Customer in power struggle with NES over smart meter
NES over smart meter
by Erika Kurre
The NES is trying to change the family’s meter to an updated digital smart meter, along with hundreds of thousands of others across the mid state.
NES Customer Jeff Jacobson’s family often spends the weekdays at home without him except for one February day, when Nashville Electric Service paid a visit.
“Luckily I was home,” Jacobson said. “It was during the weekday in the middle of the day, and I asked him what he was doing. He says ‘I’m installing a new meter.'”
Jacobson’s home is among more than 380,000 NES customers slated for the change. NES has already installed about 220,000 AMI smart meters.
Low radio frequency radiation repeatedly comes to and from these devices, making it possible for data collection without a visit from a meter reader. That’s among the benefits that NES explained to Fox 17 in a written statement.
Jacobson had no warning or chance to refuse this type of meter prior to this visit.
“I said no, I’m not gonna have that on the house,” Jacobson said. “I don’t consent to that. He went as far as to tell me that he was going to call the sheriff’s department and have them help NES force it onto my home.”
He’s since built a barricade around it. NES has cut his power, citing the meter as a safety issue.
“The power was disconnected at Jacobson’s home because he tampered with the meter, which included caging it, to prevent NES access to their equipment” said NES Spokesperson Holden Sheriff in an e-mail to Fox 17. “This poses a safety concern to the customer and NES.”
The situation is not ideal, but Jacobson said it’s worth it citing past cases of fires.
At least a dozen states in the US have banned or have been in legal fights against these meters for years. Many across the country have claimed government overreach, or blamed illnesses and diseases like cancer on the devices.
At this point, there is no conclusive evidence that there is or is not a connection between these issues and smart meters.
Jacobson and his family are happy being off the grid, if it sheds light on this to others.
NES has given Jacobson a deferral option. He could pay a fee plus additional monthly costs to continue using his current meter, but NES could still change his meter at a later date without notice.
“Customers who defer are charged a monthly fee on $32, which covers the cost to send a meter to the residence to read the usage data,” a spokesperson for NES said.
NES said only 23 customers have decided to defer so far.
Jacobson wants anyone else who is passionate about this issue to call him at 615-715-8934.