PG&E installing SmartMeters across Ma...

PG&E installing SmartMeters across Marin; Fairfax balks

There are 61 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Jul 6, 2010, titled PG&E installing SmartMeters across Marin; Fairfax balks. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is beginning to install trademarked SmartMeters throughout Marin this month, but when the Fairfax Town Council meets this week it will consider a moratorium and other action to block installation of the devices there.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

Dont want the smartmeter

Novato, CA

#42 Jul 8, 2010
When I bought my home in Novato, I paid for the electricity meter that was installed! The meter on my house is my meter. It works great and I dont want the new meter. My current meter is on private property and I allow PGandE on my property to read the meter. They have no right to change my meter and I will not allow them to do so.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#43 Jul 8, 2010
Dont want the smartmeter wrote:
When I bought my home in Novato, I paid for the electricity meter that was installed! The meter on my house is my meter. It works great and I dont want the new meter. My current meter is on private property and I allow PGandE on my property to read the meter. They have no right to change my meter and I will not allow them to do so.
You may have paid PG&E to install the meter at your house, but it is not your property. PG&E owns the service wires, the meter all the way up to the point of demarcation. The meter socket and all load centers and wires after the meter are the customers responsibility to pay for and maintain, but not the meter.
I know because I am in the industry and have done over 200 main service installations and upgrades in Marin (PG&E territory). The rules may be different in other regions, but that is the law here. You don't own your meter, I'm sorry.
Free Lunch

San Rafael, CA

#44 Jul 8, 2010
Dont want the smartmeter wrote:
The meter on my house is my meter. It works great and I dont want the new meter. My current meter is on private property and I allow PGandE on my property to read the meter. They have no right to change my meter and I will not allow them to do so.
No, it isn't - it belongs to the utility. It is no more your property than the water or gas meter for your property is. Nearly all meters are on private property. If you fail to provide them access, you get cut off. They have every right to maintain their equipment as they see fit (subject to PUC regulation) and can come out there with the police/sheriff if you deny them the ability to do so. Good luck with that one.
SA Resident

San Francisco, CA

#45 Jul 8, 2010
If Fairfax is gonna create law to place moritorium, why isn't Ross, San Anselmo?!
Dont want meter

Novato, CA

#46 Jul 8, 2010
I think you work for PG&E - I own my meter and I can get another company to provide electricity through the meter. My bill for my meter was paid for by me as well as the installation of it. Wires are owned by PG&E up to the meter. Water meters are not on my property.
Free Lunch

San Rafael, CA

#47 Jul 8, 2010
Dont want meter wrote:
I think you work for PG&E - I own my meter and I can get another company to provide electricity through the meter. My bill for my meter was paid for by me as well as the installation of it. Wires are owned by PG&E up to the meter. Water meters are not on my property.
Nope. Sure, you can purchase electricity from another provider, Marin Clean Energy being one example. However, the distribution system (the wires, transformers, and metering) is owned and operated by PG&E. Electrons are electrons so they flow through the same wires, regardless of who generates or sells the power. You will still be billed by PG&E and of your monthly payment to them the distribution charge will go to PG&E and the generation charge will go to whatever company you buy your electrons from. So, from whom did you 'buy' your meter?

And, no, I don't work for PG&E.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#48 Jul 8, 2010
Batman wrote:
well im a ham radio op
if i key down will i interupt their siganal?
hope so
So am I, but We were allocated the 33CM spectrum as "Secondary Users", and Wellington Energy/SmartSynch/PG&E, and Others) bought the spectrum as "primary Users".
If you operate anywhere between 902-928MHz, and interfere with Them, You'll be the One in violation.
I had to take-down My 900MHz set-up.

But there's a silver-lining to the story though, the secondary hamonic falls in the UHF band, and I had nothing but almost non-stop interference on there, and on GMARS from the meter and complained to the FCC till My fur turned blue.

It took a month, give or take, but I, as far as I know have a "disabled" SmartMeter, it does'nt transmit a peep.
The meter reader stil has to get ot of the truck and read my meter monthly.
if anything, They should be happy I saved Their job.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#49 Jul 8, 2010
Commander Bunny wrote:
<quoted text>So am I, but We were allocated the 33CM spectrum as "Secondary Users", and Wellington Energy/SmartSynch/PG&E, and Others) bought the spectrum as "primary Users".
If you operate anywhere between 902-928MHz, and interfere with Them, You'll be the One in violation.
I had to take-down My 900MHz set-up.
But there's a silver-lining to the story though, the secondary hamonic falls in the UHF band, and I had nothing but almost non-stop interference on there, and on GMARS from the meter and complained to the FCC till My fur turned blue.
It took a month, give or take, but I, as far as I know have a "disabled" SmartMeter, it does'nt transmit a peep.
The meter reader stil has to get ot of the truck and read my meter monthly.
if anything, They should be happy I saved Their job.
In rural areas like yours, and semi rural areas like where I live, they have not installed any of the tranceivers on the streetlight mast arms, mainly because there no streetlights in my area.
When an area has low density, it is probably too costly to install tranceivers, so they will install the SmartMeters, but disable the transmitters. So we probably will have meter readers coming onto our property for many more years, maybe forever. Where I live there is no possible way to cram in any more houses. So it is only profitable to utilize the SmartMeters fully down in the flatlands. The power Co. received Federal TARP sitmulus money and also charged the ratepayers to implement the SmartMeter program. Basically it is a guaranteed sale at every house or building, forced upon us by the government/corporations. It reminds me of medical insurance corporations. They get the government to mandate that all citizens pay into the Corporate welfare pool. Why can't each City, Town or community vote on such things ? Many people do not want to pay for things that they don't want and never will be used, like trains, SmartMeters and sponsoring private profiteering medical insurance corporations.
And to the person who bought his own meter, my electrical supply sells meters, but those are for private use downline after the utility owned meters. Any meter used for billing purposes is owned, maintained and calibrated by the power company. Every meter in the PG&E area has PG&E stamped on it, and there are no exeptions.
You might be confused about the bill for what you think was your meter.
The customer always has to pay for the riser and weather head, the pipe and wires in the riser, the meter enclosure with socket, and of course everything else downstream after that. Yes it is a lot of work and matierials, and I charge around $4000 for a new service and load center depending on the difficulty. But all of that does not include the price of the meter itself, which is provided at no charge along with swinging the service wires from the pole or pulling wires in the customer provided pipe to the nearest vault if it is an underground service.
The power Co. gladly provides these services at no charge because it means more energy sales. I know people that live in rural areas that have no grid power, but talked to PG&E about running 1000 feet of service wire down to their property for no charge if they promise to use a lot of power, for whatever they want to do with it. They don't care what it's used for , they are in business to sell electricity and "the mo the bettah"!
Mike Rotch

Sausalito, CA

#50 Jul 8, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>That's right.
The meters have nothing at all to do with the grid, they are billing devices only.
One new technology emerging as an integral component of the new smart grid is energy storage. Energy storage systems allow power that is generated during off-peak times to be stored at sites distributed throughout a utilities network and returned to the grid when the demand is at it's greatest.
There are a number of benefits of distributed energy storage, including load leveling, backup power, support for plug in electric cars, grid regulation and distribution line efficiency.
In California, the California Energy Commission awarded Pacific Gas and Electric Co.$2 million for a 36 month demonstration project to study large-scale sodium sulfur battery energy storage.
The installation will be a 4-megawatt (MW) system with a 28-megawatt-hour storage capacity. The capabilities of a battery -storage system include offering emergency power during outages, leveling the energy-demand load, and providing reserves when needed. This will help shift on-peak electrical consumption to off-peak periods.
The wave of the future is electric vehicles, like it or not. In other parts of the world, and soon here in the US, power companies are using the fleet of electric cars batteries as part of the storage system. The individual usually uses a car during the day and charges it at night. The individual must have a rectifier to convert A/C to D/C to charge the batteries. With the installation of an inverter, any unused vehicles that have a charge can revert the energy back to A/C and send it back to the grid, just like solar panels do. Imagine if there were millions of vehicles plugged in and utilized as part of the storage system.
The future looks bright for electric vehicles and the new smart grid, but the SmartMeters have nothing to do with it all.
Pulipaca,

This post is informative and logical. You lay out the facts as you understand them. There are no personal attacks and you don't use cutsey knicknames or rip the board of supes. You did not accuse another poster of being in the hip pocket of developers and you did not segway into various other issues.

The contrast (between this post and all your others) is amazing - when you know your subject matter.
dont want meter

Novato, CA

#51 Jul 9, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>In rural areas like yours, and semi rural areas like where I live, they have not installed any of the tranceivers on the streetlight mast arms, mainly because there no streetlights in my area.
When an area has low density, it is probably too costly to install tranceivers, so they will install the SmartMeters, but disable the transmitters. So we probably will have meter readers coming onto our property for many more years, maybe forever. Where I live there is no possible way to cram in any more houses. So it is only profitable to utilize the SmartMeters fully down in the flatlands. The power Co. received Federal TARP sitmulus money and also charged the ratepayers to implement the SmartMeter program. Basically it is a guaranteed sale at every house or building, forced upon us by the government/corporations. It reminds me of medical insurance corporations. They get the government to mandate that all citizens pay into the Corporate welfare pool. Why can't each City, Town or community vote on such things ? Many people do not want to pay for things that they don't want and never will be used, like trains, SmartMeters and sponsoring private profiteering medical insurance corporations.
And to the person who bought his own meter, my electrical supply sells meters, but those are for private use downline after the utility owned meters. Any meter used for billing purposes is owned, maintained and calibrated by the power company. Every meter in the PG&E area has PG&E stamped on it, and there are no exeptions.
You might be confused about the bill for what you think was your meter.
The customer always has to pay for the riser and weather head, the pipe and wires in the riser, the meter enclosure with socket, and of course everything else downstream after that. Yes it is a lot of work and matierials, and I charge around $4000 for a new service and load center depending on the difficulty. But all of that does not include the price of the meter itself, which is provided at no charge along with swinging the service wires from the pole or pulling wires in the customer provided pipe to the nearest vault if it is an underground service.
The power Co. gladly provides these services at no charge because it means more energy sales. I know people that live in rural areas that have no grid power, but talked to PG&E about running 1000 feet of service wire down to their property for no charge if they promise to use a lot of power, for whatever they want to do with it. They don't care what it's used for , they are in business to sell electricity and "the mo the bettah"!
Dear Pulipaca, they do things differently in Hawaii than in Calif. and also other States such as Oregon and Washington. Meters all over the U.S. are bought and paid for by the citizen buying a house, or even and HOA community for streetlights. There are even different models. You are greatly informed for HI and sound it to the layperson. I know better. I hold to the information I shared - I own my meter, PGE owns the wiring to it.
Fairfaxresident

United States

#52 Jul 9, 2010
donald wrote:
They have an obligation to their share holders to do whatever legally they can do to increase profit.
We, however dont have to take whatever crap they shove into us.
Fight back.
Put this on your meters before they come to install.
Due to potential medical issues we legally request that YOU:
DO NOT INSTALL “Smart Meters” on this property.
We want to wait till the result of the independent investigation of these meters is complete.
We have ongoing medical issues that can be adversely affected by the installation of these meters.
You the installer will be held legally responsible for any negative affects of this meter if you continue the install.
Please call (your number) if you have any questions. I will put you in touch with my attorney.
(your name)
While I am 100% opposed to the installation of smart meters on anyone's property, I am also opposed to your suggestion that everyone post something that says they are opposed for medical reason, and that they have ongoing medical issue which could be adversely affected by the meters. My young daughter DOES in fact have a genetic condition which predisposes her to tumor formation anywhere on her body where there are nerves. This is scaring the XXXX out of me, as it absolutely could accelerate the formation of tumors. If everyone uses this "excuse", it will dilute or eliminate this as an opt out option for those of use who have very real and immediate medical conditions very likey to be adversely affected by the installation of this meter in out home. Please consider this.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#53 Jul 9, 2010
Fairfaxresident wrote:
<quoted text>While I am 100% opposed to the installation of smart meters on anyone's property, I am also opposed to your suggestion that everyone post something that says they are opposed for medical reason, and that they have ongoing medical issue which could be adversely affected by the meters. My young daughter DOES in fact have a genetic condition which predisposes her to tumor formation anywhere on her body where there are nerves. This is scaring the XXXX out of me, as it absolutely could accelerate the formation of tumors. If everyone uses this "excuse", it will dilute or eliminate this as an opt out option for those of use who have very real and immediate medical conditions very likey to be adversely affected by the installation of this meter in out home. Please consider this.
the part that infuriates Me is that there is no "opt-out" option.
The only choice the end-User gets is to either have power, or be completely shut-off.
No option, no choice in the matter.

So much for freedom of choice, eh?
No smart meter for me

Novato, CA

#54 Jul 10, 2010
Commander Bunny wrote:
<quoted text>the part that infuriates Me is that there is no "opt-out" option.
The only choice the end-User gets is to either have power, or be completely shut-off.
No option, no choice in the matter.
So much for freedom of choice, eh?
No one can shut down your meter just for vindictive reasons such as not changing your meter. That is fashism. Even PGE has to obey the law of the land. They would risk so much legal ramifications for doing such a thing to people just because they did not want the new meter on their house. Where did you come up with the idea that they would turn off your electricity just because you did not get your meter changed. Also, even though there is not a box to check to opt out anywhere you can call and opt out. This is America and you dont have to take it!

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#55 Jul 10, 2010
No smart meter for me wrote:
<quoted text>
No one can shut down your meter just for vindictive reasons such as not changing your meter. That is fashism. Even PGE has to obey the law of the land. They would risk so much legal ramifications for doing such a thing to people just because they did not want the new meter on their house. Where did you come up with the idea that they would turn off your electricity just because you did not get your meter changed. Also, even though there is not a box to check to opt out anywhere you can call and opt out. This is America and you dont have to take it!
No, You can't "opt-out" on this, the consumer has no choice in the matter, zip, nada, zilch.
I asked PG&E to give Me a month, or so notice so I could tell My landlord I'm moving, and the PG&E Representitive told Me it was going to be in ALL 50 States, and I'd have nowhere to go...no foolin'.
donald

Antioch, CA

#56 Jul 12, 2010
Commander Bunny wrote:
<quoted text>the part that infuriates Me is that there is no "opt-out" option.
The only choice the end-User gets is to either have power, or be completely shut-off.
No option, no choice in the matter.
So much for freedom of choice, eh?
sorry, I will.
Mark

Oakland, CA

#57 Jul 15, 2010
4truthALwAyS wrote:
During the month of May, my household (2 of us) had an electricity usage of $5.00. We don't need a smart meter. We are already SMART consumers.
Yes, but with a SMART Meter they can charge you $7.50 and then they will probably instill a minimun monthly electrical usage of $10.00... Now you're paying twice as much! See how SMART these meters are?
Mark

United States

#58 Jul 15, 2010
PG&E is installing the SMART Meters so they can start charging premium rates for power usage during their "peak periods" (during the day). Without the SMART Meters, they don't have that ability. Despite all the problems there are with those new meters, it doesn't matter. They are putting them in and it's your problem. Eventually, they will complete their testing of the new meters and someday they might be reliable. One thing is for sure... Your PG&E bills will be higher. That's the whole point. Since you can't fight them... join them... Buy PG&E stock (PCG) it pays a 4.20% yield.
Free Lunch

San Rafael, CA

#59 Jul 15, 2010
No smart meter for me wrote:
<quoted text>
No one can shut down your meter just for vindictive reasons such as not changing your meter. That is fashism. Even PGE has to obey the law of the land. They would risk so much legal ramifications for doing such a thing to people just because they did not want the new meter on their house. Where did you come up with the idea that they would turn off your electricity just because you did not get your meter changed. Also, even though there is not a box to check to opt out anywhere you can call and opt out. This is America and you dont have to take it!
Sure they can. There is no 'right' to electricity or gas in your home. If you wish to have it then you must comply with adopted rules. PG&E got approval from the State PUC to install the meters. One of the reasons to install them is they will no longer need to have meter readers running around every neighborhood. If customers were able to opt out of having a smart meter it would defeat one of the primary purposes of having the smart meters. One thing overlooked in all these discussions is that your gas meter will get a smart meter as well - it's not just an electric meter change. So good luck to you trying to fend off smart meter installation. I'd recommend stocking up on candles and charcoal for your cooking and lighting needs.
Free Lunch

San Rafael, CA

#60 Jul 15, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>In rural areas like yours, and semi rural areas like where I live, they have not installed any of the tranceivers on the streetlight mast arms, mainly because there no streetlights in my area.
When an area has low density, it is probably too costly to install tranceivers, so they will install the SmartMeters, but disable the transmitters. So we probably will have meter readers coming onto our property for many more years, maybe forever. Where I live there is no possible way to cram in any more houses. So it is only profitable to utilize the SmartMeters fully down in the flatlands. The power Co. received Federal TARP sitmulus money and also charged the ratepayers to implement the SmartMeter program. Basically it is a guaranteed sale at every house or building, forced upon us by the government/corporations. It reminds me of medical insurance corporations. They get the government to mandate that all citizens pay into the Corporate welfare pool. Why can't each City, Town or community vote on such things ? Many people do not want to pay for things that they don't want and never will be used, like trains, SmartMeters and sponsoring private profiteering medical insurance corporations.
And to the person who bought his own meter, my electrical supply sells meters, but those are for private use downline after the utility owned meters. Any meter used for billing purposes is owned, maintained and calibrated by the power company. Every meter in the PG&E area has PG&E stamped on it, and there are no exeptions.
You might be confused about the bill for what you think was your meter.
The customer always has to pay for the riser and weather head, the pipe and wires in the riser, the meter enclosure with socket, and of course everything else downstream after that. Yes it is a lot of work and matierials, and I charge around $4000 for a new service and load center depending on the difficulty. But all of that does not include the price of the meter itself, which is provided at no charge along with swinging the service wires from the pole or pulling wires in the customer provided pipe to the nearest vault if it is an underground service.
The power Co. gladly provides these services at no charge because it means more energy sales. I know people that live in rural areas that have no grid power, but talked to PG&E about running 1000 feet of service wire down to their property for no charge if they promise to use a lot of power, for whatever they want to do with it. They don't care what it's used for , they are in business to sell electricity and "the mo the bettah"!
As an electrician it should be obvious to you that street lighting to install the antennas is not an issue - it's the need for stepped-down voltage to operate the antennas and repeaters which is typically available where street lighting is present. However, it is also present without street lighting where there are standard single phase 120/240v service drops, e.g. to your house, so stating that 'rural' areas not working with smart meters is baloney.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#61 Jul 15, 2010
Free Lunch wrote:
<quoted text>
As an electrician it should be obvious to you that street lighting to install the antennas is not an issue - it's the need for stepped-down voltage to operate the antennas and repeaters which is typically available where street lighting is present. However, it is also present without street lighting where there are standard single phase 120/240v service drops, e.g. to your house, so stating that 'rural' areas not working with smart meters is baloney.
If the rural area was flat, with no hills, no trees, or any other obstruction to deflect or block the signal, You'd be right.
But this is'nt a perfect World, at lest not for Them.
They say that the meter transmits a 250mW 900MHz signal to reach the reciever/voter,(located on power poles) but I witness the subcontractors giving the meter the "golden screwdriver", cranking the wattage up to over a watt, and it still was'nt sufficient to send a signal to the reciever, or to a neighbors meter to piggyback to signal to it's desired destination.
They (PG&E) would have to mount a reciever/repeater on almost every pole near me to cover a very small amount of Customers to collect the billing/usage data, and that would'nt be cost effective.
when the Installer would crank-up the power, it caused more interference to My amateur radios, which is a violation on Their part.
The thing about the insides of the meter is that it utilizes an omni-directional antenna, the signal goes everywhere, and not neccesarily to the reciever, so if They were smart They would run suitable coax to an external antenna to a 900MHz directional antenna (such as a Yagi) and point it directly at the nearest Neighbors meter, or pole-mounted reciever, but that would also create a major headache on exposure to RF in an uncontrolled enviroment.
That also of course would cost them more money as well.
So in the real world, this meter does not work in many rural areas, such as Mine, and the Meter Reader just read My meter, on foot this morning.

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