Friday, January 28, 2011

Monterey to consider Smart Meter ban

I thought my readers might like to know that the Monterey City Council will consider a ban on PG&E's so-called "Smart Meters" at the February 1 city council meeting. I hope other local jurisdictions will do the same.

Click HERE to see a copy of the city staff report and proposed ordinances.

My concerns about smart meters are as follows:
  1. They record data about your personal habits by recording when you use electricity and gas minute by minute. As I understand it, there are at present no safeguards on how that data may be used.
  2. PG&E is likely to use the information to charge you more for gas and electricity during certain hours of the day.
  3. The data is transmitted wirelessly from your meter to PG&E and can be intercepted by hackers who could use the data to determine when you are home or away. 
  4. The data will also be available on PG&E's website, supposedly only to the customer who resides at a given residence. However, this data could also be hacked. 
  5. Wireless data can also be corrupted by radio interference from other sources, such as cell phones and other wireless devices, possibly resulting in erroneous billing.
  6. Some people have expressed concern about the health effects of adding tens of thousands of wireless devices to every city in the state. Some say RF (radio frequency) radiation can cause anxiety, sleeping problems, and other disorders in sensitive persons. Even if only one person out of a thousand is affected, that would still harm well over 100 Monterey Peninsula residents who would be unable to escape their effects. 
According to the latest information on PG&E's website, Smart Meters are scheduled to be installed on the Peninsula beginning in April. This is two months earlier than reported by PG&E last month. However, local news reports and the Monterey city staff report indicates that installation may begin as early as February. It's all very unclear.

I used to think PG&E was a reputable company, but events over the past year (gas explosion, reports of poor record keeping, diverted safety funds, the self-serving Proposition 16 PG&E had on last June's ballot, and forced introduction of smart meters) have destroyed my trust in the company. Personally, I plan to lock my garden gate, and not allow PG&E access to install a smart meter.


realitybytes said...

JFlee said...

Here are 5 smart meter myths:

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