SAN LUIS OBISPO TAKES LEAD ON HALTING SMART
(Santa Barbara, CA – March 10, 2011) Smart meters are
being installed around California, and Santa Barbara is next. San Luis
Obispo County just halted installation, the state of Connecticut banned
them, and protests against them are happening throughout our state. Yet,
many of us know little about them.
Few of us paid attention when the controversial 2009
stimulus authorized $4.5 billion to propel smart meter and smart grid
deployment. Since there was little notice to consumers, few heard about
the California Public Utility Commission dictating every aspect of
installation of smart meters to the utility companies, including passing
billions of dollars in costs on to the customer, at a time when
unemployment is the highest in decades.
Fortunately, we’re seeing the light due to complaints
from customers with smart meters. Advocacy groups claim smart meters’
punitive rates of up to 10 times higher are often not the consumer’s
fault, but a function of a communal 24/7 tier system based on energy
usage of others in the grid. Seniors, people who work at home and those
with medical devices are the machines’ most common victims. Across the
country, power has been remotely turned off for unpaid bills. At least
one county banned the meters after a man froze to death.
Who’s really “smart”? The government for labeling
programs they force us to use as “smart”? Or those who question what’s
“smart”? I hope Santa Barbara follows the lead of San Luis Obispo
County, where smart people demanded their leaders protect them against
government “smarts.” We deserve that, too.