Article 43


Is Duke Energy Smart Meter Ripping Me Off

image: smart meter

Duke Energy received $204M IN FEDERAL STIMULUS to install AMI gas and electric SMART METERS in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Duke promised these meters would lower utility bills and be more convenient because they eliminated the need for meter readers.  They also promoted them as eco-friendly and more energy efficient than original analog meters… Not long after installation, customers in all 6 states started filing complaints with utility commissions and consumer agencies.
- Duke Energy AMI Smart Meters - The Ripoff Continues

Out of the nine meters tested, five of them were found to give readings higher than the power actually consumed. In one case it was 582 percent higher, though in two others, the meters recorded 30 percent less power usage than actually took place.

Although the largest discrepancies seem likely to be due to problems with the meters themselves, many of them struggled with specific appliances used in peoples’ homes. Energy saving lightbulbs, LED bulbs, and dimmer switches all seemed to cause the most variation when it came to the meters outputs.
- Digital Trends

The inaccurate readings are attributed to the energy meters design, together with the increasing use of modern (often energy-efficient) switching devices. Here, the electricity being consumed no longer has a perfect waveform, instead it acquires an erratic pattern. The designers of modern energy meters have not made sufficient allowance for switching devices of this kind.
- Electronic Energy Meters’ False Readings

The “smart” meter internal program and calibration settings can be changed from remote at any time and in milliseconds. No one would ever know… This is not fair commerce for either party. The power company could easily raise the calibration settings and no one would ever know since they are the only ones who can come and check the meter. Any inspection of the internal program would only be done by them too.

The incentive to do that is millions of dollars per month more for a very small change in the calibration settings of millions of meters.

Also, a” hacker” could easily change the calibration settings to make the meter read less kilowatt hours. The loss to the power company would be offset by other customers through rate increases since power generation needs would not go down.
- Stop Smart Meters, Billing Issues FAQ

About a year ago DUKE ENERGY exchanged the electric meter on my house to an ITRON OPENWAY SMART METER.

My average kwh/day usage syrocketed about 20% to near 100kwh/day on the bill right after, and every bill since.

I filed complaints at the state’s Attorney General and Public Services Commision. Neither contacted me directly, but both forwarded the complaint to Duke.

The folks at Duke were dismissive of any issues with their smart meters when I talked about my usage numbers and FEAR OF EM RADIATION.

A Duke employee tested the new meter with a contraption that did a high load test, and a low load test. The guy said both readings were “a little over” (meaning I’m getting “a little” overcharged), but are within legal limits, and suggested I get my AC checked, which I did the following week for $75 to find out it’s working fine.

A call from a lady at Duke’s executive office after that told me it’s my problem, and if I want the meter tested again - I’ll get billed $100 dollars. 

I begged the lady put the old meter back in.

She refused.

I increased the AC thermostat four degrees hoping to lower my electric bill that’s well over $400/month.

The kwh numbers don’t seem to be budging much.

What else can a consumer do? I feel trapped.

The government brushed me off better than Duke did. They just closed the case taking Duke’s word.

Now what?


Smart meters might not be so smart
Research from the Netherlands has found meters that overestimate energy usage by 582 times.

By Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
March 6, 2017

A STUDY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE and Amsterdam’s University of Applied Sciences believes that smart meters need extra schooling. Researchers have published a report claiming that the meters are greatly exaggerating the amount of energy that’s being used. That’s a problem, since 750,000 homes have recently installed them, and the Netherlands government wants one in every property by 2020.

Professor Frank Leferink began investigating the issue after hearing rumors that the devices were wildly overestimating power use. The grumblings seem to have merit, since some of the meters that were tested claimed that energy use was 582 times higher than the reality. It’s bad hardware, rather than fraud, that’s the cause of the issue—since the meters don’t understand how modern, energy-efficient devices like LED bulbs work.

As UT NEWS EXPLAINS, Netherlanders who want to resolve this issue don’t have much hope, at least not right now. You can only ask your energy company to check a meter if it’s not functioning properly, not object to its results. Since the hardware functions, you’ll be slapped with a bill for the inspection cost, even though the underlying principles are faulty. Which is nice.


Posted by Elvis on 04/02/21 •
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