One of the more interesting facts I have discovered in the Smart Meter and Advanced Meter installation saga is where the money for these programs are coming from. In doing the research on this issue I discovered that in 2009, as a part of the Department of Energy’s Grant Stimulus Program, billions of dollars was set aside to aid in the manufacturing and installation of both the Electric Smart Meter, as well as the Gas Company’s Advanced Meter. This money was to be distributed to the Utility Companies across this country to complete the project.
The money for this project the Department of Energy obtained from the taxes collected from you and me. Now the various Utilities have stated that the cost for manufacturing and installation of these meters will be passed on to the consumer in the form of a monthly fee to be attached to your bill. The utility companies have stated the savings passed on to the consumer will more than make up for the fee. The point is, if we have paid for the meters once, why do we have to pay for them again when they are installed. How many billions do you need?
Concerning the savings the new meter technology offers I offer the following story taken from the Letters to the editor of the “Chico Enterprise-Record” of 03/06/2013: ‘PUC No help on high energy bills”.
“Want the California Public Utilities Commission to help resolve problems with Pacific Gas and Electric Co.? Forget it.
My January PG&E bill was $966.27, which was almost $600 more than my normal winter bills. After zillions of calls to PG&E and filing a complaint with the PUC, I was told that if PG&E says your Smart Meter is operating properly then the “customer” is responsible for the bill. And that’s it. Neither PG&E nor the PUC make any overt efforts to find out what is the problem causing the high energy bills.
I am a senior citizen whose life is substantially the same day in and day out. No wild parties, no pot garden — it’s pretty boring. Yet our taxes are going to a government agency that is doing nothing to ensure that we are not ripped off. Otherwise, shut down the PUC. As for my February bill, it is twice as high as the February 2012 bill. Will it ever end? I found some interesting info at a website called No Smart Meters. Check it out. — Barbara St. John, Oroville.”
The above example is just the tip of the iceberg concerning the problems that have surfaced due to the attempts to modernize the electrical grid and the gas meter reading system. One of the most troubling problems to me will be the elimination of a complete vocation of individuals who would circulate through your neighborhoods and read the electrical and gas meters for a living.
Let’s step back and re-evaluate the Smart Meter and Advanced Meter program.