Sunday, July 09, 2006

Smart Meters = Dumb Decision

If all the broken promises, Lord of the Farce and the Caledonia fiasco aren't enough reasons to boot the Ontario Liberals out in 2007, Sun Business Editor Linda Leatherdale provides us with yet another!

In Pull McGuinty's Plug, she warns of another Liberal boondoggle in the works that "will make Ottawa's gun registry or Ontario's property tax madness look like financial sanity."

The intent likely was to make it appear as if the McGuinty government is taking responsible action by encouraging homeowners to save power and supposedly also save money by running large appliances on the off-hours when the rates would be cheaper.

In reality things look different:

"The gun registry cost overruns will pale by comparison to what will happen with smart metering," warns hydro expert Dave Young, an engineer for Kinectrics (formerly the research arm of Ontario Hydro).


Young says the smart meters McGuinty wants to install are too expensive, won't do what they're designed to do and will cheat customers who adjust their behaviour, like getting up at 4 a.m. to do the laundry, turn on the dishwasher and cook meals.

McGuinty's hydro plan is so insane that the poor souls now forced to use smart meters in his pilot project are paying the highest electricity prices during waking hours.

Linda says that Conservative Leader John Tory found out that:

...the Liberals plan on forcing us to buy brand-new smart meters at a cost of up to $5 a month -- when a Chatham utility using technology can do it much cheaper, at $1.29, by retrofitting existing meters.

But rather than go the cheaper route, Energy Minister Dwight Duncan went to Europe on a smart meter hunt, where he blew taxpayers' money on $70 steaks and other expensive feasts as his team wined and dined in Rome, Copenhagen and Brussels.


She continues:

Tory also says the Liberals plan on setting up a new administrative nightmare, similar to the Municipal Property Assessment Corp., which will blow tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a government-run smart meter data collection centre.

Energy expert Young agrees: "The communications linkages and data warehouses we'll need for all this information flitting back and forth will sink this system in the end," Young said. "Or, if it doesn't sink it, it will dwarf the billion-dollar gun registry that was supposed to be $2 million. Ten billion wouldn't surprise me at all."


It appears that not only is the program itself inherently flawed, but that we will be paying dearly for it in increased taxes and hydro rates.


Obviously this government is spinning out of control, but my biggest worry is that many voters will be sucked in when McGuinty inevitably attempts to bribe the taxpayers with their own money just before the next election - and then proceeds to break the promises again.

* * * *

TUESDAY UPDATE: Please check out This Canada for the complete list (to date) of McShifty's broken promises. Recognized by the Toronto Sun. It will be a useful resource for the next election.

And even the Toronto Star is telling McGuinty to keep his promise to autistic children!!!



33 comments:

Zac said...

Why's the comment moderation back on? Did I miss something?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Did I miss something? Yes. See end of comments in 'Please do not feed the bears" post.

Mac said...

I wonder if McGuinty is governing by the Omelette Model? Scramble everything you can lay your hands on, make sure no single ingredient dominates, cook quickly and serve hot. By doing so, you might fool some people into believing you know what you're doing.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Omelette Model.. Now there's a new strategy! lol

The question is, who will end up with the egg on their face? ;)

Sara said...

I won't use a smart meter, one of the Conservative promises was our own land, so some son of a beezwax hydro guys tries to come here and install one I have a right to shoot him ok not really shoot him but I do have 2 really big ass dogs and I will let them loose, well ok they will just hug him but maybe they will hump him so hard he won't come back,, muhahahaha the housewife protection, humping dogs....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara, good point! This is our land; our house. How do they have the right to do that? Oh yeah, I remember. Because owning property is not in the Charter. (See Caledonia)

Sara said...

I can't kind of see straight right now, had some wine with neigbor after a swim... oh wow what a feeling lol sorry

Joanne (True Blue) said...

That's o.k. Sara. You'll need more of that wine once your smart meter is installed!

Mac said...

Those who use the Omelette Model usually do so as they figure they will only have one kick at the cat (so to speak) so they don't care who tries to unscramble the mess afterward. Bob Rae, for instance...

Sara said...

Nah I prefer to demeen paid workers when I'm sobor hehe

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, good point. Or in the case of the federal Liberals - retain power at all costs.

Bob Rae... looks like he wants another kick at the can. He must think we Ontario residents have very short memories.

Riley Hennessey said...

It always kills me when governments who face surpluses come out with "I got an idea for the environment, let's tax the hell out of taxpayers some more!"

Then they come up with cock-eyes expensive schemes to install things at a cost to taxpayers that have negligable effects.

I'd much prefer to use of of the surpluses that occur to clean up rivers and lakes, and clean up some of the factories that cause pollution. That's a much better use of dollars than saying "install this doo-dad in your home and we'll charge you for it!".

Or how bout we put money into finding cleaner energy and renewable sources? How bout that?

Nopers, some idiots just think by making things more expensive for common folk, everyone will be happier. Great idea!

Mac said...

Riley, how about we focus any surpluses on eliminating the national debt? That way, we're not throwing money away paying the interest.

Once we're rid of Trudeau's financial legacy, I'm all for renewable clean energy and cleaning up the environment but the debt has to come first.

Gerry said...

I wish there was such a thing as a smart meter for politicians - McGinty would be the perfect candidate to try it out on. Everytime he breaks a promise or says something stupid it could give him a little electrical jolt...would need a very good battery or long cord to make it through the day...

Red Tory said...

Excellent point! You are right. Go Joanne, go...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Riley, how about we focus any surpluses on eliminating the national debt?

Or health care. Check out Sara's blog about Autistic kids and how they're treated in Ontario.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

would need a very good battery or long cord to make it through the day

Gerry, I'm afraid poor Dalton would do himself in before the day was over. ;)

TrustOnlyMulder said...

I heard a great idea today on the radio regarding programs politicians spend our money on. It was related to the O-Train here in Ottawa, but it would apply to many other plans (like the smart meters)

Should a proposal run overbudget, the pension and benefits of the politician bringing it about should be cut by a similar percentage as the overrun. i.e. if a $1B expenditure runs to $1.1B then the politicians pension/benefits are cut by 10%. What a great way to eliminate legacy expenditures and terrible assessments of new programs.

Sara!!!! Are you coming to the Ottawa Valley Blogger gettogether? (there will be wine!!) Phantom Observer has the details.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mulder, that sounds like a fantastic idea! (about the politicians absorbing the overrun). Hey, the Blogger thing sounds fun too! Wish I lived in Ottawa.

PGP said...

Seems that the only sure thing is that whatever your government does will end up...
a) Screwed up
b) Costing more than they told you
c) Creatin more problems that will in turn cost you.....

OMMAG

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - How true... Well, the Liberal governments anyway. ;)

liberal supporter said...

Smart meters were originally a good idea, the idea being that you would be able to see on a display or something, how expensive the power is right now, and you could manually adjust your load to off-peak times.

"Smarter" meters would allow you to have certain appliances controlled by the meter to automatically time shift your loads. They are especially effective for air conditioners, pool heaters and even dishwashers, things that can run unattended, and can run on shorter duty cycles when power is expensive.

As usual, someone's "hidden" agenda got tossed in there. They wanted to have a phone card type payment system so that you have to buy cards at a convenience store, then put them in the "smart meter". If you don't, too bad, you freeze (even gas furnaces need power for the fan).

Using a card to put money on the meter does not reduce the cost of the meter and infrastructure. It still has to have data communication to get the current kwh price for your area. They will still want to remotely read your consumption for load forecasting, so reading how much you should be charged is no more difficult. The only benefit is the utility gets to save money on postage for the bills, and avoids one kind of collection problems (though card fraud will cause another).

So let's get the kind of meters that allow you to load shift, and make them standard equipment. You can get them if you want, and the rates are adjusted so you pay less than with the standard meters.

I don't see why a bureaucracy is needed. The utilities should be able to operate such a system. Government can set the standards and provide some tax incentive to encourage it's startup, but that should be all.

Sara said...

wow McGuinty is a joke, I notice some Liberals are really watching my site, every time I blog about one some come in for a quick defend lol they never speak otherwise just if I bring up a Liberal idiot, mind you its not the Liberal that makes you an idiot its the person hehe....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! I know what you mean, Sara. Actually, I'm still waiting for a Liberal to try to defend all this latest craziness.

Even Liberal Supporter evidentally doesn't see why the government should get involved to the level it is.

I agree with L.S. that the initial concept of smart meters seemed like a good idea. But when this particular cast of clowns gets their hands on something, it tends to go sour.

Maybe wait until the next election, when a better government can take over.

Sara said...

why are we paying more for delivery and pension than the actual electricity we use?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

pension?

Sara said...

look at your electricity bill,

debt retirement... their pension

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ah, very clever, Sara! So, that's what the hidden charges are for...

Sara said...

who knows, they never really explained.... we just pay like lost sheep

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, the shepard's gone awol.

energy conservation said...

You might want to have a look at this article about Dwight Duncan and how he says citizens are happy with higher electricity prices!

Dalton McGuinty said...

You only have to look at this article to see why you can't believe any election promises from the Ontario Liberal Party.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for the tip, Dalton!