No reason for residents to fear Smartmeters
Utility meters are being replaced with smarter ones in roughly 200,000 homes and businesses in Tulare County by Southern California Edison. Some people are not happy with the shift to smart meters, after all, change is not easy, but in this instance is welcomed.
The benefits to Edison are obvious. Less manpower but increased efficiency.
A person will not need to physically check these smart meters as they will be sent usage information down to the minute in much the same way a cell phone sends text messages or e-mails. It will help residents to better manage their electric bill.
Consumers will receive a bill like they always have. Hopefully, this information can be used to help people use energy more efficiently and ultimately save the consumer money.
Not everyone likes this type of technology as they fear “Big Brother” is watching. It’s difficult to reason with this thinking because it’s true. Much of our life today leaves an electronic trail from cameras on signal lights to the swipe of a debit or credit card. So, yes the utility could in theory know what type of appliance is being used inside a home and when because of the via a signature. A microwave oven has a different kind of signature than say a dryer.
Others simply don’t like the charges that are added if a person does not want a new smart meter installed. They would be required to pay $10 more a month — essentially a meter reader fee — plus an initial $75 fee to turn down installation.
Installation of the meters is to begin next month throughout Tulare County and should take about two months to complete.
It’s understandable that residents are nervous about the installment of smart meters but they should not be. SCE has had few problems with the meters. The best approach is to monitor the smart meter closely to ensure it is working properly after it is installed and look for ways to cut down on the bill.