Three members of the Santa Barbara City Council sent a letter to Southern California Edison exhorting the utility company not to install so-called smart meters in Santa Barbara. Councilmembers Frank Hotchkiss, Michael Self, and Randy Rowse expressed concern about increased utility bills and possible health effects from radiation exposure associated with smart meters. Utility company execs argue that the new meters—which transmit radio frequencies—allow consumers to better calibrate their energy usage and program their appliances to operate during nonpeak hours. This, they claim, saves energy and reduces pollution. Last week the county supervisors voted to ask the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to require power companies to offer consumers an opt-out option at no charge. Next Tuesday, the City Council will be asked to send a similar message.