The debate concerning the current value of smart meter installation into homes and businesses rages on and on. The debate currently centers in Allen Park, Michigan where testimony is being heard concerning the problems and benefits of the meters.
If these words reach the members of the Allen Park community, I want you to know the following information. The first and biggest problem I believe that is presented by having the meter in your home, is safety. On July 9, 2010, one day after the installation of a smart meter in his home, Larry Nikkel’s home in Southern California burned and unfortunately, Mr. Nikkel lost his life in the fire. The meter was installed by Wellington Energy, who were contractors for Pacific Gas and Electric. A lawsuit was filed by Mr. Nikkel’s family against Pacific Gas and Electric, Wellington and the meter manufacturer which finally ended in a financial resolution in which the details of the agreement would not be discussed.
The second biggest problem regarding the smart meters concerns your privacy. The following quote is taken from the San Francisco Chronicle concerning the value of smart meters and the information they can furnish to potential sales of electrical appliances. Today the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed utilities are giving customers smart meter data to the government and third parties. Reporter David Baker writes, “Phone records and e-mail aren’t the only kinds of personal data that government agencies can collect on Americans. They can look at your home’s energy use, too. And that information can be revealing.”
The following information was furnished by The Northern California American Civil Liberties Union. “Transparency reports filed by the California utilities companies and obtained by the ACLU of California show that a significant amount of data about the energy use of Californians is also ending up in the hands of third parties. In 2012, a single California utility company, San Diego Gas & Electric, disclosed the smart meter energy records of over 4,000 of its customers.”
The “privacy” rules, adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) allows disclosure of smart meter data for legal purposes, or pursuant to situations of imminent threat to life or property. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) disclosed the records of 4,062 customers. PG&E disclosed 86 and SCE disclosed one.
The ACLU has indicated that a single request for information can result in the disclosure of the records of millions of utility customers.
I don’t know about you, but I will not permit the installation of a Smart Meter in my home and I suggest the citizens of Allen Park, Michigan do the same.