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Power to the people: The power utility and its customers face off over smart meters

Reno News & Review | Ashley Hennefer | December 6, 2012

A bit about smart meter related fires, the usual utility responses, etc.  A comment we found especially interesting comes from former public utilities commissioner and consumer advocate Tim Hay and the inability for Nevada residents to have their smart meter replaced:

“Former public utilities commissioner and consumer advocate Tim Hay says that he had immediate concerns when the smart meter program was first announced, although he was not a commissioner at the time of the decisions. His primary concern was that the brand of meters, Sensus, was chosen without looking at other brands.

“I don’t think the PUC put a contract out for a competitive bid,” he says. “They were in a hurry to get the process done because of federal funding that would offset the costs, but other than that, it’s unclear what the process was of selecting the Sensus meters.”

After fires in California and Hawaii, the state PUCs replaced Sensus brand smart meters with Landys+Gyr brand meters, which Hay says have been more reliable, partly due to a glass cover, sturdier than the plastic cover used by Sensus.

“In general, I think the concept of smart meters is a good idea,” Hay says. “But the PUC needs to have a better system to determine if they’ve chosen one that is good for the consumer.”

Since the incident, West has been trying to get in touch with the right people to have her smart meter replaced with the standard analog meter. West was told her smart meter couldn’t be replaced until the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) confirmed an opt-out plan during a hearing on Nov. 27.”

5 Responses to Power to the people: The power utility and its customers face off over smart meters

  1. Esther April 5, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    This is a grotesque dismantling of our liberties- why is this issue barely known about? There needs to be a facebook page where ‘likes’ have to count as votes against such a dangerous power ploy. Please use social media to make people aware and to express our rights as people of this once great land.

  2. Jennifer Murphy March 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I just wanted to state that within a week of a smart meter being installed, without my approval, a fuse popped in my home and destroyed my cable box. This past weekend the same thing happened, only I lost my electricity for 3 days. When the electrician came wires were burned and said I was lucky my house did not catch on fire. The wires were not bad and the burn was caused by “something”. I have emailed bge to have them remove my smart meter so fingers crossed they will remove this dangerous meter before my life and the life of my son is put in jeopardy any more……

    • Robert Donnelly April 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Two notes: (1) Since they installed a smart meter, my electricty usage has DOUBLED

      2. BGE line outside house somewhere, shorted to TV cable, melted cable connector, and thanks to firefighters damage was limited to local spot. Also impacted cable box. Neighbor had ALL TVs connected to plugs blown out.

      3. Is there a Scam going on with respect to power usage vs analog systems?

  3. Ruth Shilkret January 11, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    To Whom It May Concern:
    My husband recently let the Smart Meter installer in to replace our meter. I never wanted it installed and would like to get it removed and replaced with the analog meter. I understand people have that option until the matter is settled. Can someone help me get my analog meter replaced? I wouldn’t have let the meter man in.
    Thanks,
    Ruth Shilkret

    • Jennifer Murphy March 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      you have to contact them in writing via email or mail – I just contacted my provided today (BGE) so I dont know how well it works. But in pursuant to order no. 84926 issued by the maryland public service commision on may 24, 2012 (reference this) you can opt out…..good luck – I’ll let you know if it works for me…..

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