Letter: Let’s reject ComEd’s ‘ill-conceived’ smart meter plan


Letter: Let’s reject ComEd’s ‘ill-conceived’ smart meter plan

smart meter plan

It was reported in the Lake County News-Sun, on Dec. 28, 2015, that Highland Park electricity customers will be switched from analog meters to digital meters in the first three months of 2016.

Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents are not far behind from this mandatory, no-opt possibility of having a smart meter installed when ComEd comes knocking at their doors.

A senior research fellow at the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy Report called smart meters “a canard — a story or hoax based on specious claims about energy benefits.”

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General, wrote in a Chicago Tribune editorial on June 21, 2011: “Utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters. The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven technology, yet all the risk will lie with consumers. The pitch is that smart meters will allow consumers to monitor their electrical usage, helping them to reduce consumption and save money. Consumers do not need to be forced to pay billions for smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know how to turn down the heat and shut off the lights.”

The following are just two of many reasons why smart meters are an ill-conceived policy being foisted upon the public:

1. In May of 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency emissions from smart meters as possibly carcinogenic.

2. Privacy is a great concern. Household activities and behavior within closed doors can now be monitored through the collection of detailed discrete data. Personal habits, work schedules and family activities are being recorded.

Smart meters can well be considered an ill-conceived policy. It is unjust and not the American way to force these meters on every home without warning residents of the potential risks and offering them a choice.

ComEd customers who want to ensure their family’s privacy and safety should have the option of an opt-out for their own peace of mind.

Nancy J. Thorner

Lake Bluff


Memphis City Council seeks compromise on smart meter program

Memphis City Council seeks compromise on smart meter program

Jan 6, 2016, 11:56am CST

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The Memphis City Council wants Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW) to make it easier for customers to opt out of new smart meters.

The Memphis City Council introduced a resolution during its MLGW committee on Tuesday, Jan. 5, that asks the MLGW Board of Commissioners to adopt several policy changes prior to beginning smart meter installation, including streamlining the opt-out process and creating an awareness campaign about the program.

Council member Janis Fullilove said constituents have told her they have gone to MLGW and been told they cannot opt out of a smart meter. Fullilove said residents have also been told they cannot opt out over the phone because they must show proof of residency.

The current process notifies customers 30 days before MLGW installs a new smart meter at their home, during which time they can opt out, if they so chose.

“If [customers] are trying to opt out years in advance, we keep those letters on record, but they don’t have anything to opt out of yet, because we are not at their neighborhood,” said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilman Berlin Boyd, Edmund Ford Jr. and Fullilove, asks MLGW to allow customers to opt out any time via phone, the internet, in-person or by mail. The resolution also suggests notifying customers of the wireless two-way communication between the device and MLGW.

Ford called the resolution’s suggestions a compromise between the council, MLGW and local opposition to smart meters, coming from both the MLGW Union and a group called Get Smart Memphis. The opposition group says the devices have negative health affects and can allow third parties access to consumer information.

“I do believe in choice,” Ford said. “Don’t take my choice away. We’re not going to agree 100 percent, but I think this is the best compromise we have in place.”

The resolution also suggests the opt-out process should come at no cost to the consumer, and customers who have already installed a smart meter should have the option of removing it at no cost.


PA-Electric Bill Spikes Blamed On Smart Meters

Electric Bill Spikes Blamed On Smart Meters

It’s a slow roll-out, but over 160,000 so-called smart meters have been installed by Duquesne Light, including one at Karen Mihalic’s home in Brighton.

“It was installed this summer in July while we were away,” Mihalic told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.

And then a bill arrived.

“That’s when I had my shock.”

The first month after Duquesne Light installed this smart meter, the Mihalics’ electric bill skyrocketed from $42 a month to over $2,500.

That’s right. The bill was — well, to be precise”, says Mihalic, “$2,545.13.”

Mihalic called Duquesne Light immediately and ultimately got most, but not all, of that charge rescinded.

“I made numerous phone calls. I logged probably close to 20 hours on the telephone, trying to get some satisfaction.”

So is something wrong with these smart meters?

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Mihalic says the inspector the company sent to her property admitted as much.

“He said they’re having problems with smart meters. He said this is not a-typical. This is something that’s occurring.”

It apparently happened to Cindy Landman of Beaver Falls whose bill jumped to $916 after her new meter was installed.

“It was supposed to be a smart meter, but apparently it’s a dumb meter from Duquesne Light,” says Landman.

Christine Fox in Ambridge says her budget plan bill took a dramatic climb with her smart meter — from $97 a month to $243 a month.

“I think there are many people out there that are having problems with it,” adds Fox.

Duquesne Light would not provide anyone on camera but insists the smart meters are ‘not’ the problem.

Blaming what they call human error, the company says it’s working to correct billing problems.

Customers are not so sure.

“I think the problem occurred between the installation of the old and the new,” suggests Mihalic.

See Video at:  http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2016/01/05/electric-bill-spikes-blamed-on-smart-meters/