Advocates, residents continue to protest against smart meters

Advocates, residents continue to protest against smart meters

by Jennevieve FongSaturday, September 1st

From Yreka to Grants Pass, advocates for joined together to continue their protest against Pacific Power’s smart meters.

The protesters said their goal is to bring more awareness to the consequences of smart meters, including radiation, privacy invasion, and excessive fees.

The crowds chanted, “No smart meters! No smart meters! No smart meters!” while standing in front of the company’s Medford location.

Randal Barrett, an advocate for, said most of the protesters are local residents who are unhappy with the company’s actions. Some have even created their own anti-smart meter organizations in their cities.

“They’re very upset these things have been forced on them with extortion tactics and they want them taken off,” Barrett said. “They want their analog meters back.”

Barrett said there are serious health issues involved as “people are getting sick from these” and also an issue of “invasiveness into your home.”

For those who don’t want smart meters in their homes, the company provides an option of opting-out for $36 a month.

“There’s a lot of people that can’t afford that,” Jackson county resident Eli Dumitru said. “It’s so important that I’m paying that fee, but there’s a lot of people that would like to opt-out that just can’t afford that.”

Barrett said residents who are interested in opting-out should do so before the company switches their analog meter to a smart meter.

He said he would like to see more public support against smart meters to help make a bigger difference.

Pacific Power is hosting two workshops for Rogue Valley residents to share more information and answer their questions directly. Residents can attend the workshops on Sept. 8 in Jackson County and Sept. 22 in Josephine County.