Do you have a complaint about a LADWP smart meter?

14 Aug

Yesterday (Saturday, August 14, 2011), Los Angeles county residents Elizabeth Barris (founder of The People’s Initiative) and Kiku Iwata (of Burbank ACTION) followed up on a request to speak about smart meters to the San Fernando Valley Patriots organization.  (Opposition to smart meters is so widespread it crosses conservative and liberal lines.)

One of their members shared how she had called Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to inform them that she didn’t want a smart meter.  The rep informed her that the utility does not have a delay or opt out program.

LADWP obviously doesn’t have a notification program, either.  She said the  installers put the smart meter on her home when she was out.  A word of warning for those of you who believe your guard dogs in the back will protect you against installation: this LADWP customer also had her guard dog in the back.

Call and write today to your elected reps to complain about unreasonable and unacceptable smart meter installations that have happened to you, or your neighbors, friends or family.  Tell them about the need for notification, and consent.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that does not have a smart meter yet on your home, call and write your elected reps to tell them you oppose smart meters and how they should be banned and at the minimum, you should be given no-cost options to allow you to keep your analog meters.

You can not take for granted that simply calling the utility to tell them you don’t want them to install will suffice.

In northern California, we’ve received reports that PG&E is now denying that certain residents who called to be added to their “delay installation” list are still on the delay list, and so they are installing them anyway.   Way to go from a company that failed to heed warnings from its own employees about the safety of its gas pipelines.  So it knew about this before its pipeline in San Bruno exploded into a massive fire, destroying 35 homes, injuring residents and killing eight, including a family of three, and a mother and her 13-year-old daughter.  Oh yes, and this is also the utility that dumped toxic chemicals in Hinkley (documented in the hit film, “Erin Brockovich”).  Its list of transgressions and offenses doesn’t stop there.

We passed out the “No Consent” letter that Burbank resident Jerry Day recommends everyone send to their utilities, via certified mail. You can find a copy here to print, fill out and send, too:

A Patriot member suggested that everyone make copies of their signed No Consent letters and send them to our elected reps to give them a heads up so that they will know that their constituents don’t want smart meters.  That’s an excellent idea.

For all residents throughout California (and beyond), act now because this is race against time.  LADWP is not the only utility randomly installing smart meters without notifying residents.   In addition, SCE customers tell us that SCE is saying that it isn’t offering a delay or opt out program , defying a CPUC Administrative Law Judge’s ruling.   And beware the utilities that decide to take the low-road like PG&E by going back on their promises and pledges that they made to their own customers and media that they would not have smart meters installed if they were put on the delay list.

Utilities like these are making it bad for all utilities, failing to serve the needs of their customers and lying and talking out of both sides of their mouth, eroding and losing any trust we had in them.

One Response to “Do you have a complaint about a LADWP smart meter?”

  1. Devon August 19, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I am an electricity broker in Texas, with thousands of clients — both commercial and residential.

    One of my commercial clients had his analog meter replaced earlier this year with a new “smart” meter. The first few months went by without issue, but then suddenly his monthly usage jumped from an average of 5,500kwh to over 88,000kwh. The company that manages the new new smart meter, Oncor, came out and verified the reading and tested the meter. The testing showed the meter to be correct over 99% of the time. Because of this visit and testing, Oncor said the reading was correct.

    Oncor was oblivious to the fact that it was practically impossible that a small office location of this size could use 88,000kwh in a single month. It’s more than their highest annual usage!

    Because Oncor is a monopoly in this part of Texas (DFW area), their service department has no incentive to try to right an obvious wrong. After several weeks of getting nowhere, I began to call the local TV stations, and that finally got Oncor’s attention. The meter has now been replaced by another “smart” meter, and the client’s usage for the month in question is being set to equal the previous year’s usage for that month.

    They said that although the meter is correct over 99% of the time, this meter evidently had some technical issues that caused the readings to jump dramatically.

    Luckily, this error was obvious — at least to everyone except Oncor’s service department. What happens to those electricity users that have meters that cause the readings to jump in small increments? They are still paying for more electricity than they are using, but they have no way to prove it and no one that will listen to them.

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