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Smart Meters or are they Smart Meters, you can get the facts here.
Utility change but is it really Smart?
Implementing and managing smart metering services is a costly and challenging operation but when done properly. The ‘key’ part of this process is “when done properly”, as a law-abiding citizen/homeowner , this is all I ask. A resident here at my last Annual Board Meeting mentioned to me to check my utility bill for we are being charged $1.11 for a ‘Smart Meter” that at present some of us don’t even have. Met Ed has pass their expense of their new technology on to their customers who mind you, keep them in business to begin with. ... Thank You Met Ed! As a concern homeowner/consumer here in one of many Communities of the Milford area, I share with you what I have come to learn as the ‘Smart Meters’ get installed here on our homes. Please note, all of my informed knowledge of ‘Smart Meters’ has been gathered from research on the internet. ... website links are provided for further information.
A Little History
October 10, 2008, The Pennsylvania government approved an energy efficiency and conservation bill, including provisions for smart metering.
In terms of this bill, which goes to state governor Edward G. Rendell for signature, electric distributors are required, within nine months from the date of enactment, to file with the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) their smart meter technology procurement and installation plan. Smart metering must be provided to any customers that request it and in new building construction, and as replacement for all meters older than 15 years. Note in bold that this is to be a bill that is provided to customers (that means you and I) who ask/approved of this new installation. Somewhere in the process, someone eliminated this option to the consumer, wonder why! I researched and called the Public Utility Commission of Pike County, they who are established to provide a balance of needs for consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest and educate consumers - still to this day there is nothing on their website about ‘Smart Meters’.
The bill further states that the utility distributors also will be required, with the consent of the customer, to make available direct meter access and electronic access to customer meter data to third parties, including electric generation suppliers and providers of conservation and load management services. Here again, what happen to ‘the customers’ consent to say ‘yes or no’ to the installation of these ‘Smart Meters’?
The bill directs the PUC to put in place an energy efficiency and conservation program by January 15, 2009, requiring the electric distributors to adopt and implement cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation plans. In turn the distributors must then develop and file their plans by July 1 of 2009, with targets of a minimum reduction in consumption of 1 percent by May 31, 2011 and of 3 percent by May 31, 2013.
The General Concern is ...
These meters were never tested—for either safety or performance—instead they went straight out for installation. I as well as other Community residents have called and questioned Met-Ed on ‘Smart Meter’ installation. At first, the response was , there is no such thing, though we are paiding $1.11 on our bill for such. Met Ed customer service comments went from there is no such thing to its a ‘digital meter’ not a ‘Smart Meter’. ... and as the saying goes, if it walks and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck! In Short here, Met-Ed too is learning and hearing the responses from existing Utilities/Customers nationwide and are positioning their actions accordingly.
Are Smart Meters Safe?
In general, I believe I can say we are all for energy efficient methods for today's technology but not at the expense and safety of our lives/family and homes. Fact is when bad situations arise, Met Ed will not be there to pick up the bill.
Here is my short list of the Safety issues in question:
1) The Smart Meters installed in the USA and most countries are wireless and emit (non-ionizing) RF radiation which has been increasingly of concern, linked to biological effects in living beings (2), including humans, animals, and plant life.
2) Fires have been reported after ‘Smart Meter’ installations, along with burnout of appliances of all types.
Please note: Our Homeowners insurance does not cover utility meters so if your home is catches on fire due to the non-compliance of this ‘Smart Meter’ which cause the fire. It is digital and not a wired component - this will be an ‘out of pocket expense’ to you the homeowner to repair your home. Met-Ed got wise to the reported fire situations and mailed out an insurance/repair policy recently for you to subscribe to as a way of fixing this problem. On the back of this mailer, it did give you the option as to do or not. Keep it mind, if you opt too, you are taking out insurance on a product you don’t own! Also being that this is a digital product and the average home is wired to receive electricity, you will eventually be told to upgrade all of your appliances for they are not compliant to receive digital signals. Translation - you will have to get rid of your stove, refrigerator, electrical fireplace, etc.
3) Invasion of Privacy - as with any digital platform unless you use a security protection software, all information made available to Met-Ed when you decided to go with them as your electricity carrier will be made public - so identity theft will become an increasing problem.
The above is just a sampling of what we are up against - for additional information, go to these links: ( Feel free to google “Smart Meters” and see what you find.)
What Can You Do
If your home is lucky to not have the Smart Meter installed yet, you can do what I have done. On my meter - I have attached the OPT-OUT flyer on my meter - place in a weatherproof plastic and seal. It is placed right below the meter dials so if there is a reading of your meter, they can't say you blocked them from reading your meter. Tape with weather repellent tape (industrial) and just check on it from time to time. So far, my meter has not been tampered with.
In response of mounting public pressure from residents in areas of California, Pacific Gas & Electric, (PG&E) are to make analog meters the sole opt-out option, rather than electronic (rf-emitting) meters. The proposed cost of this option was lowered between $5 (for low income customers) and $10 a month, but is still problematic, as many members of the public feel smart meter opt-outs should be offered at no cost.
For additional information, go to these links: ( Feel free to google “Smart Meters” and see what you find.)