Groups against “smart” meters rally near Capitol
Published 9:04 am, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
WOODSTOCK — Groups opposed to government mandates for the adoption of digital utility meters are holding a rally at West Capitol Park in downtown Albany Tuesday.
Two groups, Stop Smart Meters NY and Stop Smart Meters Woodstock NY argue that the digital meters — also known as smart meters — are health hazards and can be accessed remotely by computer hackers.
The group, which supports giving residents the ability to opt out of having the new devices installed by their utility, will be holding the rally from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park, which is bordered by Swan, State and Washington streets in Albany.
Smart meters are considered to be an essential next step in modernizing the electrical grid, allowing consumers to more closely monitor their energy usage and for utilities to be able to sell electricity at different prices during the day depending on overall demand, more closely mirroring the wholesale electrical markets, a move that some say would promote more energy efficiency and allow the wholesale markets to work more efficiently.
Those who oppose the smart meters want the ability to keep their current analog meters.
The groups have been effective in getting local governments to support opt out legislation.
In June of 2015 Stop Smart Meters Woodstock collected 1,000 signatures on a petition that was given the officials in the town of Woodstock, which passed a memorializing resolution against digital utility meters and in favor of electro-mechanical utility meters.
The groups claim that the new smart meters emit nonionizing radiation similar to what is used in cell phones and wireless routers. They also say the devices can catch on fire and explode.