Smart Meters Part One – Are they a smart idea?

Smart Meters Part One – Are they a smart idea?

Posted 29 April 2012

As technology has permeated our lives and in many ways has enhanced our lives and made things much easier; we have also increasingly become dependant on technology. Computer system failures at banks and airport terminals have created chaos in our sophisticated world.

The discovery of computer worm virus ‘Stuxnet’, targeting Seimens industrial control systems is capable of spying and reprogramming industrial machinery. Such control systems are used in large-scale industrial systems used at manufacturing and chemical factories, military installations and power plants.

This is the first computer worm that actually can affect industrial machinery and disrupt operations at factories, military installations and power plants, with potentially catastrophic results. With 30,000 computers in industrial sites, including America, U.K., Korea and Iran – where nuclear power plant in Bushehr have been found to be infected.

Sometimes increased sophistication brings with it, increased risk. Gone are the days where you could repair your car by the side of the road, with a few tools. Older cars were built much simpler than they are today. (Though I am a fan of ABS and stability control as safety measures.) But try to wind up an electric car window after the battery has gone flat, or jump start a hybrid vehicle.

There can be a case that being too smart, may not really be all that beneficial sometimes. I am unconvinced about the benefits that smart meters actually provide customers.

These smart meters represent an electronic gateway that if it malfunctions, would inhibit electricity from reaching inside a home. It represents an increased layer of complexity and could be prone to malfunction. Due to the length of time it would take to replace offending units; a widespread breakdown of smart meters could have long-term and catastrophic results.