Saturday, June 29, 2013


WREG Channel News  June 28, 2013

If you are following the doings of the Memphis City Council and Shelby County County Commission you will see more and more legislation being proposed in order to 'control' the behavior of the citizens of this community. Let's take the new Smart Meters that are being discussed in the City Council next week.  (link above)

If you are not familiar, Smart Meters are part of the new Smart Grid that is being implemented across the US. (You-Tube link below)These mighty meter marvels will have the ability to send your water usage and later electricity and gas usage wirelessly by microwave technology to MLGW every 15 minutes 24 hr a day. When fully implemented, there will also be an inside component that will allow the homeowner (at their own expense) to monitor their own usage and adjust their behavior accordingly. 

The new meters will have a Time of Day (TOD) billing rate which. at the moment, MLGW is saying is optional. They are neglecting to say whether your bill will go up if you opt out of the TOD metering. If fact there is a lot about these meters that MLGW is neglecting to say. 

The new water meters are being installed throughout the US. The meters cost the taxpayers $400 -$500 each and the price tag will go up when electricity and gas is added to the metering systems.  MLGW is spending over 10 million to replace our current analog meter (the meter that is on your house now that is read by a human). An analog meter, needs no batteries, has a lifetime of over 30 years, and doesn't send out high energy microwaves right next to my dining room window.  

When your new Smart Meter is installed,  MLGW will also have the capability to communicate directly with the meter and regulate (Control)  the amount of electricity you receive causing air conditioners and refrigerators etc. to run slower at on peak times. Other cities are reporting damage to their appliances as a result of the brownouts.  (link below) MLGW says this will save us money on our bills by helping YOU best decide how to regulate your water usage. Really?

Citizens in cities around the country, including our own City Council Member Janice Fullilove,  that have already been using the meters say "not so much".  Council Member Fullilove had MLGW take her smart meter off of her house after it had been installed during the pilot program last year citing "malfunction and higher water bills”. Others have concerns about the bursts of microwave energy affecting the health of the residents of the home.  (link below

Seem excessive?  It certainly does to me.  Up until now, MLGW was content to bill me according to a once-a-month reading by a Meter Reader.  Here is how it works.  I use the water, The Meter Reader record my usage at the end of the month, I get a bill.  Simple right?  So why the change?

I am pretty much in agreement with Jack Oliphint, a retiree who lives 20 miles north of Houston in Spring, TX. Mr Oliphint thinks the $3.45 a month he will pay his local utility company in the coming years for a smart meter is too much, considering what he sees as rather elusive benefits.

"There's no mystery about how you save energy", says the 71 year old retired furniture salesman, "You turn down the air conditioner and shut off some lights. I don't need an expensive meter to do that."

Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal article that outlines several other US cities experiences with Smart Meters.

Here is a link to  a You Tube discussion on Smart Meters and the Smart Grid. 

Note: Being a member of CUSC (Citizens of Unincorporated Shelby County), it bothers me to no small extent that the Memphis City Council, who I have no voice in electing, can make decisions that affect my life and property.

Ayn Wz Rite - Guest Blogger




No comments:

Post a Comment