Letter: Suspect smart meters
Martin H. Aussenberg
Your Dec. 3 editorial endorsement of “smart” meters, with no effort to critically examine MLGW’s justification for this exorbitant expenditure, is an abrogation of your responsibility.
While the “we cannot be afraid of the tomorrow” quote from a councilman is catchy, it avoids the reality that “tomorrow” (i.e., progress) is frequently not what it’s cracked up to be. Ask the millions who have suffered the consequences of dangerous “tomorrow” drugs, or the victims of “tomorrow” technology in Chernobyl or Fukushima about that. Many experts in positions to know have warned against deployment of this technology because, among other reasons, of its vulnerability — safeguards notwithstanding — to malicious (i.e., terrorist) attack.
MLGW claims these meters will benefit customers, but what would truly benefit customers would be modernization of its aging infrastructure. If MLGW spent nearly as much upgrading its equipment as it will on these meters, we might not suffer the power outages that have become more common lately. Modernizing the last link in power delivery when the rest of the chain is antiquated is like buying new upholstery for a rusted-out jalopy.
While MLGW touts the cost benefit of these meters to customers, just the opposite is likely. Once it can monitor customers’ usage and implement “time-of-day” rates, customers will be in for a rude awakening in their bills, as smart meter end-users elsewhere have discovered.
The utility will recoup the expense of its costliest outlay ever on its customers’ backs, an inevitability this newspaper’s deferential endorsement will only serve to facilitate.