NOTE: Although this article does specifically provide information for Lincolnites, the issue is relevant to anyone who uses electricity. If you live elsewhere, especially if you are in Nebraska, and have information about SMART grid / meter implementation in your local area, please send us some information, by leaving a comment directly at the bottom of this article, by replying to your email delivery, or by using the contact form on our site.
Unfortunately, the phone call Linda received last fall, which detailed in “Heating and Air Conditional? LES May Decide For You” was indeed a precursor to Lincoln’s public utility considering implementing SMART grid technology, including SMART meters. For anyone who missed this earlier article, I HIGHLY recommend you take a look (simply click on the title to do so).
I say LES’ continued moves in this direction are unfortunate for several reasons, which in brief, include…
Increased, Not Decreased Expenses:
- Implementation of this technology is proving very costly, and utilities typically pass those costs on to customers
- Evidence exists that SMART meters do not result in cost savings, which is the purported reason for their implementation
- Additional evidence exists that customers around the country who have had Smart meters installed have seen their bills INCREASE significantly due to flaws in the devices
Privacy and Health Concerns:
- SMART meters harvest a significant amount of data about customers, raising significant privacy concerns
- A good deal of information indicates that Smart meters, which are wireless devices, emit electromagnetic / microwaves that are a potential cause of health problems and that some testers report exceed recommended safe levels
Loss of Control of Your Home:
- Smart grid and meters empower the utility company to control electrical flow, thereby enabling potential rationing (the meter would be “smarter” than you, sorry, but pun intended)
- Serious questions exist as to whether SMART meter implementation would be voluntary or mandatory; and even if initially voluntary, they are proving to be a “gateway” for mandatory programs
LES is a PUBLIC utility, and therefore an arm of the government, which increases a number of concerns:
LES is pushing “Sustainability”. If you are not familiar with this term, please see our Sustainable Development page. LES’ embrace of the Sustainable Development agenda requires strenuous questions be asked about the movement towards the SMART grid technology. What is the purpose for the program? Is it motivated purely by cost savings or is there an embrace of the “green agenda” and even, as Linda pointed out in her article last fall, the potential for a backdoor imposition of “cap and trade” policies? (Perhaps we should ask the LES “Green Team”…their email is listed at the bottom of the Sustainable Energy page…firstname.lastname@example.org, which is just…lovely.)
A thought provoking quote from Linda’s article:
“Is your ‘carbon footprint’ too big? We can take care of that for you! No problem. No problem at all.”
I wish such ideas could be dismissed as far-fetched, but a read about Sustainable Development and a perusal of the EPA’s website point in a different direction.
LES is not taking input from all customers and we should wonder WHY.
LES, from what we can tell through many varied Google searches and an examination of their website, is attempting to gather opinions only from some selected group(s) of their customers. First it was the telephone survey and now there is one in paper form that was sent, again, only to some people in Lincoln.
It is worth questioning whether LES is actually interested in the input of its customers (the citizens and taxpayers of Lincoln) as a public utility, or if there are a number of other motivations for the manner in which they are conducting these surveys. The survey document is not available nor mentioned on LES’ website, nor was the phone survey last fall mentioned anywhere on the site (unless we somehow missed it, which is unlikely, I spent more time there than I would ever wish to looking for it). As a public utility, there should be full disclosure and transparency of the entity’s actions.
Fortunately, we have obtained a copy of this survey. ;-)
We are requesting all Lincolnites who have doubts about the SMART grid and meters to download, print and fill out the survey and mail it to LES by THIS WEDNESDAY, June 29.
PLEASE consider sharing this with family and friends in Lincoln by forwarding this article by email (for those reading on the site, see the options for sharing, below.)
Two ways to download:
1) Click on the survey image above or HERE to download directly from this site
if you have difficulty or prefer the Scribd interface…
2) Click HERE to download the document from our collection on Scribd
Note that the survey was sent to the select group with a postage paid envelope. You will have to provide your own. LES’ main mailing address is as follows:
Lincoln Electric System (LES)
Consumer Services Division
1040 “O” Street
P.O. Box 80869
Lincoln, NE 68501-9929