The development and implementation of Smart Grid technology in the U.S. – reinventing the electrical grid with Wifi-enabled digital power meters – is proceeding at breakneck speed. Although Smart Grid is the result of years of government planning, the recent kickoff was made possible through massive “green” grants that were quietly included in President Obama’s economic stimulus package starting in 2009.
Why the rapid pace and secrecy in installing the meters? Is it because the utility companies
know that the majority of Americans would never allow for such a thing if they really knew more about these new meters, their harmful health effects, their inaccurate and often inflated billing, and the “big brother” control they will have over our use of energy and our own appliances in our own homes and businesses.
The lucrative grants in 2009 have drawn in a host of corporate players, from utility companies to digital meter manufacturers to control software vendors. Global companies like IBM, GE and Siemens are putting their full effort behind the “build-out” that will consolidate all of America into a single, integrated, communication-enabled electric delivery and monitoring system, collectively called Smart Grid.
The negative aspects of Smart Grid are seldom mentioned. Take cyber-security, for instance. Picture a tech-savvy criminal who breaks into your energy profile data by hacking the computers at your local substation: Based on your power usage, he knows when you are home and when you are not home, when you are awake and when you are asleep, whether you have a security system turned on or off, etc. Armed with such information, your possessions and personal safety would be at his disposal.