MLGW Smart Meters?

February 4, 2013

On November 20, 2012 City Councilman Morrison made a motion to increase the purchase of 6000 so called smart meters to 60,000. WOW!!

He got Yes votes from Boyd, Conrad, Flinn, Ford, Harris, Lowery, Strickland and  himself. There were No votes from Fullilove, Brown and Collins. Hedgepeth did not cast a vote and Halbert was absent.

Has anyone really thought about Smart Meters, the cost, the savings (if any) and what is really their purpose?

Well here is my 2 cents worth.

It should be easy with modern technology to have a meter that broadcasts your readings and does away with the meter reader’s job. That is a good thing for the customers as it lowers the cost of the utility service. However it does away with the meter readers jobs and I suspect that is the reason for the three No votes. MLGW President Jerry Collins denied that the smart meters would do away with meter reader jobs but this is what he would say to avoid greater union opposition.

Last Saturday there was an article in the CA about this purchase and smart meters. Miss Fullilove has asked to have hers removed.

Smart meters are part of Agenda 21 and this is the camel nose under the tent. I think that we should have a public debate about smart meters and what is the future of this program. If it is to lower the cost of utility service by doing away with the need for meter readers, than that is a good thing. If it is to get us all on a time of day utility rate, to collect invasive information on a household’s utility use, and eventually enforcing rolling blackouts etc. then that is a bad thing. We need to know more before we go down this road. Recently homeowners in the United States have been arrested for refusing to install smart meters. There is much more behind this smart meter facade than meets the eye.

4 Responses to “MLGW Smart Meters?”

  1. KB says:

    Good points! We will be seeing the “time of day utility rate” before long.

  2. I saw your blog yesterday regarding smart meters. There was an error in your blog. It stated that I said we would not eliminate meter readers. This is not at all accurate.

    I have always said that the implementation of smart meters system wide would eliminate about 170 positions including meter readers. I have also said that we would not lay off any meter readers, this may be where the confusion is. Instead of laying off meter readers we will eliminate the meter reader positions by attrition. This will be easy to do since the average meter reader only stays in that job for about three years.

    I assure you our implementation of smart meters has no relation to Agenda 21.

    Our governing principle is to always do that which is best for the customers as a whole. Smart meters are certainly in the best interest of our customers as a whole. Besides saving money through elimination of about 170 positions and associated vehicles other advantages of smart meters include:

    1. Virtual elimination of utility theft. Currently we deal with about 11,000 instances of utility theft each year. There is probably more that we don’t know about. If someone manipulates or removes a smart meter we will know about it and we will be able to take immediate action.

    2. Customers can leave the gates locked and their dogs in the yard because our meter readers will no longer require access to read meters.

    3. Armed with much more information about their utility usage, customers can make choices and change habits that will save them money on their utility bills. In our pilot project customers with smart meters and standard billing saved 2 percent on their electric bill as compared to customers with the old standard meters. Customers with smart meters and time of use rates saved 5.6% on their electric bill as compared to customers with the old standard meters. Extrapolated across our entire customer base this means our customers as a whole could save between $15 million and $30 million per year. Time of use rates will be voluntary, not mandatory. The customers will have a choice.

    4. The reduction in customer energy use will reduce the carbon foot print.

    5. There will be automatic power outage notification.

    6. When outages occur the duration of the outages will be shorter.

    7. There will be no estimated meter readings, currently about 3% of the total.

    8. As more customers sign up for time of use rates this will reduce the need for TVA to build expensive “peaking power plants” thereby creating savings for TVA, distribution utilities and their customers.

    9. Smart meters are available for electric, gas and water services.

    My staff will be contacting you to share additional information about smart meters and to answer any questions you might have.

  3. KB says:

    Will mr. Collins be posting the time of use rate schedule on the MLG$W website along with the standard rate?

  4. ramcclain says:

    I notice the reasons NOT to have Smart Meters are conveniently omitted? Not surprising.

    Some of the reasons I do NOT want are:
    -Health Effects from Radiation

    -Increased utility costs

    -Possible required appliance change outs

    -INVASION OF PRIVACY

    -Remote shut downs

    These consequences are all over the internet, with others. Why do you think people are refusing them? It is patently obvious that, once again, our city council has NOT done its homework. Very, very bad.

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