Smart meters overcharge – CPUC emails reveal coverup

Smart Meter

Smart meter, above, identified by the digital display.

CPUC caught promoting inaccurate smart utility meters, falsely touting report as independent.

Smart meters, installed on every home by California’s utilities, can malfunction and overcharge customers, according to a raft of insider emails recently released by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). CPUC engaged in a systematic coverup of smart meter accuracy problems while forcing them on California utility customers. The Structure Group, a widely-touted, so-called “independent” company from Texas, was charged by CPUC to investigate smart meter accuracy in 2010, and determined smart meters were accurate, even while customers reported skyrocketing bills that doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled, once the wireless meters were installed.

As it turns out, the CPUC emails reveal that the Structure Group held lucrative contracts with PG&E, the utility whose smart meters were under fire, for the past five years. CPUC emails reveal behind-the-scenes maneuvering to keep that conflict of interest quiet. Previously hidden communications between top CPUC and utility staff disclose that smart meters were actually malfunctioning in several ways – resubmitting data multiple times that was read and billed as such, and providing inaccurate data when the temperatures were too cold or too hot for the inexpensive, flawed meters to function.

CPUC President Michael Peevey, recently resigned and under criminal investigation by the state attorney general’s office, complained numerous times to PG&E by email that his own utility bills, at a vacation home rarely occupied, had doubled. As a result, he wanted it to be “smart meter-free”. Simultaneously, Peevey (former CEO of Southern CA Edison) and the CPUC were helping utilities promote the accuracy of smart meters to the public, while forcing the lucrative, profitable devices on utility customers, statewide.

The flawed Structure Group Report, falsely claimed to be an independent investigation, is still used nationally to show smart meter accuracy. For more information in a detailed article by EMF Safety Network, quoting the revealing CPUC emails, click here.

Want to get rid of the smart meter on your home? Have your bills been higher since installation? A smart meter opt-out is available by calling SDG&E, or your other California utility. Live in another location? Increasingly, in response to consumer outcries, utilities across the nation are providing opt-outs – free (in VT) or for-fee. Having an accurate, electromechanical analog meter, the kind used for the past century without problems, will likely save you money, while preventing exposure to hazardous electrosmog pollution emitted by the wireless smart meters. According to a recent Decision at the CPUC, smart meter opt-out fees will be charged for the first three years of a customer opt-out, then the widely unpopular fees will be be dropped.

Fill out a SDG&E form to request an opt-out from a smart meter.

Susan Brinchman, as Director of the Center for Electrosmog Prevention, a La Mesa, CA 501c3 nonprofit, has represented utility customers in CPUC legal proceedings concerning smart meters since May, 2012, working to obtain an opt-out, eliminate fees, remove banks of smart meters, and ban them altogether.


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