Contact Us

Are “Smart” Electricity Meters Really Smart?

A good many people don’t think the new high tech “smart” electricity meters are as smart as their electric utility company says they are.  Some people want nothing to do with them, and are fighting efforts to replace the old meters with the new ones.

 

via flickr/cote

The new meters provide real-time power-use information to electricity distributors and customers. Industry officials say the information lets customers monitor their electric use more effectively, helps distribution companies respond more quickly to outages and allows electric retail providers to tailor rate plans to customers’ usage habits.

The meters also can be read remotely from a central location, which means the utilities won’t need “meter readers” anymore.  (That’s one more job lost to new technology.)

Some homeowners say the new meters know so much about their electricity usage it’s an invasion of privacy, and they may even create health risks.  Worst of all, many people say, they don’t have a choice in the matter. In response to these complaints, the Texas Public Utility Commission is considering a proposal to give customers a choice, and let them opt out of the devices.

A PUC spokesman says the agency has seen no credible evidence of health or safety issues, but decided to explore opt-outs after learning how concerned many people are about the privacy of the data the meters collect, and other matters.

The spokesman says other states, cities and companies are also  considering opt-out plans, often charging a stiff fee to customers who decline smart meters.  The fees cover extra costs such as in-person meter reading that smart meters don’t require.

via Skeptics say new meters not so smart – Houston Chronicle.

This resistance to the new meters is leading to some frightening confrontations between homeowners and meter installers.  A Houston area homeowner pulled a gun after she and a Centerpoint meter installer got into a heated argument over her refusal to let him switch out her old meter.  The installer packed up and left — in a hurry.

People who want to keep their old low tech meters may get their wish, but they should know that the utility company won’t send a meter reader to their house to check it every month.  Those customers would have to take the monthly reading themselves, and they should know the company has ways of knowing if people aren’t reporting “truthful” readings.

More From Newstalk 860

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ksfa860.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!