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.”