Are you concerned with SCE installing ‘Smart Meters?’

No; they pose less ‘danger’ than a cellphone 39% 96 votes
Yes! a huge threat to our health, safety, privacy, and wallet. 51% 124 votes
Umm; not sure what you mean (see below, Comments, for links). 9% 23 votes
243 total votes


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Some links for info on Smart Meters:

- Smartmeters . com

- Stop Smart Meters!

webadmin (webadmin)
April 19, 2011 at 3:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have been following this for some time. Smart meters have not yet gotten to my Bay Area home, but others who have them are outraged-- they interfere with WiFi, Garage door openers, and other electronics. I remember reading on person who could no longer even GET internet after having a smart meter installed.

Wish Goleta got enough sun I could go solar for my power in Goleta.

I can't speak to the health hazards but am very concerned-- a smart meter would be right outside my bedroom window!

Up north, PG&E is stonewalling and has refused to admit there is a problem. FIGHT BACK NOW, before SCE forces them on us!

gleetagal (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Vague, unspecific allegations, my dear "gleetgal." Just more noise in a reflexive backlash against things you most certainly have NOT been following.

Here are some other things which share the same RF emission as the dreaded Smart Meters:

- cellphones
- baby monitors
- microwave ovens
- wireless laptops
- radios
- televisions
- pagers
- cordless telephones
- garage-door openers
- walkie-talkies.

And as to PGE "stonewalling," that is simply false; they have undertaken a huge advertising and public relations effort to fight this viral anti-technology backlash, and they are "hiding" all the facts and latest information all over their website, such as here:

They even are allowing an Opt-Out program, of which I happily endorse for the Luddites Among Us.

As to Smart Meters sending out interference, as you mention, here's one of those inconvenient facts:

"The signal from a SmartMeter typically lasts between 2 and 20 milliseconds. These intermittent signals total, on average, 45 seconds per day. For the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day, the meter is not transmitting any RF."

binky (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh sure, you can "Opt-Out" if you choose. PGE will let you NOT get these things if you pay them $300 up front plus $25 per month extra. This whole scheme is nothing more than a scam by the utility corporations to rip off consumers for 100s of billions of dollars. They should be banned in SB like so many other cities have done.

zorro (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 10:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Are you kidding me? SCE-net becomes "self-aware" TOMORROW, folks! Do you want to get charged out of existence?

And they want to charge US for the privilege?
Say NO to "smart" meters.

Anytime the words SCE and smart are in the same sentence, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

zorro, as a good conservative you surely believe in personal responsibility; I find PG&E charging extra is appropriate. There's a cost to being an ill-informed hysteric!

And Draxor, although I'm not fan of SCE -- their customer service is non-existent -- blanket anti-authoritarian tropes and allusions to invisible webs of dark conspiracy are neither argument nor debate.

- - -
Note to self: I need to get on the electric utility's payroll.

binky (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

My brother lives in Bakersfield and in early 2009, PG&E
put smart meters in his area. After the installation of the meters, my brother's yearly electric bill was $10,000 a
year. He also paid $1,500 for electricity in July of 2009,
and $900 in January, ( winter) without air conditioning.
The consumer will be forced to pay for their own meters
and their rates will go up as they will pay more for "peak"
hour rates. Furthermore, we will be forced to pay for the
smart meter infrastructure and more advanced meters in the
the future.
Smart meters are big business. The government, utility
companies, PUC's, corporations and investors are working together to force smart meter technology upon us.
Already companies are only making appliances with
transmitters on them, that will communicate with smart meters.
In the future, utility companies will be able to control or stop
appliances at will.
Smart meters are a fraud. We must stop the installation
of them.

thethorns4 (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So, your brother-in-law now has to pay his fair share for an accurate reading of energy usage?

What is this world coming to?

And why do right-wingers suddenly hate American innovation and American business? Why are they suddenly against everyone pulling their own weight or paying their fair share?

Most importantly, why does radio transmission of household energy usage scare them?


binky (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 12:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Binky,
Bakersfield has the highest rates in the state, according
to my brother. After a complaint was filed, and the CPUC
confronted PG&E, the utility company admitted that the
increases in the upper tier rates (3-5) were "not based on
marginal costs or any other costs and services, rather they
are the simple result of having no place to collect additional
revenue requirements allocated to the residential class except
increasing the 3-5 tier rates." Simply put, PG&E wanted
more money, so they victimized their customers. Further-
more, the 1 +2 tier rate customers pay a below average
rate. Does that sound fair to you? This is redistribution
of wealth.

thethorns4 (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Binky,
Bakersfield has the highest rates in the state, according
to my brother. After a complaint was filed, and the CPUC
confronted PG&E, the utility company admitted that the
increases in the upper tier rates (3-5) were "not based on
marginal costs or any other costs and services, rather they
are the simple result of having no place to collect additional
revenue requirements allocated to the residential class except
increasing the 3-5 tier rates." Simply put, PG&E wanted
more money, so they victimized their customers. Further-
more, the 1 + 2 tier rate customers pay below average
rates. Does that sound fair to you? This is redistribution
of wealth. All the PG&E executives live in northern California,
where the rates are half the cost my brother pays.

thethorns4 (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2011 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And all of the meter readers put out of work? Oh yes progress at any cost! Somethings are best left "Old Fashioned" and this may be one of them.

contactjohn (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2011 at 1:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I AM AGAINST IT! Aside from the technical aspects of radio wave interference, I have other concerns such as:
1. Where are these meters manufactured? A local PG&E installer told me they are made (of course) in China. Why? Because there are no companies in the US that can compete with the Chinese! We have highly educated unemployed engineers, technicians, assembly workers, managers, et al, empty factories and an economy beyond broke, and yet we are being forced to pay for yet more imported products! A VIOLATION OF COMMON SENSE FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF OUR OWN SELVES, OUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN!
2. Smart meter technology is another step toward EXTERNAL CONTROL and MONITORING BY SOMEBODY ELSE thereby imposing against personal privacy and living preferences. Smart meters enable control, for example, of smart appliances such as washing machines, heating/ cooling of your house and other functions. A VIOLATION OF OUR RIGHT OF PRIVACY AND PERSONAL AUTONOMY IN OUR OWN HOMES!
3. The proponents for the technology emphasise the benefits including cost savings to the consumer in using electricity during non peak times. Has this benefit been thought through or actually simulated in advance? What happens when everyone is induced to wash/ dry their clothes at the same time? Huge demand peaks will be the result without yet some further highly efficient, grid-wide automated control system that will impose further restriction on personal usage decisions. THE CONCEPT DENIES FREE MARKET FORCES BY IMPOSING A CENTRAL COMMAND/ CONTROL TYPE SYSTEM.

alwaysright (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2011 at 11:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

to thethorns4,

With all due respect to your brother, could you provide some links or other data to substantiate the claim regarding Bakersfield's rates?

I'm interested, as our family lived in Bakersfield for 10 years. While there, our utility bills were huge, but that had more to do with needing air conditioning, and running a pool filter every day to keep the black sludge from growing over our pool. In other words, high usage vs high rates.


wondering (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2011 at 10:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Furthermore, the 1 + 2 tier rate customers pay below average
rates. Does that sound fair to you?"
-- thethorns4

Yes it does. CA has had a tiered-rate system for some time now. Its purpose is to encourage energy conservation. Tiered rates are nothing new. We have them for other utilities like water and gas.

Of course, no system is perfect. But a Google search indicates Bakersfield customers got a rate decrease. And there's some talk about various exemptions (e.g. to encourage electric vehicle use).

Interestingly, when PGE's rates went up, it coincided with their summertime smart meter deployment. Confused customers attributed their higher bills to smart meters. But they were really due to the rate hike and the seasonally higher consumption.

The myth lives on in the tin-foiled heads of tea baggers, free-market libertarians, and other ideologues.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2011 at 7:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Change is difficult, especially with decreasing energy re/sources resulting in forced changes. I hope the software and network aren't MS Windows. Meanwhile, I assume that anything that I elect do that is reportedly bad, i.e. cancer causing is actually like getting a good dose of radiation therapy, like steeping into the sunshine. I'll have to do the same with this Smart Meter. Edison already installed an RF meter a couple years ago due to access issues. I haven't noticed any issues but I am sure some would say I am at least bit nuttier.

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't find any of the comments posted here by the opponents of the smart meters to be representative of free-market libertarian thought, or the ideology of tea party adherents. Quite the contrary. Smart meters seem right in line with free-market libertarian principles. And I can't wait for them. This kind of technology is all about empowering free individuals to take responsibility for the choices they're making, and to take account of the full burden that their private decisions may be imposing on society at large. And to make new choices, or not, freely chosen and tailored to their own circumstances. No mandates from on-high ... keep doing what you're doing if you want or need to, just be prepared to pay for not changing.

Coupled with other market mechanisms, like a carbon tax, these smart meters hold so much more promise of real results, at much lower sacrifice, than the typical "mandate, regulate, and subsidize" approaches to energy policy. Let me pay a simple carbon tax, empower me with information and technology I need to manage my impact, and let me have my share of the massive subsidies (and political payoffs) you're throwing at things like corn-based ethanol. Along with 300 million other free people responding freely to these signals, we'll figure it out nicely and bag the objectives of policy so quickly it will look like a miracle. And the bonus: use the carbon tax to play a role in filling the Medicare and Social Security holes.

I think this is what you properly call "libertarian thought", not what the opponents posting here are saying. The opponents comments reflect a lot of anger, a whole lot of paranoia, and a bunch of confused nonsense. But such thinking is not the exclusive purview of the right, left, or the libertarian.

OldDawg (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2011 at 7:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Help! The paranoids are after me!

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2011 at 7:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If Binky's quote is right, that the meters broadcast 45 seconds a day, there is no health issue. Much of the rest of the whining (after you filter out the black helicopter crowd) seems to be about power costing too much. This is a different issue and, in the long run, is helped by finding efficiencies, like smart meters, instead of paying people to go from house to house each month. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

joshn113 (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2011 at 5:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To East Beach,
It is true there have been tier rates, however with Smart
meters everyone will be charged different rates per hour and
for peak hours and times of the year. This is a way to force
people to use energy in the middle of the night or limit their
energy usage. This way of charging is new and is not fair
for seniors or people who stay in their houses all day.
To Wondering,
I believe the rates in Bakersfield are due to high rates,
high usage and the new way ratepayers are charged after
smart meters are implemented. See above. Also, my brother
said Sacramento is paying half the cost for electricity and
has a similar climate as Bakersfield. The people in Kern
County are so upset with their PG&E rates, they are backing
SB 142 in the Assembly in California. Finally, I believe the
utility companies will use any new technology to increase
the rates on consumers. ( smart meters-smart meter infra-
structure etc.

thethorns4 (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2011 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I quote our glorious president, "Under my plan electricity rates will necessarily sky-rocket."

I think this is one of the times that both the left and the right could come together and fight a plan that will do nothing other than hurt the middle class. Why? The rich can afford it. The poor will get subsidizes.

Lenin didn't like the middle class because it makes for a free society. The donks are the same way.

jukin (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2011 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OldDawg, very much agree with your comments about Libertarian thought (a viewpoint I can only appreciate vicariously) and the role smartmeters can play in improving the market. Don't know what I was thinking, perhaps it was a momentary glitch from alwaysright's "command and control" comment.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2011 at 9 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Less than one minute of broadcasts per day from a 1-watt radio transmitter! That's located outside your house! If true, that really is making a mountain out of a molehill.

I'd worry more about your cell phone. Thanks for the link Binky.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2011 at 9:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

EastBeach I know what you mean, some of the fevered comments will make your head spin faster than a smartmeter.

OldDawg (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2011 at 6:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Easy answer. Same as for the Luddites in Montecito who keep blocking installation of a cell tower. Wear an aluminum foil hat!

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2011 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So what this all means is that Tea party adherents and Libertarians want to import manufactured goods from China and raise electricity billing rates (if not also fraudulently overcharge) to benefit huge corporations like PG&E.

"Redistribution of wealth" indeed.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We need a law that mandates all public utility and government equipment acquisitions be made in the USA.

EZK (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2011 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Many thanks to the tipsters here, for letting me in on the massive profits PG&E and SCE will make from all the opportunities to fraudulently overcharge with the smartmeters. I didn't realize that the CPUC and the FERC had been abolished, I appreciate the tip. Reckon the sky's the limit on the rates now.

I'm talkin to my broker tomorrow, going long on PG&E and SCE! I'll be doubly in the money, curtailing and shifting my electric load to the late evening, plus the huge dividends I'll earn from those huge rate increases these beasts will be able pull off with the smartmeters and no CPUC to stop them from just raking in the dough.

Have you folks already purchased the stock? You must have, you sound so sure. Hope I'm not too late.

OldDawg (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2011 at 7:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think having a smarter system is a good idea, but only if it is smart enough to recognize when a leak or a problem is the companies fault versus a homeowner's fault. I saw a news story about these meters in Atlanta and some people were getting bills for thousands of dollars even after having their homes passed plumbing inspections. The ridiculous thing is that many of these were because the water company had the wrong meters installed in the first place.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2011 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Your electric bills will stay the same as long as you only need power in the middle of the night. During the afternoons, you would have to pay the premium punitive rate.

Economists call that a Superprofit due to market manipulation.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2011 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Quite the contrary John_Adams, and I think you know better. Economists call that competitive pricing at marginal production cost, to the overall benefit of consumers. During the afternoons you'll pay more, during the evenings you'll pay less. Many customers will pay less overall. Many customers will pay more overall. More electricity will be consumed in the evening, less in the afternoon. Overall, profits and pricing will be controlled to equal cost of capital as determined by CPUC, and smartmeters do not change any of that.

OldDawg (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2011 at 11:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bring on the smart meters! I have taken nice rebates and tax credits on my solar system, and now intend to laugh at my neighbors as I play the "time of use" game and enjoy zero cost electricity for the next 25 years. Meanwhile the radio wave freakazoids will watch their electric rates rise by a good 2.5 to 5% annually. And believe me, the stress associated with your rising electric bills will cause cancer long before the EMF from your meter!

Riceman (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2011 at 4:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How did this become a (alleged) tea party thing? Is it because the Left now takes the position that anyone who disagrees with them must be a tea party person?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2011 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

binky (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2011 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Plus, the "Town Hall Forum" was organized by the local Tea Party.

They really blew it because they arranged to have 6 panelists who were loud critics of smart meters. And the 7th panelist? They invited SCE. In the end, the SCE rep pulled out of the forum - they probably knew it was a setup.

Had the panel makeup been more balanced, and a neutral moderator provided, the meeting could have been of educational benefit to the public. But in the end, it looks like the organizers had already made up their minds and were really looking to start a campaign. A bit duplicitous if you ask me.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2011 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tea and Sympathy for the Devil

EZK (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2011 at 6:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Smart meters? Sign me up! RF interference? If the meter's RF signal interfered with cell phones, WiFi, garage door openers etc., wouldn't those industries be way ahead of this and launch their own anti-smart meter campaigns? Seems to me they would.

PG&E, the Goleta Water District and SoCal Gas all send meter readers (and their vehicles) into my neighborhood each month. Am I the only one who sees a wasteful and costly duplicity of service here?

Verizon doesn't send an employee to my home to record my telephone usage, it's transmitted over the wire AND by microwave. Seems to work fine.

Relax and put away your tin foil hats—no big conspiracy here. Smart meters are not a threat to our community, just 21st century technology put to good use.

mkoto (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2011 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This has UN Agenda 21 written all over it. Educate yourselves on this movement now because it is currently infiltrating all areas of this country. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I have reasearch this in their own UN documents.

jspring (anonymous profile)
December 12, 2012 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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