A smart meter replacement project has been quietly taking place, in which old analog meters commonly are replaced with the new digital "smart meters". Citizens have been notified by energy provider companies via mail and media reports in recent years, thus the project cannot be said to be a secret operation.
Yet little do people realize that in carrying out this plan with government approval, the electric company is potentially endangering the well-being of its clients, as well as threatening the lives of many citizens.
Smart products have gained popularity in recent years. With smart phones, cars, fridges, televisions, hot water system, electric fans and so on, the sheer number of different types of products is enough to make the consumers’ heads spin. Perhaps we aren’t so naïve as to think that using such products will actually make us any smarter, even though those in marketing actually do hope that by using such a description (“smart”), users may feel a sense of superiority and pride when using their products. At the same time, consumers with a lack of understanding generally worship technology blindly, giving rise to the popular desire to buy and use these smart products.
However, looking at countries that have been using smart meters for some time, such as the United States, Canada, or Australia, why is there continual opposition from users against these smart meters, with vociferous protests, hearings and judicial proceedings, one after another? What on earth are these “smart meters” about?
The new digital smart meter directly measures the flow of electric currents and displays it on a digital screen. In other words, now that meter errors and breakdowns can be avoided, electric bills become more accurate. At the same time, these new meters also significantly reduce the cost of repairs and replacement. If these are the only reasons for replacing the old meters with the new, there really is no reason why the public should oppose them. However, the crux of the matter isn’t the way how the smart meters calculate use of electricity; instead, it lies in the design of “smart” products.
The public needs to have a basic understanding of what constitutes smart products. Simply put, these products usually have computer chips or electronic devices installed inside the product, and are capable of performing a series of specific functions. Smart products must be able to receive and interpret information from the user or its surroundings, and have the ability to self-detect its location. These products are designed to adjust according to the user’s preferences, be able to accurate respond to a user’s instructions, as well as make predictions based on a user’s habits. The product must be able to connect to various types of communication networks, transmitting information through a one-way or two-way channel.
Smart meters possess all of the abilities mentioned above. So how do smart meter, and the system behind them, carry the potential of threatening people’s privacy, properties and lives according to the opinions of users of these smart meters all over the world?
1. Overcharge on electric bills: Smart meters can actually make incorrect calculations of electricity usage. There have been situations where users are overcharged in their bills.
2. Possible fire hazard: Since smart meters have to operate 24/7, the components may cause the meters to overheat. In the West, there have been cases where overheating caused meters to ignite, causing fire.
3. Possible health hazard due to radiation: Ever since the replacement with smart meters, electric companies no longer need to employ meter readers, as these smart meters can send daily, or even hourly, usage data to the company via radio waves. In the West, many users have measured the signals coming from the smart meters and found them to be extremely high in radiation.
4. Possible risk of mind control: Research in other countries has shown that electromagnetic waves may have the potential to interfere and even control thought and emotional processes. Hypothetically then, it is not difficult for someone to intentionally release large amounts of radiation through smart meters to remotely harm or control a human target.
5. Invasion of privacy: Electric companies can get a sense of a user’s living habits through his or her electricity usage habits, which can be derived from the data given by the smart meters. It is not difficult for the companies to keep track of when the residents leave home, what time they return and for how long the house is occupied.
6. Smart households’ privacy and potential threat to life: There are a lot of smart products on the market that have ties to the smart meters, and can send and receive information and commands. In a so-called “smart household”, smart meters can be set up to automatically control electric supply to the house, as well as the operation of the lights and other appliances such as air-con. This may have the potential to increase the amount of radiation inside the house. The electric companies can also gain access to even more of the residents’ usage habits in every single detail. Just imagine, wouldn’t it be frightening if someone can turn on the microwave oven in a smart household while its door is being opened?
7. Risk of losing electric power: In the old days with analog meters, if an electric company needs to cut electricity supply to a user or to an area, it has to send out a technician to cut the line. However, electric companies can now cut a home or an area’s power source simply by sending instructions to the smart meter.
8. The loss of the freedom of choice: Electric companies have largely ignored those against the installations of smart meters, and their requests to revert back to the use of analog meters. Despite frequent legal actions taken against the electric company in the West, these companies have the backing and authorization of the governments. Many users can only helplessly accept these smart meters.
9. Risk of invasion by hackers, and invasion of privacy due to sale of personal information: The smart power grid is definitely a hacker’s favourite target, and the consequences of hacking are self-evident. At the same time, electric companies can sell the information from each user’s living habits to other commercial organizations for profit. I’m sure everyone would remember a past report of how the Octopus Card had been exposed for selling a user’s private information to a third party?
10: Monitoring by law enforcement and governmental authorities: Tile electric companies can turn over a user’s household information to law enforcement agencies in secret. The smart power grid can also become the government’s vital tool for controlling the populace. The government can simply control the power supply to various areas at various times, even specifically targeting certain people and locale, in order to save energy or suppress individuals or groups. Let’s say a certain legitimate organisation in opposition to the government is having a secret meeting at a certain building, or its members are riding in the elevator. It is not difficult to imagine the consequences if the power supply to the building or the elevator is suddenly stopped.
One can find more of these stories on the internet. Many people may believe that these various conspiracies aren’t worth the time, but when it’s your precious life, properties and freedom on the line, it is still wise not to be concerned?
Since 2014, when I was first told of the disasters caused by smart meters by an Australian friend of mine on the internet, I have taken it upon myself to warn people about this through the online show I host, even if I’m the only one to do so. It never ceases to amaze me that our supposedly honourable political representatives have not paid attention to the problem of smart meters.
Kiyo’s Mysterious Studies and Research, Episode 124
The Deadly Truth behind Smart Meters