Smart Grid Funding Misspent on Obsolete Technologies, Says New Report

 

“Billions spent with taxpayer dollars on “smart meters” will not lead to U.S. sustainability; Place citizens and economy at risk”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — November 26, 2012. A new policy report focused on the electric grid and economy of energy, “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid”, was published today by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (NISLAPP) in Washington, D.C. The report states that billions of dollars in federal subsidies for “smart” utility meters have been misspent on meter technology that will not lead to energy sustainability or contribute to the possibility of a more efficient and responsive electricity grid.

smarter about smart grid November_Cover_lo_res_green

Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid” is authored by smart grid technology expert Timothy Schoechle, PhD, an international Continue reading

Fairfield City Water and Sewer Committee meeting: Fee overcharges and reasons fee should be eliminated

At the Fairfield City Water and Sewer Committee meeting, Tuesday July 31, there was discussion regarding the fee for the opt out, with special emphasis on extreme displeasure from citizens who found that the installation charges were double the expected fee, based on the inclusion of a second water department employee being present for the sake of witnessing the process, which is the simple connection and extension of copper wire from the meter to the touch plate for reading the meter.

The citizens felt it was mentioned many times over the course of the past two months, that the installation would be 75.00 for the hour, with 37.50 minimum for the first 1/2 hour. Further confusion is expressed, as to why it is 75.00 per hour for each employee, when their normal hourly wage is but a small fraction of that scale.

The council rejected all arguments and held firm on continuing the unpopular policy. Following are some reasons which have been advanced from citizens, as common sense grounds for immediate elimination of the opt out fee:

It would be most unreasonable to claim that the low number of signups for the opt out indicates that only a few citizens are “concerned”, in light of the signatures of 14% of the adult citizens of Fairfield signing the petition in a three week period, to Continue reading

Ed Malloy’s Response to Opt Out Fee Installation Charges Being Doubled

Ed Malloy response today to a Fairfield resident who is upset to receive a bill for $75 when 2 workers came to the house for only 16 minutes to remove the RF meter:

Dear ….

Our policy for the labor charge from the very beginning was a minimum $75.00 charge (or minimum half hour charge for two men at $75 per hour). Carl wanted to have two men involved with each change so it would get done as quickly as possible and to have someone witness the work done Continue reading

City Council Discusses Opt-out for Radio Read Water Meters

By Richard Wolfson, PhD, THE FAIRFIELD WEEKLY READER, June 14-20, 2012

Approximately 100 people crowded into Fairfield’s City Council meeting Monday night [June 12, 2012] to discuss the city’s proposed bill to opt-out of the Neptune radio-read (RF) water meters.

Many residents expressed concern because of extensive reports worldwide of potential health damaging effects from radiation from pulsed RF meters. Fairfield meters emit pulses of radio frequency radiation every 14 seconds, 24 hours a day. Residents who want to opt out and get a different, non-RF meter will have to pay $100 plus $75/hr for installation, and an additional $10/month, even though the alternative meter costs only $91, compared to $240 for the Neptune wireless.

Numerous people said citizens should not have to pay extra to remove a potentially harmful device the city installedwithoutconsent.KathrynSeranduccomparedtheopt-outfeetoprotectionmoney. JohnRevolinski proposed dropping the $10/month fee, but was opposed by other council members.

Many were upset the city purchased these meters and installed them in homes without informing the public or researching their health effects. City officials were contending the meters were safe, without direct evidence. Also, city officials passed on misinformation about the meters, saying they only transmit once a month. Even years after meters were installed, the technology was not clearly understood by the city.

John Brown reported on meter problems across the country resulting in drastic overcharges, with no transparency for dispute. Also, through cost-benefit analysis, Attorney-Generals of Illinois and Connecticut demonstrated no cost benefit for consumers, rejecting industry bids to deploy RF meters.

Public defense lawyer Steve Druker said the Neptune website confirms there is no direct research proving these meters are safe. Mr. Druker, an expert on food safety, explained food additives need to be directly proven safe before approval. These meters would not be allowed if they were regulated like food.

Bob Rabinoff, PhD explained that because of safety concerns with RF meters, scientists would not even be allowed to test this device on animals. Yet the device is in 1500 Fairfield homes. Residents are in effect involuntary test subjects. Many can not afford these high opt-out fees even though they do not want the meters. The radiation is considered particularly harmful to pregnant woman, elderly, and babies.

In Vermont customers can choose non-RF meters for no charge, no opt-out fees. Likewise, Ashland, in Oregon, and California Counties Ojai, Santa Cruz, Marin, Lake, and Mendocino and 8 other counties have followed suit. On June 7, opt-out fees for Southern California Edison (SCE) customers were suspended on moratorium while CPUC determines whether the fees are legal.

Alliant Energy recently revised its plan to install electric smart meters in Iowa beginning in 2013, stating that they have no current plans to do so.

Fairfield City Council heard the comments and is researching a non-RF alternative, such as one in Sioux City that transmits water meter data via telephone, avoiding RF emissions entirely.

The Coalition for Safe Meters has posted an information website: https://fairfieldsafemeters.wordpress.com

Popular water meter manufacturer being sued

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer, The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK 

September 8, 2009

Neptune Co., a popular manufacturer of water meters, is being sued by Board of Water Supply of Honolulu.

Board members allege 40,000 of 54,000 meters failed prior to the 10-year guaranty. They also allege the company does not stand behind them.

Enid Public Services Director Jim McClain said the city is not using Neptune Meters; however, they were considered — but not purchased — in the last water meter bids.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply began installing Neptune Meters nine years ago, according to a story by KITV television in Honolulu. The board is suing Neptune Technology Group for what it said is the unexpected costs to replace the meters and the time crews are spending to manually read the automatic meters.

The problem with the meters seems to involve the cover being cracked and water seeping in, which prevents the meters from transmitting.

More at enidnews.com

Water Bill Jumps From $62 To $1,400. Will Cost $180 To Have Meter Inspected

By Chris Morran, April 19, 2012

When your quarterly water bill goes up a few thousand percent after the city installs a new meter at your house, you’d think the utilities folks would want to take a look at that meter because it’s either broken or your house is about to float away. But not in New York City, where it will cost you $180 just for the privilege of having that meter inspected by a human being.

CBS New York has the story of a city resident whose house was fitted with one of the new smart meters, and whose water bill soon jumped from a very manageable $62/quarter to more than $1,400.

“Am I paying a mortgage here?” she asks. “Because that’s what it sounds like me: I’m paying a mortgage. $1,400 to pay for water, come on.”

The city’s Public Advocate Bill de Blasio says his office has received hundreds of complaints since the city began installing the new meters.