Statewide opt-out proceedings move forward, but Burbank has yet to offer a no-cost right to keep analog meters sought by residents

5 Aug

Look around: Do you have one of these smart meter radiating collector antennas near your home or child's school?

Has your city informed you that here, in California, the state is exploring smart meter options for residents?

At yesterday’s Burbank Water & Power Board meeting (August 4, 2011), several Burbank residents showed up to inform BWP Board Members about the problems and concerns they have with smart meters, including privacy, interference problems, time-of-use rate schedules, and health.

One group of residents near Lake/Alameda reported that the smart meters are interfering with their routers and appliances.

Bretigne Calvert shared Dr. David O. Carpenter written comments that pointed out flaws of the California Council of Science and Technology’s report (which concluded that smart meters are safe).  Ms. Calvert said she wants to protect the health of her family and supported no-cost opt outs.

Another resident, an electrical engineer, spoke about the privacy and security concerns he has about smart meters, how the delay list is not an opt out program, and his other concern about time-of-use rate schedules that smart meters bring with them.

Jerry Day, who has produced a video commentary about smart meters that has become a big hit on YouTube, informed board members on how smart meters are a form of surveillance and are thus illegal.

Shane Gregory detailed how smart  meters installed at her residence are making her sick, and pressed BWP to tell her how they will remedy that.  She asked if BWP could replace the smart meters at her residence with analog ones.   (She was informed that someone from BWP will contact her; we’ll keep you posted if BWP’s response solves the health problems caused by its meters.)

Kiku Iwata, of Burbank ACTION, represented other concerned residents and listed a variety of reasons why residents oppose smart meters.  She also submitted a list of recommendations and questions to which she asked Board Members to respond. These include a request that BWP post info on the front page of its website about the statewide opt out proceedings, offer instructions on what to do if customers want to opt out, and also notify residents and post info about the phone number that residents can call to be put on the “delay” installation list.

BWP Board Members asked how the concerns, questions and requests of the public that spoke up at the meeting would be addressed.  General Manager Ron Davis responded that those public speakers would be given responses within 2 weeks.  (We’ll keep you posted on what those “responses” are.)

Board Members also asked when will an opt out program start for Burbank?  Mr. Davis responded that BWP only has a “delay” list, not an opt out program, and Mr. Davis offered no timeline for offering an opt-out program.  Mr. Davis informed Board members that BWP cannot afford to operate two sets of computers — one for those who want to keep their analog meters, and another for those who have smart meters.

Does that sound to you like he supports residents rights to keep their analog meters or not?

So what happens to Burbank residents while BWP stalls on saying whether they will honor the rights of its residents to keep their analog meters, and the rest of California pursues ways to offer opt outs for their residents or their entire communities?

To find out what’s happening at the statewide level on this front, thank the Environmental Options Network for videotaping the first CPUC workshop on smart meter opt outs.  EON even added lower-third IDs (identifying who and what parties are speaking) to help make more sense of what you’re seeing.  This is more like a documentary and far surpasses the low-tech video streams of meetings on the CPUC website.

Watch what State regulators, utilities, and various groups (aka “parties) are saying and exploring in terms of opt outs to smart meters.  Certain local governments, including Lake County and the Town of Fairfax (which have banned smart meters in their area) are participating, for example.

Keep in mind that it still has not been determined if municipal water departments (like BWP, GWP and LADWP) will be subject to the CPUC’s ultimate decision on smart meter options that come out of these proceedings.  If municipal power companies do not adopt the CPUC’s ultimate decision, then our State will have this piecemeal approach that will make living in smart meter-free communities more ideal than living in a communities that have mandatory smart meter programs.  How will that impact our property values (and property tax revenue) here in Burbank?  And if smart meters make people sick or force them to move out of Burbank to a smart meter-free community, how will that impact our economy, workforce, and desirability to live here?

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:

Support EON3 with a donation so it can continue its valuable public service of documenting and sharing what’s happening on the smart meter front.


4 Responses to “Statewide opt-out proceedings move forward, but Burbank has yet to offer a no-cost right to keep analog meters sought by residents”

  1. S. Gregory August 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    This is an update on Burbank Water and Power’s promised follow-through: they have not! I was promised that I would be contacted immediately regarding my health concerns arising from the bank of meters that were installed on my residence. I told the Board of the BWP that I was experiencing headaches, insomnia, nausea, and other symptoms beginning on the evening that the meters were placed. I was assured that I would be contacted immediately. I was given the name of Jeanette Meyer, Marketing Manager, as the person who would be contacting me. It has been 11 days since this promise was made but there has been no follow through. I attempted to contact BWP Board member, Lynn Kronzek, but I was told that I would need to communicate with her through the General Manager. This was not an acceptable avenue to me, given the General Manager’s stance, articulated on camera at the meeting, that it would be too expensive to have separate meter systems. I eventually contacted Ms. Kronzek directly and she promised she would get back to me after hearing about the meter-related health problems I am experiencing and my devastation at having my residence become subjected to WIFI loads and possibly electrical line noise — making it unlivable for me. It has been 7 days since our thoroughgoing conversation but I have yet to hear back from Ms. Kronzek who, at one point, suggested that I consider relocating to a city other than Burbank. I have lived in Burbank for 23 years. It is my home. I am close to friends and family (particularly my elderly mother) and I don’t want to leave! I am distressed that no options seem to be available to me and that the BWP is exhibiting complete disregard of and concern for its residents.

    I am very disappointed that the good utility company that has served its community well over the years has taken this position with regard to smart meters.

    S. Gregory
    Burbank, CA


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