Friday, November 20, 2009

The Darker Side of SmartMeters

As if PG&E didn't have enough problems with SmartMeters...

David Baker's article in today's San Francicso Chronicle reveals yet another nasty feature to the new technology: they allow PG&E to shut off power to a home remotely. No sending out a technician, just flip a switch.

So, in these "brother, can you spare a dime" days, it's a lot easier to cut off someone's electricity for non-payment. Apparently that fact is not lost on PG&E because the number of low-income homes that were cut off grew by more than 27% in the twelve month period ending in August.

The obvious question is, "If your SmartMeter fouls up and jacks up your electric bill to stratospheric levels, leaving you unable or unwilling to pay the erroneous bill, will PG&E cut you off?" An impossible question to answer, but the fact remains the utility COULD do it very easily.

SmartMeters are turning into a PR nightmare for PG&E.