Smart Meters - What you should know

Smart Meters - What you should know

Posted in the Mission Viejo Forum

Concerned Homeowner

Newport Beach, CA

#1 Oct 7, 2011
Hi Everyone -
The other day I received a letter from SoCal Edison regarding their plans to replace my analog meter with a new Smart Meter. They explained all the benefits and why generally this was a good thing. I was a bit skeptical, so I did some research. The reality is that there are a lot of concerns about these things, ranging from health and safety, privacy and overcharging customers due to their new variable rate (i.e. your rate during a hot summer day could be double what it currently is when you want to run your AC). I called them up and got placed on the Opt Out list.

Below is a letter I have been distributing within my neighborhood to get the word out and let everyone make an informed decision. I suggest you do your homework as well and spread the word to avoid another "Bakersfield Problem" (google it).


Hello Neighbor –
I live just down the street from you. Recently, I received a letter in the mail from SoCal Edison stating that they would be replacing my existing analog meter with their new SmartMeter. They touted all of the benefits that it provides (checking your current usage online and getting tips on how to lower your costs and all that), but what they failed to mention is that there is a very open debate about the safety of these things. Instead, they are just telling you they are doing this unless you explicitly tell them, no I don’t want it.

They are basically sending radioactive waves every 15 minutes to their local office. There have been reports of people getting sick from these waves and it is still too new to determine the long-term impact to the health of people, animals and plantlife. For my family, I am saying thanks, but no thanks. I’m perfectly fine with the way the system works right now. If there is even a small risk to the health of me or my family, it doesn’t matter what benefits they try to sell me on.

I encourage you to educate yourself on the risks of these SmartMeters and determine for yourself if it is right for you. I have provided a community alert from Santa Cruz county and a sign you can post near your meter saying you don’t want the SmartMeter, if that is your choice. If you do want to opt out, you should also contact SoCal Edison to get on their list; otherwise, one of the independent contractors hired by SCE may just install it anyways when your address comes up on their list. I have heard that it is very difficult to get the old analog meter put back after it has been upgraded to the SmartMeter.

You can learn more about this by going to the following websites…
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Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. My only hope is that you can now make an informed decision. SoCal Edison is not providing you this courtesy, but somebody should.

Thank you and be well.
Concerned Consumer

Mission Viejo, CA

#2 Oct 7, 2011
I was just heckled about this on another blog; just wanted to add that the entire point of this post was to educate people on an alternative viewpoint that exists about these Smart Meters and encourage them to do their homework. Perhaps there is nothing to worry about, but this is after all a new technology that hasn't been fully tested, at least to the point where long term health impacts can be certain.

I have small children, and my personal choice for my family is that I don't want to take the chance, even if there is the tiniest possibility any of the fears are warranted. Some of those reading this may make the same choice for themselves and their family while others may write this off as a bunch of people wearing tin-foil hats worrying about everything. To each his/her own.

Health concerns aside, I have not heard any consumer benefits to having this at all. Sure it may save SCE some money having the meter readers collect readings, but are they going to pass those savings onto me? Not likely. To the contrary, I've read that our bills will go up thanks to variable pricing, where the rates could double or triple during a hot summer day when I have the audacity to run my air conditioner.

A few more links:
- Great video explaining the technology and the risks:

- Article about variable rates:
- Video of someone who saw his bill double afterwards:

Anyways, thanks for reading the post. Do with this information what you will.
Liberty Legal Docs

Lake Forest, CA

#3 Nov 27, 2012
Please attend SAN CLEMENTE December 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. San Clemente Community Center –– Ole Hanson Fireside Room 100 N. Calle Seville San Clemente, CA 92672
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a series of five “public participation hearings” from Dec 13-20, 2012 to gather public input on the Smart Meter opt out program. Currently customers who want to retain or restore the analog meters are charged “interim fees” to not have Smart Meters.
The CPUC judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa will preside over the hearings. This is an opportunity for customers to comment on cost and cost allocation issues: costs include customer impact; fees; billing overcharges; health costs; environmental costs; interference; fires or burnt out appliances following installation; banks of Smart Meters; and the need for community Smart Meter free zones, etc.
In your comments be sure to address cost allocation: Do you think it’s unfair that individuals should have to pay to protect themselves from Smart Meter radiation? Should shareholders, everyone, or individuals pay?
• Hearings are free and open to the pubic.
• They are scheduled to be 2 hours long.
• Encourage politicians to attend. They will be allowed to speak first.
• The length of time to speak will depend on how many people show up: The more people, the less time, for example 1-2 minutes. If hundreds show up the ALJ may ask for one person to represent and speak on behalf of a group of customers…”I represent #’s of customers.”
• There will be a court reporter and the public comments will become a part of the record in the Smart Meter consolidated proceeding (A.11-03-014)
SAN CLEMENTE December 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. San Clemente Community Center –– Ole Hanson Fireside Room 100 N. Calle Seville San Clemente, CA 92672
Talking points for refusing Smart Meter fees:
• California Public Utilities Code: Section 328. The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) In order to ensure that all core customers of a gas corporation continue to receive SAFE basic gas service in a competitive market, each existing gas corporation should continue to
provide this essential service.
(b) No customer should have to pay separate fees for utilizing services that PROTECT public or customer SAFETY.
• The interim fees are unjust, arbitrary and unreasonable, which violates of Public utilities Code 451: "All charges demanded or received by any public utility, or by any two or more public utilities, for any product or commodity furnished or to be furnished or any service rendered or to be rendered shall be just and reasonable. Every unjust or unreasonable charge demanded or received for such product or commodity or service is unlawful."
• Smart Meters emit RF radiation, and if you avoid RF for medical reasons, to pay more for a different meter violates PUC code 453(b). "No public utility shall prejudice, disadvantage, or require different rates or deposit amounts from a person because of ancestry, medical condition, marital status or change in marital status, occupation, or any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 of the Government Code."
• You never opted in.
• The federal government never made Smart Meters mandatory: Energy Policy Act of 2005, Title Xll, Subtitle E, Section 1252,(a),(14),(C):"Each electric utility subject to subparagraph (A) shall provide each customer requesting a time-based rate with a time-based meter capable of enabling the utility and customer to offer and receive such rate, respectively."
• Time of use metering is not mandatory: CPUC Code Section 745 (d)(1):"Residential customers have the option to not receive service pursuant to time-variant pricing and incur no additional charges as a result of the exercise of that option. Prohibited charges include, but are not limited to, administrative fees for switching away from time-variant pricing,..."
Fed Up Consumer

Laguna Niguel, CA

#4 Dec 1, 2012
Thank you for the information. I too have issues with the way these smart meters are being forced on us. The consumer will pay an extra fee just to have the smart meter, and if the consumer opt out that will also have an extra fee.

Our rising cost for our utilities are far too high. Shareholders should not be involved with utilites since the consumer does not have a choice for the utilites.

The share holders recieved a bonus because we, the consumer kept our usage down, the utility companies also raise our rates for the literature they send out regarding saving energy. It's all in the inserts with our bills.

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