In Texas, the largest utility companies are known as “investor-owned”, meaning they are private companies. They are not subject to open record requests. But any utilities owned by municipalities (cities) ARE subject to open records laws.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, Georgetown, Texas (about 20 miles north of Austin) is planning on replacing all water and electric meters in the city with smart meters. People all over the country are reporting illness from just one meter, but Georgetown wants to install TWO meters per single-family house. ”Radiation tsunami” seems like an appropriate description.
Using the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code 552), some detailed documents have been obtained that reveal technical specifications of the meters, the software, and much more about the finances, installation, and operation of a smart grid system. The most helpful part is that the documents were not written for the public, so there is straightforward information with little to no marketing spin. Sorry, there are no schematics or block diagrams.
Smart meters and their software are all the same, no matter what state you are in. There are quite a few pages here, so it would be most useful if we comb through these documents as a community. There is so much, that it’s unlikely one person can come close to reading and studying it all.
Experts are especially needed–electricians, software experts, wireless experts, etc. If you find anything, even if you don’t know quite what it means, please either leave it in the comments or email us (see the top right section of this web page for email address).
Proposal submitted to City of Georgetown by Elster in hopes they would be awarded the contract to install the smart meters (they DID get the contract).
Elster Proposal–Section 1 (pdf / 7MB)
Elster Proposal–Sections 2-5 (pdf / 900KB)
Elster Proposal–Sections 6-9 (pdf / 4.5MB)
Elster Proposal–Section 11 (pdf / 178KB)
Metercat User Guide (it’s 624 pages, so the table of contents is extremely helpful)
Metercat as described in the manual: Metercat™, the meter configuration and analysis tool, is a user-friendly software application developed to program and read Elster’s A3 ALPHA® and A1800 ALPHA meters and to perform various tasks on the REX® and REX2 meters.
Metercat User Guide (pdf / 12MB)
Contract between Georgetown and Elster. Note “Exhibit B: Technical Specifications & Statement of Work” that begins on page 29.
Elster Contract–part 1 (pdf / 4.5MB)
Elster Contract–part 2 (pdf / 1.8MB)