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Has Mill Valley Accepted SmartMeters?

Pacific Gas & Electric has reported that "substantially less than 1 percent of PG&E's residential customers" has declined the controversial devices. Are you part of that 1 percent or are you convinced that SmartMeters are OK?

Little more than a year ago, Marin was ensconced in a about PG&E's statewide installation of so-called SmartMeters, a wireless and digital upgrade of its device that monitor customers use of electricity and gas. 

The Marin County Board of Supervisors on SmartMeters in January 2011. A few weeks later, the Mill Valley City Council endorsed a  for PG&E to provide an , and .

A mere 18 months since for preventing SmartMeter installations, citing myriad concerns about accuracy, security, privacy and health effects, PG&E said this week that few of its customers have opted out. The company said that installation is 79 percent complete in Marin County and that only a few thousand people - mostly in Fairfax and unincorporated Marin - have opted out thus far.

In a press release, the energy conglomerate said it had "achieved a major customer milestone" by upgrading 9 million customers to SmartMeters. Ninety-three percent of projected installations are complete, according to the statement. That includes Mill Valley, where the company had completed nearly all of its installations by March 2011.

In a Marin Independent Journal story article, the utility was quoted as reporting to the California Public Utilities Commission that "substantially less than 1 percent of PG&E's residential customers" have declined the technology. But SmartMeters critics have noted that the lion's share of installations occurred before the opt-out program was created. They also have pointed to the who want to keep their old analog meter a one-time fee of $75 and then $10 a month after that.

PG&E this week responded to a legal filing by the Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax Town Council asking the commission to temporarily halt further installation of the meters in their communities until the commission rules on whether entire communities can opt out en masse and whether the amount that customers are charged to opt out is fair.

All this got us thinking: Has the SmartMeter debate in Mill Valley ended, as PG&E claims? Have you moved on? Is the fee too high for you to opt-out?

Lippy May 17, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Agreed, Ricardo. I called PG & E and was put on the delay list. I have kept my analog meter (just outside of Mill Valley limits). So someone explain to me WHY I have to pay PG&E extortion money of $75 to "replace my SmartMeter with an analog one" when my analog meter was NEVER changed in the first place? Nice criminal act, PG& E. Battle won, WAR lost. You'll see.
Samuel Island May 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Check out the video posted on Novato Patch's discussion: "I opted out but found out my neighbor’s Smart Meter (PG&E) was pulsing very high microwave radiation (RFR) bursts about every 30 – 60 seconds – just 10 feet from the walls of my home… I plan on talking to them about it. Here's some video footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br_cBS6L1a0&feature=youtu.be "
Lippy May 17, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Whoaaaah! I was unprepared for that. What is "considered safe" for the amount of EM transmissions?
Rico May 18, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Samuel, RFR bursts ? What are you talking about? SmartMeters do not use microwave for communications, but they do use a radio frequency (900MHz band) to send data on the radio network that PG&E has renamed to be called a "smart grid". This is to mislead the customers into thinking that the smart radio grid is the electrical power grid. It's not. In all my years of working with radio electronics I have never heard of a radio network referred to as a "grid", until now.
Samuel Island May 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I'm not sure. I'd advise commenting on the Novato Patch article on this same issue. I just cut/pasted the comment above which had the link to the youtube video with those "bursts". There looks to be some more links in the comments as well for further education. Here's the link: http://novato.patch.com/articles/are-you-still-worried-about-smarmeters?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001#comment_3353132

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