Energy independence (not) & Smart meters

Being pondering this, especially in the climate of state control of everything. What is energy independence and how do we achieve that? That is seen in the broader scope of energy and consumption. Electrical is but a part of that.

The point being, with a smart meter installed, you can be disconnected for whatever reason. Take the LoadLimiting scheme in Johannesburg testing. It was deemed a success. Even tho lots of people complained they got load limited even tho there were no LS for them at the time.

Imagine the on a per household, SARS instructs Scam to limit your supply until such time as your return is submitted, or payed up? What if the Council limits your supply due to a dispute over rates? Or any other reason they deem fit?


Well, my first question would be: Does this give them any power they don’t already have? To which I suspect the answer is no.

Cape Town already takes municipal taxes that are overdue by more than 3 years from electricity sales. That is already a kind of hitting you in the meter for moneys owed elsewhere.

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smart meter is irrelevant to the disconnection outcome? - it just cuts down on legwork (no trip required by a sparky/tech to manually disconnect you). It possibly leaves more room for accidental/tech/human error based disconnection - which some people will be inclined to interpret as targeted at them specifically for any of multiple nefarious - whether true or not - reasons.

Many dystopian scenarios can be imagined coupled to state control and technology. I think there are easier ways for big brother to get at you though than holding your meter hostage.

If SARS really wants you to cough up I reckon they will get it directly from your bank account (assuming you have one) or salary (i.e. garnishee order). Maybe crypto will be your fallback here (piles of cash/gold/diamonds buried in the garden seem very risky).

Even with dumb prepaid meters municipalities already have the means to deduct arrears amounts from electricity purchases, so smart meters are unlikely to make much difference here.

What it is seems fairly straightforward. Electricity as example means don’t connect to any external supplier - and if you do be prepared to play by their rules. Even if your neighbour starts wheeling under the table to the neighbourhood he/she will likely have rules (keep your load to X, give me Y, don’t tell Z, etc.) and consequences.

If not wanting to connect to an external supplier then supply your own.

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The other side of this coin.
How do you handle people en-mass who shrug off their payments/laws, people who give a big finger to whomever they need to pay/rules they need to follow?

Hit them where it is easy.

Like #DayZero, people who said “I have money, I will use water”. They got clapped.
Like Taxis and impounding when certain laws are blatantly ignored, the same applies to the rest of us now.

We want fairness, (almal oor die selle kam geskeer) everyone over the same brush (?), we are going to have “collateral damage”.

Ps. SARS can get to your bank account/salary anytime they deem fit. Been there for years now. Now you see it, now you don’t. (the funds you thought you had) But you have to be seriously stupid about ignoring them continuously. Banks can freeze your money … ask the Guptas.

Just stay under the radar. Don’t get noticed. Don’t pick a fight. Keep a low profile. And always pay your dues … till you can “break away”.

For Load Reduction to really work, need new meters.

Eskom sends out a signal, and the meter trips if you exceed 10a. Finish en klaar.

This thing of people having to police themselves, nee. A % will be super aware, the rest simply don’t give a shiite.

The more rights the individual has, the fewer rights the majority has.

Mankind benefits from being in a society where individuals work together to maximise efficiency of services etc. This is what has made our species so successful.
For this to work we need representative government which allows the society to manage this.
So it’s much better to be part of a successful society than to try and go it alone.
PS: The Soviet system that controlled eastern Europe after WW2 was not representative and thus was ultimately doomed to fail but was dangerous due to unpredictability of its leaders.

All working together yes! That was just a few scenarios, there are others more nefarious I am sure :wink: But for the exception of not all working together here, all them illegal connections, Escam not keeping things working and spending (stealing) your/our money…


Point taken. I have read that economists prefer a more equal society for better prosperity to flourish. That’s all fine and dandy but unless those fortunate countries have a sea or high fences to prevent migrants getting in then that equal society won’t remain equal.
So the challenge is how is it possible to allow an unequal society to prosper?

City Power in Jhb have announced a meter upgrading program, with the aim being to be able to implement load limiting.

There are two problems I see

  1. The City may not be able to afford this. The coffers are reportedly pretty empty, there is a massive non-payment problem, and those meters are going to have to be paid for.
  2. Will the cell networks be able to provide the necessary communications? Some years ago the City trialled a smart meter which would give them readings automagically rather than having to send people out who would then get bitten by dogs, refused entrance etc. Where I live was one of the pilot areas. Problem was that cell masts (these were 3G days) were not capable of moving all the data reliably. Eventually the company that had supplied the meters had to have people driving around in cars with a bunny ears dangling out of the window. They had to drive around real slow so that whatever device they had in the car could poll each meter and get a reading.

I agree with the general idea, but whether or not it can be properly implemented remains to be seen. Also whoever moves that data around is going to want paying, so see my earlier comments about cash flow.

I never thought of it this way. Thanks. It’s a good way of expressing the tension between individual rights and the collective good.

Another way of putting it … The tail wagging the dog.