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Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby twobits » Sep 13th, 2012, 7:19 am

Sure seems like a strange case of consumption. I am reaching here in trying to find an answer to your problem but does the power supply to your mobile come up from underground into a can under your mobile and from there into the panel inside the home? I have seem mobiles where in that damp environment the connection lugs can get very corroded. So much so that the corrosion can cause a "leak" of power back to the neutral or straight to ground. Not enough to overheat the wire, but a constant but variable slow trickle of watts. The installation of the new smart meter may have returned you to a normal consumption (perhaps temporarily) by the fact that when the circuit was shut down vis a vis the replacement, upon re energizing the power surge arced thru the corrosion and re established the correct conduit path. I know you said you hired an electrician but I have seen my share of incompetants. Have a look at all your mains wires connection lugs. Another possiblity and explanaition for "normal" now is that your "leak" may have been in the distal lugs of the meter base itself and the installer cleaned it up when the SM was installed.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 13th, 2012, 7:21 am

OK, we'll give it a try with that file Charlie. I'll be in touch by PM

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 13th, 2012, 8:10 am

your "leak" may have been in the distal lugs of the meter base itself and the installer cleaned it up when the SM was installed.


That reminds me twobits.. about 10 years ago on a house purchase, I turned up what appeared to be a strange voltage situation at my outlets. I reported it to Hydro and asked for a mains voltage check. They sent out a tech and he pulled the meter to check the main feed voltages. In the process he automatically cleaned up and serviced the meter base before reinstalling the meter, then checked and verified that the voltage at the panel breaker was correct. It didn't correct the problem I had (turned out to be a misswired circuit on one of the house breaker circuits and of course he wouldn't proceed beyond the mains, just advised me to get an electrician - but at least at that point I knew for sure the problem was on "my side" :-) )

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby delSol97 » Sep 13th, 2012, 1:48 pm

Is there an easy way to tell if one has been installed?

I've never paid much attention.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby StraitTalk » Sep 13th, 2012, 8:47 pm

Regarding RF Interference: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/news/bc-120109-sma ... report.pdf

(Conclusion was that they don't cause RF interference)
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 14th, 2012, 1:23 pm

So, today was meter reading day. The fellow came around a few days earlier than expected although not unusually early (59 day cycle rather than the expected 63 days). The result is this will generate a bill showing the second lowest level of usage for this property for a full billing cycle (56 to 66 days) ever. Or at least in 19 years. The only one lower is from March of 2004. That one is so low that it has me asking questions about an earlier full failure of the meter (prior to the 10 months it stopped in 2010/2011) that was caught and "fixed" without my notice, possibly by a meter reader who reported it to field guys.

Don't misunderstand me - I'm not all about supporting smart meters. I'm rather on the fence in respect to the EMF/radiation thing. I need to read something truly unbiased and motivationless before I form a more solid opinion. I do have issues in respect to privacy and the potential for targetted time billing and the like. However for the short term, I'm just happy to have a meter than seems to be functioning normally and reading the power we actually use. A replacement or even just a meter test years ago when I asked for one would have been a good start but Hydro didn't see it that way. They won't have a choice now.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 16th, 2012, 5:32 pm

Here's my own example of electricity consumption comparison for exactly the same 2 month (non-heating or air conditioning - July/August) period for the last 10 years (the most recent one reflecting no changes to anything from the year before other than now on smartmeter and kitchen stove and clothes dryer were upgraded, ....but I don't eat out much any more ;-) )..

Property is a fully detached all electric and upgraded/powersmarted 1000 square foot 35 year old in town conventional home on its own lot. Natural Gas has now been added for space heating instead of electricity (although electric baseboard heating is still in place if needed or if natural gas heating costs become non-competitive).

2003 - 1192 Kwh's
2004 - 1169 Kwh's
2005 - 846 Kwh's (had started eating out a lot ;-) )
2006 - 971 Kwh's
2007 - 848 Kwh's
2008 - 902 Kwh's
2009 - 950 Kwh's
2010 - 899 Kwh's
2011 - 806 Kwh's
2012 - 687 Kwh's (upgraded clothes dryer and kitchen stove, and pretty much stopped eating out :-) )

Can you produce the same 10 year comparison for your 2 month late summer period Charlie?

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 16th, 2012, 8:28 pm

Okay, finally a minute to write this info out. I replaced my 4 major appliances in February /03 (W/D, F/S) Did not replace my aging deepfreeze and it's still working here now. No dish washer, no air conditioning. My late summer billing cycle is mid-July to mid-Sept. As mentioned, I have a few outdoor farm related things that the average home in town just doesn't have, but I'm still nearly like the Amish, however I have some reason to expect my bill to be a bit more than in town.

2003 - 1928 kW.h (this period includes a 3 week full fire evacuation, most of which hydro was disconnected in the
area. Any heating was forced air NG with some electric back up - baseboard heaters)
2004 - 2282 kW.h (any heating was full electric - baseboard heaters)
2005 - 2084 kW.h (installed more energy efficient BB heaters and upgraded both service panels during this cycle)
2006 - 1912 kW.h
2007 - 2334 kW.h
2008 - 2387 kW.h
2009 - 3103 kW.h
2010 - 0 kW.h (meter was fully non-functional)
2011- 3131 kW.h (same meter! Think they gave it a boot and made it go again - no report filed. New hot water heater in
Jan./11)
2012 - 1530 kW.h ( Smart Meter installed Apr./12)
Last edited by Charlie01 on Sep 17th, 2012, 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Dash5 » Sep 16th, 2012, 8:48 pm

Finally got "the letter" from BC Hydro on Friday. We will be getting the new smart meter installed soon. After all of the Chicken Little "sky is falling" nonsense on here I'm looking forward to it!!
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 8:53 am

Charlie01 wrote:Okay, finally a minute to write this info out. I replaced my 4 major appliances in February /03 (W/D, F/S) Did not replace my aging deepfreeze and it's still working here now. No dish washer, no air conditioning. My late summer billing cycle is mid-July to mid-Sept. As mentioned, I have a few outdoor farm related things that the average home in town just doesn't have, but I'm still nearly like the Amish, however I have some reason to expect my bill to be a bit more than in town.

2003 - 1928 kW.h (this period includes a 3 week full fire evacuation, most of which hydro was disconnected in the
area. Any heating was forced air NG with some electric back up - baseboard heaters)
2004 - 2282 kW.h (any heating was full electric - baseboard heaters)
2005 - 2084 kW.h (installed more energy efficient BB heaters and upgraded both service panels during this cycle)
2006 - 1912 kW.h
2007 - 2334 kW.h
2008 - 2387 kW.h
2009 - 3103 kW.h
2010 - 0 kW.h (meter was fully non-functional)
2011- 3131 kW.h (same meter! Think they gave it a boot and made it go again - no report filed. New hot water heater in
Jan./11)
2012 - 1530 kW.h ( Smart Meter installed Apr./12)


Interesting. Looks to me like something substantial happened or changed between the 2008 and 2009 late summer periods. Any idea what? And look closely at your bills for those periods to see if your meter was perhaps changed (The meter # is usually shown under meter reading information near the top left of the bill just under the Invoice #). In fact it would be interesting to know if your bills reflect exactly the same meter # for the entire ten years of bills.

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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 17th, 2012, 10:07 am

Yeah. No. Nothing. No changes on my side of the meter base. This little snippet out of the years really doesn't demonstrate the true magnitude of the problem or how apparent it should have been to those who's job it is to catch anomalies. I really feel the more real power was used, the more fantom power accrued. Exponential. I'll send you an easy to read history back to 1994.

One of the first thing I scrutiniized when I organized bills back to 1999 was meter ID#. I had been made aware of what the proper process is supposed to be if a meter is ever tested and I had asked for mine to be done many times. It's to be pulled, removed, a temporary one put in place and the original bench tested under approved, controlled conditions, then taken back to it's location and the swap process reversed. Both meters need to be identified, recorded and read. Never, EVER happened here, at least to that standard. Never a reading from any meter other than the one continuously identified as the old analog meter and the new smart meter.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 12:07 pm

Thanks. My approach right now is to try and separate heating periods from non-heating periods and look specifically at the non-heating periods (In your case the July and September billings) for anomalies as those periods represent (more or less) the basic household use for everything but heat when air conditioning is not a factor. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that basic consumption will be (should be?) relatively consistent year 'round on a year over year basis if demonstrated as an average year by year over years.

What is left in each period when heating is a factor that can be reaosnably assumed to be attributable to the impact of heating and then anomalies in that factor looked for, but it gets screwy on that basis because weather has such a major influence.

Looking at your data so far (for September each year) I see apparent anomalies 1998 over 1997, and 2009 (and since) over 2008 (and all years back to 1999). I'm wondering at this point about the possibility of one or more billing cycle changes, as well as perhaps a few unusually complex bills due to many rate changes in recent years. I know I have had a few of those situations in my own billing history, and as I recall they usually occurred in the spring and the fall.

Edit to add: Another thing I am wondering about is whether they tend to estimate your usage a lot, particularly in the winter if it's difficult to get around due to snow conditions or difficult to access meters. "Est" should show next to the meter reading on your bill if so. If that was a common occurance over a number of months and they overestimate (as they regularly seem to do rather than underestimate), then it could make sense that you could hit a billing period with zero Kwh's reflected as they caught up the next time they actually read the meter. Hard to believe however that could be the case and be so over estimated over time that it would lead to 4 billing periods in a row (8 months?) with no consumption billed (essentially you got "free" electricity for all that time?)

Edit to add: Another anomaly jumps out too... in terms of your average Kwh's per day / year calculation (far right hand column). Things look reasonably consistent from 1994 to 2004, then almost doubled on average 2005 to present. That might make sense however as that was around the time you switched from natural gas to electricity for your primary source of heat in winter?


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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby Charlie01 » Sep 17th, 2012, 4:51 pm

NAB wrote:Thanks. My approach right now is to try and separate heating periods from non-heating periods and look specifically at the non-heating periods (In your case September billing) for anomalies as those periods represent (more or less) the basic household use for everything but heat when air conditioning is not a factor. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that basic consumption will be (should be?) relatively consistent year 'round on a year over year basis if demonstrated as an average year by year over years.

What is left in each period when heating is a factor that can be reaosnably assumed to be attributable to the impact of heating and then anomalies in that factor looked for, but it gets screwy on that basis because weather has such a major influence.

Looking at your data so far (for September each year) I see apparent anomalies 1998 over 1997, and 2009 (and since) over 2008 (and all years back to 1999). I'm wondering at this point about the possibility of one or more billing cycle changes, as well as perhaps a few unusually complex bills due to many rate changes in recent years. I know I have had a few of those situations in my own billing history, and as I recall they usually occurred in the spring and the fall.

Edit to add: Another thing I am wondering about is whether they tend to estimate your usage a lot, particularly in the winter if it's difficult to get around due to snow conditions or difficult to access meters. "Est" should show next to the meter reading on your bill if so. If that was a common occurance over a number of months and they overestimate (as they regularly seem to do rather than underestimate), then it could make sense that you could hit a billing period with zero Kwh's reflected as they caught up the next time they actually read the meter. Hard to believe however that could be the case and be so over estimated over time that it would lead to 4 billing periods in a row (8 months?) with no consumption billed (essentially you got "free" electricity for all that time?)

Edit to add: Another anomaly jumps out too... in terms of your average Kwh's per day / year calculation (far right hand column). Things look reasonably consistent from 1994 to 2004, then almost doubled on average 2005 to present. That might make sense however as that was around the time you switched from natural gas to electricity for your primary source of heat in winter?


Nab.



Have to quote you Nab. The ol' grey matter is too tuckered to remember much today!

Yeah, what you said........

Seriously, the first paragragh, what you are looking for is what I was looking for when I first organized years worth of bills onto a really big spread sheet - year over year "normal". I made notes of any and everything that would impact usage + or - and went through reams of Enviro Canada archieves collecting historical weather data to be able to consider the influence of temperture and even low light days (percipitation). What I found was there was almost no way to establish "normal" with the reading so all over the place. If a person looks at late 1995 leading into all of 1996, late 1997 leading into all of 1998, 1999 and early 2000, then again late 2001 and all of 2002, then again late 2004 on, you see these progressive increases followed by unexplainable returns to nearer old historic levels. Certainly the electric heat causes it's own expected increases, but from November 2003 to current, those swings are so wide, irregular and inconsistant that I don't trust any of the reading as being truly reflective of "normal". Things are even more hard to accept as "about how it should be" when envirnmental factors and ambient temps are factored in.

That stopped meter (it's about 10 months when you view the actual associated bills) - that much Hydro has admitted was meter failure. They also admit that correct, legal protocal wasn't followed in regard to how failed meters are supposed to be handled. They do skirt around admitting the meter was always a problem and even deny receiving reports electricians filed. That's the kind of stuff a person can document, so the denial doesn't strike me as being very bright. Anyway, while it isn't a predictable pattern of gradually increasing then magically somehow correcting, that pattern can be seen at least 4 or 5 times then it seems to end completely in 2005/2006 with nothing but continual upward progression until total failure in 2010. I am investigating who in the field for our region ceased to be employed, retired or moved around that time. While the over reading cost me a bundle for what it's clear to me we didn't use, I would like to know what exactly was causing the sudden drops as they coincide with nothing done on my side of the meter. The only coincidence is that those drops happen a billing cycle or two after complaints or reports were made, until around 2005.

Your last paragraph, look at 2002 (NGH) then 2004 (EH). The outcomes of those 2 years specifically undermines the increases being only due to the addition of electric heat.
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Re: Just said NO to 'Smrt' Meters

Postby NAB » Sep 17th, 2012, 5:18 pm

Yes, 2002 was an anomaly, but not with respect to basic non-heating season consumption. An anomaly in that respect didn't show up until Sept. billing 2009. To me everything "weird" relates more or less to heating and related electrical "upgrades", starting particularly in 2005.

Personally speaking, at this point I would be having some very serious discussions with whomever did the conversion and electrical work, and be looking at my thermostatic control over my baseboard heating system to boot. I am quite rapidly coming to the conclusion that it was a crappy job, and has very little to do with a dysfunctional electric meter. Sometimes we can get so caught up in excessive detail that the obvious gets overlooked.

edit to add: By the way, do you still have the capability to heat using natural gas and shut off the electric baseboard heat completely for this coming winter?

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