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RE: [RFI] ECM...etc.

To: "'Hare, Ed W1RFI'" <w1rfi@arrl.org>, <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [RFI] ECM...etc.
From: "Dave Bernstein" <dave.bernstein@comcast.net>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 16:06:47 -0400
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
None of the steps one takes to provision a home with high-speed internet
access via BPL provide as a "free side-effect" the ability to read the
home's electricity usage meter in real time. At minimum, the existing meter
must be replaced with unit that can occasionally communicate with a power
company billing application; in a BPL installation, that probably means via
HomePlug. A power company offering BPL could include the cost of this meter
upgrade in its "initial BPL connection fee", but this would make BPL less
competitive with alternatives like cable and DSL that don't bundle real-time
internet access with an electricity usage meter upgrade. 

If transformer bypasses or pole-mounted WiFi transceivers could somehow
double as electricity usage meters without increasing their cost, then
combining BPL and real-time meter reading would be financially advantageous;
since there is no such commonality, the combination yields no economic

In the scenario where messaging connectivity between the home and the power
company is provided by something other than BPL (e.g. cable, DSL,
telephone), the power company is not required to pay for 100% the equipment.
They need only offer the consumer an attractive deal, say "pay $200 up front
for a new meter, and lower your electricity bills by $100 per year". 

I've seen no description of how real-time utility control might work, and so
can't comment on that aspect.

I don't at all discount time-of-day meter meter reading; my previous message
described it as a "win-win" for everyone. Were power companies focused on
this, they could introduced it years ago using techniques like those
employed by pay-per-view suppliers. 


         Dave, AA6YQ

-----Original Message-----
From: rfi-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces@contesting.com] On
Behalf Of Hare, Ed W1RFI
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 3:25 PM
To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: RE: [RFI] ECM...etc.

All of the alternative ways you describe to accomplish remote meter reading
would require the power company to pay for 100% the equipment.  With BPL,
they expect that the BPL customers will fund the majority of the equipment
costs, with the utility use of BPL coming along for little or no money.  If
the power companies use it for utility control, they may also get away with
rolling some of the costs into their rate structure.  That is why they are
interested in BPL and not interested in paying for cable or DSL to
accomplish their control objectives.

Don't discount that time-of-day meter reading. If it is successful in
reducing peak loads, that alone could be worth a lot of money to the utility

Ed Hare, W1RFI

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfi-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces@contesting.com]On
> Behalf Of Dave Bernstein
> Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 6:53 PM
> To: jimjarvis@comcast.net; rfi@contesting.com
> Subject: RE: [RFI] ECM...etc.
> If BPL gets deployed, we'll need some ECM.
> Since BPL advocates occasionally cite energy management as a rationale 
> for deploying BPL, its a useful topic to understand. They don't push 
> very hard on this, and I've never found anything substantive behind 
> their references. I beginning to think its mostly smoke.
> Offering electricity users lower rates for off-peak usage would be a 
> win-win for everyone, and requires only that the house meter be 
> appropriately upgraded; being able to read this meter via the internet 
> would save some labor costs and provide more convenient real-time 
> readout to the consumer, but any network connection -- BPL, cable, or 
> DSL -- could provide this. Pay-per-view satellite receivers use 
> telephone lines to report usage information.
>       73,
>             Dave, AA6YQ
> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfi-bounces@contesting.com
> [mailto:rfi-bounces@contesting.com] On
> Behalf Of jimjarvis@comcast.net
> Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 18:24
> To: rfi@contesting.com
> Subject: [RFI] ECM...etc.
> Sorry.
> Jetlagged.  That was supposed to be EMC...as in electromagnetic 
> compatibility.  As opposed to ECM, which is electronic 
> countermeasures.
> You make a good point about retrofitting appliances.   I would suppose
> that being able to add wireless isolated metering/monitoring to the
> electric, gas, or water supply would be a pre-condition.   Control of
> heating system and lighting, either automatically or remotely
> could have
> value for some
> I can't imagine that having appliances interfaced would add 
> value to my
> life.   Coffee maker?  Frig?  Stove?   Interfaced pantry 
> reporting stock
> levels of items and generating a shopping list?   I don't think so.  
> This is a major digression in one sense...but may be important to
> understanding what's driving the power industry's investment vision.
> I haven't read enough yet to see what their magic motive is for BPL.  
> n2ea
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