The wall-mounted digital devices that measure electric power consumption are back in the news.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which started installing SmartMeters to replace analog meters last year, told the that installation is 79 percent complete in Marin County and that only a few thousand people have opted out thus far despite a concern about radio waves emitted by the meters that could pose health risks. Check out the IJ's story here.
Also, a complaint about SmartMeters filed by a Novato company was heard by the state regulatory board but shelved until May 24, according to a story by . David L. Wilner, owner , said the public is not protected enough from SmartMeter radiation and vowed to pursue the issue all the way to the Supreme Court if the state PUC turns him down.
The SmartMeters have generated currents of controversy ever since PG&E began installing them without notifying residents. Homeowners have raised issues of not only of potential radiation danger but of privacy.
According to information on PG&E's website, May 1 was the company's deadline to opt out and go back to an analog meter. A ruling by the state PUC allows PG&E to charge you $75 for the change back to antiquated technology and charge you an additional $10 per month on top of your normal energy charges. PG&E considers the devices to be an essential upgrade to their customer service, making their distribution system more reliable and record-keeping more accurate. Once an account is set up on the PG&E website, a customer can get close to a real-time estimate of energy being used at home.
Do you still have concerns about SmartMeters? Are you satisfied that they won't cause health problems? Are you convinced they do?