Energy Industry, and the Obama administration, claim that the Smart Grid will allow the utility company the ability to provide you, the consumer, with detailed information about the energy use of everything in your home and in turn will save you money on your energy bill by helping you adjust your energy use. Not to mention help lower carbon emissions.

How detailed that collected information will be has been a hot button issue for privacy advocates and what information will actually be collected has not exactly been known, until now.

The North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), with the cooperation of the Environmental Protection Agency, has completed Priority Action Plan 10 (PAP-10) or as it is officially titled the NAESB Energy Usage Information Model. PAP-10 details the standards for the type of information that will be collected through the Smart Grid.

The membership of NAESB is comprised of over 300 energy creators and distributors from across the United States including the Ameren Corporation, Laclede Gas and Honeywell just to name a few. According to NAESB's website the organization:

"serves as an industry forum for the development and promotion of standards which will lead to a seamless marketplace for wholesale and retail natural gas and electricity, as recognized by its customers, business community, participants, and regulatory entities.

According to the document, the standards set forth in the NAESB Energy Usage Information Model (PAP-10) for the collection of information "forms the basis of the required Business Practice Standard."

Here is a list of SOME of the information that is to be collected through the Smart Grid as apart of that "Required Business Standard":
  1. CO2 created by your Energy Use- Environmentalists see the Smart Grid as a tool they can use to curb carbon emissions and save the planet from 'Global Warming'. The information collected through the Smart Grid would help the Federal Government place a restriction on the amount of CO2 created by an individual house hold especially after a cap and trade type law is in place. While this may seem like an 'unrealistic' concept, there is no other viable explanation for the collection of your house hold CO2 production.

  1. Electricity, Gas Use and Current Rates- The Smart Grid will allow the utility company to adjust the price of electricity, and possibly gas, by the minute based upon Peak Demand, this is referred to as 'Real Time' or 'Dynamic' Pricing.

    For example, electricity will be more expensive to use at 3 P.M. during a hot summer day than it will be to use at 3 A.M. The Smart Grid will allow you the ability to program your Demand Response Appliances to run at 'Off Peak' times in order to help you save money.

    The irony of this concept is if everyone begins to run their Demand Response Appliances at a certain 'Off Peak' time, say 3 A.M., then that 'Off Peak' time has the potential of becoming a new 'Peak Use' time and therefore may not save you very much money. Besides that, who is going to stay up to do laundry at 3 A.M.?

  1. Water, Heat and Cold Use including Hot Water, Steam, Chilled Water and Ice- By tracking not only your water use, but how much energy you use to create hot water, chilled water and ice, the Smart Grid becomes the ultimate 'Green Police State' tool. That is because it will have the ability to track your hot water use, possibly even the length of your hot showers, how much chilled water you are drinking through your dispenser in your fridge and even track how many times your Ice Maker is refilled with water.

    Imagine a future where the Government says that you can only take 3 minute hot showers or create only so much ice in order to help cut down on carbon emissions. The Smart Grid gives them the ability to not only monitor that information but through Demand Response Appliances they will also have the power to shut off your water heater or ice maker once you have reached your allowed usage. Again crazy as it sounds, what other possible reason do they have for collecting such information as Hot Water and Ice Cube Useage?

  2. Refuse (trash) and Sewerage Use- The only reason I can come up with for collecting information on your refuse is that in the future the Government might possibly make recycling mandatory. Someday you may see 'Trash Police' digging through your garbage to make sure your recycling properly or be fined.

  3. TV Licence Use- TV Licence does not currently exist here in the United States. But in the United Kingdom citizens are forced to pay a 'fee' for a Licence in order to watch or record television shows on their TV or over the Internet. Hard to believe I know but this is a statement taken from the British Licensing Authority website in 2003:

    "Using a television without an appropriate licence is a criminal offence. Every day we catch an average of 1,200 people using a TV without a licence. There is no valid excuse for using a television and not having a TV Licence, but some people still try - sometimes with the most ridiculous stories ever heard. Our detection equipment will track down your TV. The fact that our enquiry officers are now so well equipped with the latest technology means that there is virtually no way to avoid detection."

    -- from the official website of the British Television Licensing Authority, May 2003"

    I assume that someone in the Progressive movement is planning on passing such a law here in the U.S., otherwise why would this be included in the type of information collected? Again, there is no other reason for the collection of this information other than Big Brother and Big Business keeping track of your TV habits.

  4. Internet Use- Yes you knew it was coming... The Smart Grid will have the ability to track your Internet use. Why? Well by the time you reached number 6 on the list of things they are going to track I figured you would know the answer by now. The Government through the Energy Sector (Or maybe the future seizure by the Government of the Smart Grid) and the Smart Grid, are going to record and control every aspect of your life. The Internet has been an annoyance for those in power because of Grass Roots groups, like the Tea Party, have effectively used it to expose corruption and lies. Again, what other reason can you possibly think of for them to track your Internet use other than control?

Now during my research I discovered a document that lists the comments made by member organizations in NASEB while they drafted PAP-10. Here it is:

Smart Grid Comments

According to the comments it appears not all members of NAESB are kosher with the information the Smart Grid will collect, that is except the EPA:

EPA Comments: “EPA staff is supportive of efforts to improve utility customer access to electronic energy consumption data. As a part of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, EPA facilitated stakeholder discussions and released an issue paper entitled “Utility Best Practices Guidelines for Providing Business Customers with Energy Use and Cost Data.” The findings of this paper indicate that an effort like NAESB’s PAP 10 is a needed standard that benefits building owners and managers who need access to electronic data for benchmarking and energy management.

While the EPA seems to applaud the tracking of things like, Refuse (trash), Internet and TV Licence some other members such as Honeywell and TC9 Inc. wonder why such things are going to be tracked at all:

Honeywell's Comment: “Interesting to see tvLicence (hmmm… UK?), and internet in there. I don't understand why.”

TC9 Inc's Comment: ServiceKind should be restricted to Energy, or at least to measurable time variable delivery. Time? Refuse? tvLicense? Internet?

Also while reading through the comments I discovered something that isn't readily known outside of the Energy industry. Some of the “End Devices” (Demand Response Appliances) that are going to communicate with the utility via the “Energy Management System” in your home through the Smart Grid covers more than just your refrigerator, washer and dryer but devices such as light switches, pool pumps and even PEVs (Plug-in Electric Vehicles):

Energy Management System (EMS): An application used for controlling multiple energy-controllable devices (e.g., pool pump, Programmable Communicating Thermostat, light switches, PEV charging, etc.). This application may reside within a HAN Device (e.g. Programmable Communicating Thermostat, In-Home Display, computer, cable set-top box, other computing device, etc.). This application may also control other devices or systems in the home providing integrated automated services for the Consumer.”

The Smart Grid was not the Brain Child of the Obama Administration, it is a concept that has been pushed forward by every President since Bush #1 (albeit slowly pushed). But the Obama Administration have gone through great pains to not only fund it's advanced development (3.4 Billion Dollars) but to twist it in such a way, with the help of useful idiots in the industry, that future administrations can utilize it as a tool to control the populace for the sake of Global Warming.

If the Smart Grid comes to completion as envisioned, every time you walk in your front door, turn on a light, take a shower, make ice or even throw away a piece of garbage the utility company and even possibly the Government, will know.

If that isn't disturbing enough for you, think of it this way...

If it wasn't for the technology, then in order for this amount of detailed information about your private actions in your own home to be collected, it would require a platoon of utility or government employees following you around 24/7 recording every thing you do, how long it takes you to do it and what device you are doing it with...

It appears the Progressives' Idea for the Future is All About Control.

And they Spell Control.....




Rick Tsa'ara said...

Sounds like power storage devices (like a UPS) and gateway devices (like an internet router that can spoof MAC addresses) will become popular in the near future. Store up electricity on the UPS during off-peak hours for use during on-peak hours. Then use the internet router to report false identities for appliances so that they can't tell my personal behaviors.

Anonymous said...

Excellent research and article. Thanks.
Civility is being replaced with Control.

Robert said...

But Patch, you forgot step 7:

Pass a law making it a crime NOT to be part of the Smart Grid. Total control would require total, coerced participation.

Nikola Tesla is spinning in his grave!

Anonymous said...

Prepare to be assimilated.

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Vince said...

Sounds to me like a very complicated system. I can already imagine how much data cabling will be involved.

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John Forrester said...

Wind speed, barometric pressure, rainfall and other weather reports are made using cabled weather stations mainly by the meteorology departments where wireless ones are use for personal and official use.