The other day, we wrote about LADWP and other utilities not showing their best manners when responding to residents who didn’t want smart meters on their homes.
We keep getting questions about how many smart meters has LADWP installed. Los Angeles residents want to know because every time they call Customer Service, they tell us that they keep getting the runaround. They are either transferred to different people who don’t have the answers, or give conflicting answers, or are told that LADWP is still deciding on what it wants to do about smart meters.
So, for the record, let’s look at what LADWP said in its own “Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, 2010-2011 Budget & Long Term Plan, Frequently Asked Questions,” issued June 30, 2010. Go to page 3:
Q. What is the status of smart meters for residences? They have not been well
received by PG&E customers? (From what I understand, commercial customers have TOU meters.)
A. LADWP has installed, 46,000 residential, 57,840 small commercial, 4,779 medium commercial, and 1,200 large commercial and industrial customers, smart power meters. The installed smart power meters account for over 40% of our total annual power sales.
We also have installed 25,000 residential and 7,125 commercial smart water meters. That covers close to 15% of our total annual water sales.
To avoid obstacles LADWP smart meters are subject to rigorous testing, system integration, and real-time monitoring.
(“TOU” means “Time of use” — smart meters record and communicate your near real-time energy use, which means that utilities can now know how much energy you are using almost every minute of every hour of the day. As a result, once they have a smart meter installed on your home, the utilities could put you on a “time of use” or “dynamic” rate schedule which would charge you more for using energy during certain times or hours of the day. As we said before about smart meters, this is not good news for those who are confined to working or living in their homes and cannot shift their energy use, including seniors, disabled, stay at home parents, caretakers, and those who work in their homes. They will be burdened with higher bills, which is why you do NOT want one of these on your homes and should insist on keeping your analog meters.)
You can find the above Q&A citation on-line at: https://www.piersystem.com/external/content/document/1643/972263/1/2010%20Budget%20Q&A.pdf
You can also read an earlier report about LADWP and smart meters that was issued in November 30, 2009, “LADWP RECEIVES $60 MILLION FOR SMART GRID PROJECT, Demonstration Grants Will Accelerate Comprehensive Smart Grid Program, Increase Energy Efficiency, Support New Jobs, and Boost Reliability,” found on-line at: http://www.ladwpnews.com/go/doc/1475/403483/
Recommendation: If you’re still getting the runaround in obtaining current figures, stats and data, and correspondence and/or complaints received from residents regarding LADWP smart meter programs, then submit a Public Records Request with the LA City Controller: http://controller.lacity.org/HELP_for_the_Public/index.htm. LADWP would typically have to respond within 10 days.