Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Who's afraid of the Smart Grid? Meeting set for Feb. 12 in Idaho Falls

Graphic illustration from www.switched.com
Idaho Falls Power, the Partnership for Science & Technology, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies and the Idaho National Laboratory will be hosting the third of four community meetings Feb. 12 to discuss various aspects of “Smart Grid” technology and what it might mean to eastern Idaho.

Scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies complex, 995 University Boulevard, the meeting is to cover the facts about “Smart Grids” and your health.

The technology, already used in much of the United States, is touted by proponents as the key to energy conservation, reliability and affordability. But if you're prone to suspicion, there are plenty of people on the air and on the Internet with their own ideas.

Was Smart Grid technology responsible for the power outage at the Super Bowl on Sunday? Or could Smart Grid technology have prevented it?

The groups pushing the Smart Grid have been aware of the backlash for some time. "The possible consequences of unfettered access to our personal data concerning energy usage, coupled with the connection of electrical devices to intelligent networks, are a frightening prospect. In short, the future capabilities of the Smart Grid are nothing less than the ability to control and access information from anything that plugs into the electrical grid," wrote Tim Kostyk of Arizona State University in a 2010 article titled, "Smart Meter Paranoia: Could a Simple Toggle Switch or Software Fix Solve It?"

And here's a link to a 2011 story on Switched.com: www.switched.com/2011/02/01/smart-meters-draw-misguided-opposition-from-left-and-right/

Idaho Falls Power has posted pages of information about the Smart Grid, including this section on health concerns: http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/city/city-departments/idaho-falls-power/smart-grid-main/smart-grid-health-concerns.html.