Friday, September 17, 2010

Consumers Resist Smart Meters After $3.4 Billion Stimulus Push

"Even with $3.4 billion in U.S. stimulus funds behind it, the race to install smart meters is starting to lose momentum, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 20 issue.

“The meters don’t benefit the consumer; they cost a lot of money, and we can’t opt out,” says Joshua Hart, the California- based director of Scotts Valley Neighbors Against Smart Meters.
In Hawaii, regulators rejected a $115 million plan in July by Hawaiian Electric Co. to install smart meters that residents and businesses would pay for. Almost a dozen California cities and counties have asked regulators to halt installations, saying the devices send inaccurate data to utilities. Homeowners in Bakersfield, California, have filed a class-action lawsuit against San Francisco-based PG&E, accusing the utility of overcharging since smart meters were installed in homes.

A study by Structure Group, a Houston-based independent consultant, found that PG&E’s smart meters are more accurate than the older versions they replaced. Paul Moreno, a PG&E spokesman, says the meters will save customers money over the long term. "


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