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Austin Liberty Coalition Message Board › Austin Smart Meter/PUC meeting March 4- can anyone attend?

Austin Smart Meter/PUC meeting March 4- can anyone attend?

user 4356268
Santa Rosa, CA
Post #: 1,766
Can anyone please attend this Austin area meeting March 4, 2010:

THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 2010, 9:30 A.M.
Commissioners' Hearing Room
7th Floor, William B. Travis Building

Please take notes re: smart meter issues (items 31 and 32)

At issue I think is that the smart meters chips and communication system could be programmed and possibly manipulated to give preferential treatment to one entity or another. AKA- the meters may not measure accurately; for many people- they report 200-300% the expected Kwh usage. My Oncor meter "tester" told me that the "meter test" does NOT verify USAGE. (so all the Oncor tests might be insufficient as proof that they work)

Here are some of the partners in smart grid system:
Smart Grid and some of the players
Silver Spring Networks: The Cisco of Smart Grid?­

Here is what I presented to the Dallas City Council today:

I recently received a shockingly high electric bill and have learned that I’m not alone. Many consumers are complaining that their electric bills report a 200-300% increase in kWh usage since Oncor installed new digital ‘smart’ meters.

When I called the electric company to complain, the representative told me that if they requested a test from Oncor, the results would show the meter was good, it was the newest technology and the old meters were not charging enough. When he came out, the Oncor meter tester said the equipment he used did not verify usage.

An electric company rep said that even with no appliances running, no heat on, and everything unplugged, my home could be using lots of what he called “shadow electricity” (even more than a home with lots of appliances running he said). He said that if there was a problem with the meter- the electric company did not have to admit it. He said that the TDSP/Oncor was responsible to admit it.

I asked both the Public Utilities Commission and Oncor what organization tested the meters for accuracy prior to installation; they said that the manufacturer and Oncor tested the meters. Based on my inquiries, it’s unclear to me what accuracy testing was done by any party without a financial interest to the firm or its partners.

I have questions about when, where, how and who is programming the chips of the circuit boards in these digital meters and how they could be manipulated to favor one entity over another.
I have questions about the component or system supply chain and whether there’s a batch or source pattern to the meters from residences with complaints.

The PUC told me that if people call to complain about the new smart meters- they are not regarded as complaints but rather as “comments” because the PUC had approved the meters. The PUC told me that if they do investigate a meter problem, they ask Oncor to do the testing.

People across Oncor territory are complaining about this meter-- in Dallas, Killeen, Round Rock, Waco, Irving, Hearne, Mesquite, Cooperas Cove, in California where’s there’s a lawsuit, and in Australia, for starts. But in a recent community meeting where residents questioned Oncor abut the meter, a high level Oncor executive said that there were NOT other communities who shared our complaints.

I’d like to see someone step up to the plate on behalf Dallas area residents who are getting high bills and absurd explanations for them. This system is losing public trust.

Who will advocate for individuals who don’t have the time, clout, energy, or television news present to give them leverage in hashing this out with one on one with Oncor?

I’m concerned that for some people the options will be: be cold, be hot, or be poor.

It also concerned when I heard an elected official suggest that people should sign up for subsidy program or switch to a new billing company as neither addresses the Oncor smart meter complaint. Referrals to another state agency with no regulatory power (the Office of Public Utility Counsel/OPC) do not seem helpful either.

I hope you’ll look into this matter before it impacts more of Texas. Thank you for your time.

Some history:

Dallas digital meter rollout/PUC process:http://www.puc.state....­
While the commission has not undertaken an extensive advanced metering study, sufficient information has been provided by parties in this docket that suggests that the advanced meters will provide savings on metering expenses, foster new service offerings, and improve service, such as providing more timely connection and disconnection. PROJECT NO. 31418 ORDER PAGE 33 OF 109 (2007)

The commission does not agree with TLSC, Texas Rose and the Cities that the commission should conduct a study of the potential costs and benefits to customers, prior to any electric utility’s wide scale deployment, HB 2129 does not mandate that an electric utility wait until the commission conduct such a study. PROJECT NO. 31418 ORDER PAGE 27 OF 109 (2007)

While the commission is in agreement with the Cities that implementation of advanced metering be handled in a deliberate manner that ensures that benefits of advanced metering, particularly to smaller consumers, it does not agree that there is a lack of evidence demonstrating the benefits of advanced metering. The commission is not rushing the implementation of advanced metering, but is adopting a three-step process that an electric utility shall follow in its deployment – PROJECT NO. 31418 ORDER PAGE 26 OF 109 (2007)

Complaints Reported to PUC in 2007: http://www.puc.state....­
“Many of the customers have complained of increases in their monthly bills that
have doubled or tripled their expected ranges.”…
“On or about April 12, 2007, a town meeting was held in Lufkin where numerous residents complained of excessive electric bills. Many of those customers attending suspect that the accuracy of the newly deployed digital meters is subject to question.” B. Mark Gladney, Asst. General Counsel, OPC April 24, 2007.

One of the company representatives who were gracious enough to attend a public forum in Lufkin about the issue suggested that an "extremely cold" winter might be a factor in the electricity bills that have shot up, in some cases, by 200 to 300 percent. An April snowfall notwithstanding, that claim doesn't seem to hold water: Average temperatures in December, January and February were either the same or within 5 degrees of those in the previous winter. By The Lufkin Daily News
Sunday, April 15, 2007 EDITORIAL: Power Struggle

Anyone interested in more info- let me know.. Please attend the Austin meeting and take notes if you can..

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