Michael Laybourn: Opt-Out of Smart Meters Now!


[PG&E has a ‘delay installation phone number’ for customers who, for any reason, wish to delay their SmartMeter install. By calling this number customers can put off the installation of their new meter until the CPUC has decided on a non-wireless SmartMeter option. The number is: 1-866-743-0263. ~Dan Hamburg]

“The PG&E and Wellington Energy employees were a no-show this morning at the Wellington Energy Installation Yard, while 26 trucks sat there ready to (illegally) install in Santa Cruz County.  About 40-50 people showed up to demand that PG&E respect local laws and get their “smart” meter program out of the County. “

Some people are demonstrating to stop the smart meters. You are missing the point if you think that smart meters will save energy. Smart meters do not save electricity. They are a reason to cut jobs. To think they are some kind of gentle green good is nonsense.

Smart meters merely track electric usage, just like the current meters, but just as smart predecessors. Consumers who purchase additional devices can receive detailed information on the energy costs of individual appliances. They would also have to install a “Home Area Network”, including a wireless router which sends a powerful signal 24/7.  All connected appliances will be sending information to the smart meter, to be bounced from there via all the surrounding meters to the utility’s data collector device and eventually to the regional office.

Will additional expenditures be required on the consumer end? In order to get the purported benefits of smart meters, consumers have to purchase their own communications devices, computers, high speed internet, special thermostats, appliance chips and other automated equipment. The cost of retrofitting or replacing existing appliances alone will be astronomical. Without the extra expenditures, consumers will not see any difference from the new meters except higher electric bills.

The main issues to opt out are:
1. Security of data and private information. Billions [of dollars] are on the table, so they are moving forward with metering projects and they’re spending money as fast as they can,” said Jonathan Pollet, founder of Red Tiger Security which tests security features in SCADA systems. “The security isn’t where it should be, but the vendors aren’t going to turn down orders.” So there is little security built into the “smart” meters, making them susceptible to hackers. Someone could turn on or off your power, change the amount of power which the meter shows you have used, or even be able to tell if you were home. Your energy use patterns and data are a gold mine to marketers. Who owns this data? PG&E. They can make money from this information. You think they care about your privacy?

2. Questionable accuracy and greatly increased bills. “The meters have been plagued with problems since the beginning, starting with widespread reports of inflated bills.

3. Loss of jobs and trained people in the field monitoring the infrastructure. Our country’s big problem – no jobs – and PG&E wants us to pay to make less jobs. [Nice! Hire a bunch of people short-term to destroy more long-term jobs! ~DS]

4. the San Jose Mercury News says it’s collected dozens of complaints on its Action Line from readers who claim that the wireless smart meters interfere with their household electronics — cordless phones, crib monitors, patio speakers, wireless headsets and microphones, home security systems, motion detectors and remote-controlled garage doors — as the meters transmit their power data.

5. Private property rights and your ability to choose for yourself in your own home.

The standard very reliable mechanical meters are being replaced across America in a massive campaign to grab stimulus money and decrease labor costs. Do you really trust this huge corporation to do the right thing?

What to do: Contact PG&E and the CPUC. PG&E’s dedicated smart meter line is 1-866-743-0263. If PG&E threatens to shut off your power, file a complaint with the CPUC. Download a No Smart Meter sign to place on your meter at the TURN website.

More info:



One Comment

Michael Laybourn July 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Dan Hamburg: PG&E’s smart meter delay direct line is: