Alert! Anti-smart grid documentary debuts September 5 (and USA Today is promoting it)


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Here's a disturbing and one-sided column from USA Today that highlights a soon-to-be-released documentary that makes serious allegations against the electric power industry.


It's not disturbing that anti-smart grid zealots are exercising their free speech. What is of concern is that neither the filmmaker nor the columnist could find people from our industry to give the other side of the story.


Utilities are gun-shy about publicity for understandable reasons. Even so, if you are not willing to stand up and be counted, you cannot expect to be understood. I may disagree with the fringe groups about smart grid dangers. But at least they have the courage of their convictions. I wish more of our industry executives and associations were willing to speak the truth as they see it. Use the Comment form below to tell me how you see it. - By Jesse Berst


USA Today's Byron Acohido used his August 12 Cybertruth column to publicize a feature-length documentary called Take Back Your Power. In Acohido's words, the film discloses "questionable industry practices in support of implementing networked control systems for power plants." The film links smart grids to billing mistakes, invasive monitoring, and even human illnesses.


Filmmaker Josh del Sol told USA Today that access to industry sources was tough. "We had a difficult time getting anyone in the industry to talk to us on camera once they found out that we were wanting to get to the bottom of some of these concerns," he said.


The documentary was financed via a crowd-sourcing scheme that offers to pay people if they agree to stream the film on their site or sell DVD copies. You can read more about the financing mechanism at the Take Back Your Power site by clicking on the Become an Affiliate button.


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.

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