City prepares to switch to 'smart meters' | October 15, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 15, 2021

City prepares to switch to 'smart meters'

Council to consider approving more than $18M in contracts for advanced metering infrastructure

by Gennady Sheyner

Seeking to advance its conservation goals and improve reliability of its municipal utilities, Palo Alto is preparing to approve more than $18 million in contracts on Monday to transition all electricity, gas and water customers to "smart meters."

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Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]


Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:05 am

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Let the junk science protests begin...

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:22 am

Bystander is a registered user.

I have nothing against this technology, but wonder why it can be done so quickly when undergrounding our lines takes over 50 years.

It is about time we joined the 21st century with our powerlines.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2021 at 10:04 am

Online Name is a registered user.

$18,000.000? Where's our $12,600,000 refund and how much is the city's appeal costing us?

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2021 at 10:57 am

Citizen is a registered user.

Thought the city was short on money. Where is our utility refund for ripping us off?

Posted by Observer
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 15, 2021 at 11:55 am

Observer is a registered user.

Justification boils down to "breakeven financially, with little to no impact to utility costs to customers over the 18-year life of the project" and "nonquantifiable benefits such as enhanced customer experience and improved system reliability". Those are sufficient reasons to spend over $18 million? No savings in utility costs? When you add in the cost of capital (money isn't free) and consider alternate uses of this money that might benefit the citizens in more tangible ways, this shapes up as a loser and a questionable allocation of scarce resources.

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

So far there's been some really good arguments against the smart meters. Where are the junk science protesters?

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 15, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

The article notes " the project entails installation of five network poles and 10 collector radios...".
What sort of poles are these? Like cell towers, perhaps? For neighborhoods with underground utilities, will unsightly freestanding poles be erected?

Posted by Moctod
a resident of University South
on Oct 22, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Moctod is a registered user.

I do not believe that the new meters present a health hazard, except to your financial health.

We will opt out of the AMI ("smart") meter system to aviod the the huge increase in electric bills that we experienced with a house that was converted by PG&E. You must do this before the new meters are installed at your residence. You pay a one time fee of $75. and then $10 per month for three years. After that there is no charge. The charges are less for low income residents.

Once these AMI meters are all installed in 2005, the city will start significantly increasing the cost per KWH in order to push our residents away from using power when they want to use it. They will wait until all of the meters are installed, as there will be a real stink when those bills arrive.

If you think you can avoid electric use durning the high rate periods (i.e. 5 PM to 11 PM) Check the proposals by our Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) Ad Hoc Committee, run by yet another contractor and attended by strong supporters of cutting off all natural gas service to Palo Alto residents in 2025. The name of this committee should be changed to "The Committee to Terminate Residential Natural Gas Service." Their own figures show that residential natural gas usage is one of the smallest contributors to Palo Alto's carbon emissions- auto traffic is, by far, the biggest factor.

The S/CAP plan to date is to first deny building permits unless the home is all electric, give incentives to buy new expensive heat pump appliances, then require the installation of those appliances (which would cost tens of thousands of dollars) and then terminate natural gas to all residents. Industry and the City will be exempt from the total ban.

So, in 2025 our residents will face very large increases in electricty rates and, it is proposed, a termination of natural gas service. Good luck in keeping warm that winter and start saving for those new electric stoves, water and home heaters.

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