Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Report: Smart Meters "Take Us Down Wrong Road - Away from Smart Grid"


Monday, December 10, 2012   

BOULDER, Colo. - Sixty percent of the energy in America is provided by investor-owned utilities that usually require powerful market forces to embrace change. Right now billions in stimulus money are driving a rapid and controversial buildout of so-called smart meters, which are supposed to reduce energy consumption by providing utilities detailed and time-sensitive data that ratepayers are eventually supposed to use to reduce their consumption.

The problem is, according to a Colorado engineer and policy consultant who's worked with the technology for decades, smart meters are not actually helping reduce energy use. In addition to raising health and privacy concerns, he says utilities are promoting the meters instead of prioritizing renewable energy. In a new report, Dr. Tim Schoechle examines what he says is our real priority: updating the nation's electrical grid. He calls the many billions spent on smart meters "a misappropriation of public resources."

"Well, I think that it's diverting resources and creating vulnerabilities. It diverts resources and technical development from the direction it should be going."

Schoechle, who is the author of "Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid," says a real "smart grid" would connect the utility with a neighborhood micro-grid that can balance energy production with usage locally.

Building a more intelligent grid is critical to balancing supply and demand using renewable energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, NREL, says it's feasible to get at least 80 percent of our energy from a mix of renewables - like solar, wind, geothermal or hydropower - by 2050. But it will take a more intelligent grid, says NREL engineer Maureen Hand.

"It's a matter of acknowledging the need to adjust our operation and planning practices in order to move in the direction of a much more flexible electric system."

Xcel Energy selected Boulder to become the world's first "fully integrated Smart Grid city" in 2007, and in March 2008 the City Council agreed to put aside research on forming a municipal utility to meet Boulder's greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. That ended in 2011 at the ballot box when Boulder voters decided Xcel Energy wasn’t moving to renewable sources quickly enough and authorized the city to study municipalization.

Engineer Schoechle says the goal is integrating renewable sources locally.

"They're just getting there. But there's a lot more needed, because to integrate those with the electric grid, you have to have a smart grid. A real smart grid."

While supporters say community-based power systems can more quickly and effectively adopt renewable energy sources, city leadership is clear that all options are still on the table.

Meanwhile, Boulder has 20,000 smart meters installed (as of May 2012).

Schoechle's report is at; NREL data are at; Boulder latest is at

get more stories like this via email

Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021