STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Smart Grid: Edge of the Authoritarian Wedge
By Staff News & Analysis - April 01, 2011

New smart meters will only save the average household £23 a year, with homeowners having to pay for their multi-billion pound roll out through their energy bills, the Government has said. The average household energy bill is £1,132 a year. So-called smart meters, digital devices which will be installed in all households and businesses, are designed to end unreliable estimated gas and electricity bills and stop the need for companies to send out meter inspectors. Instead, information about how much energy consumers have used will be sent electronically to their suppliers. However, documents published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have confirmed that households will have to pay for the £11.3 billion roll out, and that they will only save £23 a year by 2020. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: The miracle of modern technology will help us track our energy consumption forever and ever.

Free-Market Analysis: This article excerpted above is an eye-opening example of how Smart Meters actually work and an honest description of what they are meant to do. DB feedbackers who have had Smart Meters installed have written to us in frustration because instead of developing cost savings, Smart Meters have actually (often erroneously) increased energy bills by fairly substantial amounts.

In fact, people who expect that the technology of Smart Meters will somehow miraculously provide cost savings are exhibiting a fundamental misunderstanding of the provision and utility of the technology. Smart Grid and its Smart Meter technology are part of a campaign of behavioral modification. They are not aimed at making energy use more efficient; they are aimed at forcing people to use less energy. They are increasingly sophisticated tracking devices to inform the powers-that-be of one's energy consumption.

In this article we will examine Smart Meters (and Smart Grid) once again (yes, we have written about them before) and put them into their larger authoritarian context. The article above focuses on the UK; but Smart Grid is a worldwide phenomenon. Governments and power companies the world over busily trying to install a full specrtrum of Smart Grid solutions.

The movement is ubiquitous and aggressive; in fact one could certainly ask how such a global phenomenon takes off and where does it come from. But to ask the question (within these pages, anyway) is to answer it. The technology is being driven by the same Western elites that are promoting global warming and other questionable concepts to centralize power and control within its internationalist institutions.

In the Smart Meter future, your energy company and local authorities shall have the means to determine how many slices of bread you toast, how long you take a shower for (and how hot you run the water) and whether you turn off your PC at night. In the Smart Meter future, your energy supplier and the community authorities themselves shall be able to turn individual utility components on and off based on local statutes and in order to ensure enforcement of specific ordinances.

If you have not paid a parking ticket, you shall perhaps find that your electric car has not charged overnight and you will not be able to use it until the outstanding penalty is rectified. If you have written and posted an editorial or a letter-to-the-editor that has caught the attention of the local censor, you may find your PC has been switched off – or otherwise tampered with – and that you have lost your "communication" privileges for a certain amount of time. There is more of course. One can invent endless extrapolations – some of which would doubtless be considered paranoid. But in this day and age, what sort of paranoia is not justified?

Smart Meters are not inherently a money-saving facility. They are not merely an energy-monitoring device. They are key technology in what will be, eventually, a system of extensive, even all-encomassing rationing. Why is energy rationing going to be necessary? The article makes the point that energy costs are expected to climb far in excess of people's ability to generate increased offsetting revenue. This is not just because energy will be less available and dearer. The government is doing its part as well. The article provides specific numbers from a UK tax policy standpoint:

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, the price comparison site, said: "The average household energy bill is already £1,132 a year with £84 of that made up by hidden taxes. Policies launched under the previous Government are expected to add a further 6 per cent or £72 in levies over the next decade – this means that the hidden taxes on our energy bills will add up to £156 a year, far outweighing the potential £23 net saving offered through smart metering."

Smart Meter technology is being rolled out in phases. In the UK, we learn, aggressive implementation will begin 2014 and is scheduled to finish by 2019. About 53 million businesses and households will see their old-style meters replaced, the article informs us. Total savings are expected to be in the area of £6 billion, and costs to suppliers are to be cut by around £11 billion. There is also a savings of £1.5 billion "thanks to reductions in greenhouse gases." The numbers add up to a "net benefit of £7.3 billion … over the next 20 years … rising to a saving of £42 by 2030." There is a catch though. These savings are not automatic.

One key concern from campaigners is that most of the savings will be achieved by consumers only if they use the meter readings to change their behaviour. The meters will display how much energy consumers have used and what it has cost them, along with a message indicating whether this is higher or lower than normal. Some are worried that many consumers will not know how to change their behaviour to save money. Zoe McLeod, energy expert at Consumer Focus, the watchdog, said: "To get the full benefits of this new technology customers will need support and advice on how to cut their bills and action to ensure that improvements in customer service are delivered."

This is truly an Orwellian vision of the future in our humble view. Energy companies, industry consultants and no doubt the government itself shall surely enter the field of energy consulting. (Yet another uneccessary and entirely manufactured industry is about to created with all the misapplication of resources that imples.) No doubt gas and electricity companies will offer a vast array of "new energy-saving products." Since Smart Meters are going to generate a great deal of information, consumer energy-consumption data is going to become an extremely valuable commodity for energy companies.

The article quotes Peter Vicary-Smith, the chief executive of Which? (yes, Which? is the company's name), as calling for increased regulation to make sure that companies don't profit unduly from marketing consumer information. Apparently a whole new field of criminal endeavor is about to be unearthed. "There must be zero tolerance to any companies found to be abusing this opportunity," Smith maintains, "or consumer confidence in the roll-out will be severely undermined."

Chris Huhne, the UK's Climate Change and Energy Secretary is clearest about the upcoming expansion of eco-fascism. "Smart meters are a key part of giving us control over how we use energy at home and at work, helping us to cut out waste and save money … In combination with our plans to reform the electricity market and introduce the green deal for homes and businesses, the roll-out of smart meters will help us keep the lights on while reducing emissions and getting the best possible deal for the consumer."

Really? A deal it is not. This upbeat assessment hides the downbeat actuality. The UK government, in fact, is forcibly imposing Smart Meter technology on 50 million homes and businesses. Government (certainly UK government) never does anything purely to benefit to the taxpayer. A project this massive and expensive must therefore have hidden authoritarian advantages. In fact, we have already presented some of them.

But in order to understand them fully, one needs to understand the genesis of Smart Meter technology. The idea of increased tracking of energy consumption comes in part from M. King Hubbert and the so-called Technocracy movement that was prominent in the mid-20th century. Hubbert is of course also the inventor of the concept of "Peak Oil" – the idea that oil production will at some point peak and then gradually begin to subside.

It is Hubbert's Technocratic vision that informs the Smart Grid that is now being installed not just in Britain but around the world. Hubbert's perspective is purely elitist in our view and conforms entirely to the paradigm of dominant social themes that the Anglo-American elite uses to redistribute the wealth and power of Western Middle Classes to internationalist institutions. Hubbert created first a fear-based problem – the idea that the world will eventually run out of energy due to something called Peak Oil – and then provided a solution via his Technocracy movement.

In a Technocracy, the "expert" shall run a given industrial facility based on his or her dispassionate understanding of what is necessary for the society's greater good. It is a utopian concept and such ideas, as adopted in the 20th century, cost tens of millions of lives. (Think of Cambodia's Killing Fields.) No one is suggesting that Smart Grid will necessarily lead to genocide, but the animating principles are the same: Society is to be perfected by manipulating people into doing what is "good" for them.

In this case, Smart Grid solutions are addressing a non-existent problem. Manmade global warming likely doesn't exist and facilities that seek to ration energy consumption are therefore unecessary. In fact, there is plenty of oil and gas around. Energy generally is the planet's most plentiful and ubiquitous resource and can be harvested in any one of a number of ways. Deep oil, oil-from-shale, coal, gas and other forms of energy not yet refined or implemented can provide a plenteous energy future – and this assumes that energy sources such as nuclear fusion do not become viable.

For anyone who looks into the issue closely, it becomes difficult to avoid the conclusion that energy scarcity is a manufactured crisis (just as Peak Oil was a manufactured fear-based meme intended to justify Hubbert's crackpot Technocracy notions). The real result will not be energy conversation but yet another incredibly massive invasion of privacy intended to lead to further state control of one's life and lifestyle. Such an invasion has nothing to do with the Greening of Western society and everything to do with the inexorable implementation of a power-elite One World Order that is intended, eventually, to reduce Western middle classes to a subsistence level.

After Thoughts

The Smart Grid and its Smart Meters surely comprise a Trojan Horse for an Anglo-American power elite that is hell-bent on controlling people's lives and reducing or eliminating their freedom of choice whenever possible. It is another signature of the authoritarian state; its aggressive implementation is disheartening not just for what it portends but for the lack of informed opposition (thus far anyway) to yet another fundamental elite power grab.

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