Electric services across the state and country have transitioned to Advanced Meter Infrastructure, or Smart meters, and not all consumers have seen them as an improvement.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Electric services across the state and country have transitioned to Advanced Meter Infrastructure, or Smart meters, and not all consumers have seen them as an improvement.
Nan Gurley has lived in her Brentwood home for 30 years and over that time she and her family have made a conscious effort to conserve energy.
“I know how much energy I use, I work hard to conserve it,” said Gurley.
She even knew how much energy the water feature in her backyard uses. However, there was something on her back patio she said didn’t belong, a new, digital, Smart meter.
“We never got any notice from NES that this change over, from analog to digital, was going to take place,” Gurley explained.
Electric services across the state and country are transitioning to Advanced Meter Infrastructure, or Smart meters.
The new meters are read remotely, meaning no more home visits from electric employees. NES officials said the Smart meters track energy usage more precisely and allow consumers and electric companies to save energy. However, for residents like Gurley they’re cause for concern.
“You can tell when a homeowner is home or not by this monitoring. We don’t know if their system could be hacked,” she said.
There’s also the concern of radio frequency emissions, which some believe can cause health issues.
“We spend a lot of time on this patio, right underneath that meter and we don’t want one on our house,” Gurley said.
When the technician arrived this week to change Gurley’s meter she said no thanks and agreed to pay the additional monthly charge to keep the analog system.
“The very next day when I was not at home an NES technician came out and switched it out anyway,” said Gurley.
NES claims there was an issue with Gurley’s meter, one she said she never knew about. “It just feels like more government intervention in our lives where the private consumers’ wishes are not honored,” said Gurley.
NES said costumers can defer getting a Smart meter by contacting NES customer service at 615-736-6900 and requesting a deferral form. However, it is just a deferral. All analog meters will eventually be replaced by Smart meters.
NES said the new meters meet all F-C-C safety regulations and cannot record or monitor household activity, other than daily kilowatt hour usage. The radio frequencies emitted by the new meters are much lower than cell phones, cordless phones or baby monitors.