April 10, 2011
I just had this information passed on to me.
I thought SB 841 was dead but apparently not. Title was struck and the word “National” removed but it is still ticking.
Senate Bill 841 would have Oklahoma join a coalition of states to bypass the workings of the Electoral College by decreeing that the winner of the national popular vote would get all of the state’s support.
The bill was introduced by a Democrat senator, Sen. John Sparks of Norman. But in committee action its sponsorship was taken over by freshman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher. Its sponsor in the House is State Rep. Don Armes, R-Lawton.
A group called Save Our States has more information on this (and similar legislation) nationwide;
Federalism–our unique American system of states–is under assault. The ‘National Popular Vote’ organization is pushing state legislation as a way to sidestep the Electoral College.
While only six states have enacted NPV legislation, the effort plays on misunderstandings about the Electoral College and reinforces misconceptions about federalism. If passed by states worth a majority of electoral votes (270), NPV claims to create an interstate compact that would manipulate the Electoral College system to create a direct national election for President. This would eliminate the checks and balances created by the Electoral College and further unravel our system of states.
The bill allowing for customer data sharing by utilities, HB 1079 grabbed my attention. I will find out more about this bill and post my findings here-until then, some questions are certainly in order!
Hat tip to the sharp guy from Tulsa who brought this to my attention.
SB841 Elections: Agreement Among States to Elect the President by
(National) Popular Vote: Rob Johnson Senate, Armes House
Passed out of “Committee on Rules” after striking title to include “National” Popular Vote (3-1-11) (the word National doesn’t appear in the Title on the Calendar)
The following is an apparent continuation of Legislation (HB3028 & SB828 passed during the 2009- 2010 Session)
HB1079 Utilities: Creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act: Marten, Scott and Jolley
(Protection for customers of Smart Meters or Utility Company Protection?)
Passed the House 86 to 10 on 3/16/11
Passed to Energy Committee after striking “Protection Act” out of the title and passed on to the Senate for vote.
<StartFT>An Act relating to utilities; creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act; stating findings; stating purpose; defining terms; establishing duty with respect to usage data by an electric utility; authorizing certain use of customer-identifiable usage data; requiring an electric utility to provide standard usage data to a customer; allowing an electric utility to provide nonstandard usage data to a customer; authorizing a reasonable fee; authorizing disclosure of customer information to affiliates and certain third parties; specifying circumstances for the release of customer information to certain third parties; providing for the use of aggregate usage data by an electric utility; authorizing the disclosure of aggregate usage data to a third party for certain purposes; setting certain restrictions for the disclosure of aggregate usage data; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
Data collecting, sharing and security risks relating to smart meters:
The government has confirmed that, for the domestic sector, the new communications backbone over which smart meters will transmit data will be co-ordinated centrally (the centralised communications model). Risks to this centralised network include the hacking of customer details, denial of service attacks and even infiltration by intelligence services and terrorist groups seeking to disrupt supplies. In its reply to the government’s smart metering consultation, technology consultant Detica warned that we have already seen examples of security breaches involving smart meter technology. In the US, security firm IOActive recently sought to highlight the weaknesses of a smart meter network by successfully infiltrating systems with a worm.
The highly detailed information that can be generated and communicated by smart meters will be of interest to a wide spectrum of third parties. For example, it has been suggested that monitoring and analysing household consumption profiles could:
* reveal the absence or presence of individuals in a household, enabling criminals to establish when it is most vulnerable to burglary;
* alert law enforcement authorities to potential illegal activities such as the growing of cannabis;
* provide unprecedented amounts of information on the personal movements of individuals and the life patterns of households, which would have significant commercial value to marketers and advertisers;
* identify energy inefficient consumers, facilitating the introduction by government of taxes and incentives to promote reduced consumption.
Worldwide, privacy concerns will likely only increase as smart grid technology delivers more near real-time information and improved communication with individual appliances in the home.
The potential for sharing data with third parties raises many concerns. There is likely to be considerable public concern regarding how data may be accessed on “public interest” grounds, for example public health, such as monitoring the vulnerable, or for combating crime. Many commentators have expressed the view that smart meters’ capabilities raise serious Big Brother concerns. Following the recent rejection by the Dutch parliament of smart meter proposals, in part due to privacy concerns, the energy industry is generally well aware of the potential risks of a privacy backlash in relation to smart metering.
Oklahoma approves smart meter rollout
After closely evaluating the utility’s application, the OCC found this smart grid technology to be a prudent investment — preapproving up to $366.4 million in program costs to construct the system.
Here’s some information about where that money is coming from, and how it will be handled…
Funding sources for OG&E’s program include a $130 million stimulus grant from the US Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment grant program
. Also, Oklahoma ratepayers will be expected to cover $220 million of the program costs via a three-year smart grid recovery rider (SGRR), which the OCC approved.
Although Oklahoma ratepayers will be funding this program through the rider, both the maintenance expenses, plus $8 million in annual meter reading costs. These savings will be passed through to ratepayers — as will the costs.
Oklahoma consumers also will save money on their utility bills by taking action to reduce consumption, time-shift usage, or implement other energy efficiencies in response to information obtained from the new smart meter equipment.
Further utility cost recovery will be addressed in OG&E’s next scheduled rate case in 2013. In that proceeding, funds from the approved rider must be reconciled. To facilitate this, the commission has ordered the establishment of three regulatory assets:
- A smart grid operations and maintenance account.
- A stranded meter cost account.
- A web portal account.
OCC’s action follows regulatory approval of of major smart meter rollouts by public utility commissions in California, Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, and elsewhere. The Aug. 13 Maryland PSC approval
of BGE’s smart meter program was only one of many.
42,000 meters install in Norman 2009
6,600 in OKC 2011
14,000 in Owasso beginning March 2011 (PSO)
Building a smarter grid, one customer at a time
In Oklahoma City, 6,600 people are plugged into a “smarter grid” made possible by Oklahoma Gas & Electric and GE. The technology project involves a whole new way of distributing and managing electricity that puts consumers in the driver’s seat. In addition to the two-way GE digital SmartMeters connected to participants’ homes, OG&E customers also have wireless consoles that display the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour at peak and off-peak times. The SmartMeters communicate with the electric company, and the display terminals communicate with the project participants. “Yesterday, we sent the customer a bill,” says Chris Greenwell, Manager of Commercial Services for OG&E. “Now, we give the customer tools to make intelligent choices.”
Learn more about the Oklahoma Gas & Electric project at GE.com
eMeter Announces New Smart Grid Appliance Bundle to Help Utilities Jump Start Grid Initiatives
New Bundle Available with eMeter’s EnergyIP™ and Energy Engage™ and IBM Tivoli and WebSphere Software Preloaded on IBM POWER7 Systems
San Mateo, CA – March 23, 2010 – eMeter and IBM today announced a first-of-its-kind bundled software package from eMeter, available preloaded on IBM hardware, designed to help electric, gas and water utilities customers implement their Smart Grid implementations out of the box.
Many utilities worldwide have demonstrated their commitment to the Smart Grid and have encountered challenges associated with building a solution from several piece parts. Now, by starting with templates of Smart Grid best practices and out-of-the box adapters for Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems, the combination of IBM and eMeter technology can help utilities reduce the implementation and test cycle time from a year to as little as six months, and shave as much as 60% off the implementation cost.
Developed for municipal and mid-sized utilities, the new eMeter Smart Grid Appliance combines a set of software, tools, and best practices available preloaded on IBM POWER7 systems for rapid implementations. Effective Smart Grids should be able to automatically monitor and control two-way energy flow that allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance. This requires the ability for utilities to host and manage billions of transactions securely and efficiently.
“Having worked with several utilities that have succeeded with large-scale Smart Grid rollouts, eMeter and IBM took on the responsibility of identifying the right set of hardware and software tools best suited for these critical projects,” said Bobby Napiltonia, SVP of Sales and Alliances at eMeter. “The Smart Grid Appliance delivers a solution for utilities looking to quickly and easily make the most of their Smart Grid investments.”
The demand for rapid development and deployment for Smart Grids is growing as current city infrastructure boundaries are continually being tested with population increases driving new and higher demand for energy. Governments around the world are allocating stimulus money to revamp energy systems—the U.S. alone has assigned $4.3 billion to the effort. eMeter and IBM have developed technologies and programs to enable this global shift working with countries and utilities all over the world to establish the necessary policies and smart grid roll-out strategies to ensure the highest level of success and to move closer toward smarter transportation, policing, governance and grids.
With eMeter’s Smart Grid Appliance built on IBM technology, utilities will not only be able to put these stimulus funds to work, but can achieve operational efficiencies and new levels of customer responsiveness more quickly and be able to show those results to their regulators and customers alike.
“By eMeter leveraging IBM technology, our utility clients will be able to streamline their Advance Metering Infrastructure projects and reduce implementation and operational costs associated with their smart grid programs,” said Allan Schurr, VP of Strategy for IBM Energy & Utilities, “This serves as another example of IBM and its partners working together to help transition the world toward smarter energy and ultimately a smarter planet.”
Through an IBM Application Specific Licensing agreement, the new eMeter bundle combines IBM Tivoli Monitoring and WebSphere 7 Application Server software with eMeter EnergyIP™ meter data management and Energy Engage™ home energy solutions. These technologies are offered preloaded and optimized to take advantage of the capabilities of IBM’s recently announced POWER7 systems.
To manage the demands of emerging applications such as smart grids, as well as traditional applications, the new IBM Power Systems with POWER7 technology are designed with workload-optimizing technologies. The new systems also feature technology breakthroughs in virtualization, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price performance to enable clients to lower costs.
The Smart Grid Appliance will become available in the second quarter of 2010.
worldwide depend on eMeter Smart Grid Management softwareMeter provides essential software that enables electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of Smart Grid. Leading utilitiese to reduce operational costs, improve customer service, and drive energy efficiency. With the most large-scale deployments in the industry and strategic partnerships with Accenture, IBM, Logica, and Siemens, eMeter has built a reputation for unparalleled expertise that ensures customer success. For more information visit: www.emeter.com
DALLAS – Anger at one of Texas’ largest utilities is growing.
Dozens of people are furious at sky-high power bills and are convinced the new smart meters are to blame.
“I don’t mind paying my bill, but I’m not paying for something I’m not using,” said one customer in Grand Prairie on Saturday.
Oncor representatives sat through a tongue lashing at a town hall meeting, where angry customers, pleaded for help with their high bills.
“It’s either food, medicine or my electric – there’s no way,” said Trina Hall.
Nearly all say their bills went up after Oncor replaced the old mechanical meters on their homes with new digital smart meters.
Susan Major has always been careful to save electricity but almost immediately after her new meter went up, so did her bills.
“There’s something wrong, either my meter was installed wrong, read wrong, something, and nobody will own up,” she said.
Oncor still blames the cold winter for most of the high bills.
But the company now admits its workers misread at least 7,000 new meters when they were installed and overcharged customers.
“What you have is essentially a typo, we’re catching those, both with the customers and through our own internal process,” said Chris Schein from Oncor.
The utility insists the meters work.
Still, anger is growing, as is suspicion.
Grand Prairie Rep. Kirk England (D) is joining other lawmakers, calling for Oncor to stop installing millions of the new meters across North Texas until an outside agency can test their accuracy.
“I think there’s a problem and I think it’s more than just weather,” he said.