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Utility customers to get 'smart meters'

Original post made on Oct 19, 2021

In a move that aims to make Palo Alto's utilities more efficient, city leaders voted to approve $18.1 million in contracts on Monday to convert all electricity, gas and water customers to smart meters.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 9:35 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by film jedi
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:47 am

film jedi is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by BobH
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:55 am

BobH is a registered user.

I both support the smart meter project, and also agree with council member Greg Tanaka, that there should be a cost saving for utility customers.

Posted by neighbor of PA
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:57 am

neighbor of PA is a registered user.

Way to go Palo Alto. It’s about time. Finally following the lead of PG&E, who installed my smart meter in 2009. There will certainly be climate benefits when people can easily shift consumption to less polluting hours when they have the incentive and information to do so.

Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:10 am

Mama is a registered user.

Why would the city continue to employ the same number as now? There are plenty of jobs for these workers elsewhere and think of the pension savings. No more wasteful padded city payrolls, pls.

Posted by Tom from Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:16 am

Tom from Midtown is a registered user.

I hadn't heard that smart meters are harmful to health. I'm guessing that it's the RF radiation that some are concerned about. A quick search pulled up this, from the "Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative" whoever that is -- I'm certainly not vouching for the accuracy of the article, but it asserts "facts" that wouldn't be that hard to check:

* In-depth review of the scientific literature by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that the small amount of radio frequency (RF) energy produced by smart meters is not harmful to human health.

* RF emitted by smart meters is well below the limits set by Federal Communications Commission and it is below levels produced by other common household devices like cell phones, baby monitors, satellite TVs, and microwaves. In fact, you would have to be exposed to the RF from a smart meter for 375 years to get a dose equivalent to that of one year of 15-minutes-per-day cell phone use.

No credible evidence shows any threat to human health from RF emissions at or below RF exposure limits developed by the FCC. With over 25,000 articles published on the topic over the last 30 years, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals.

Hope this helps.

Posted by neighbor of PA
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 12:48 pm

neighbor of PA is a registered user.

Thank you, Tom from Midtown, for some reason and sense on this issue.

Posted by caprichoso
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 1:45 pm

caprichoso is a registered user.

No credible evidence shows any threat to human health from RF emissions at or below RF exposure limits developed by the FCC. With over 25,000 articles published on the topic over the last 30 years, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals.

There are individuals who are sensitive to EMF. I've met a few of them, some of whom can get severely ill from exposure. There is no financial incentive to investigate this population, which is extremely small. I've gone through a blind EMF exposure test and at certain frequencies I experience symptoms, although not as severe as some exceptional individuals. The fact that there may be no effects on the general population is no comfort to those who suffer from its effects.

Luckily meters are often a distance from living areas which limits any negative effects on sensitive individuals. I've never asked any of these individuals about whether they have issues with smart meters.

Posted by Moctod
a resident of University South
on Oct 19, 2021 at 2:00 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.

Posted by Jane
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2021 at 7:53 pm

Jane is a registered user.

I'm generally in favor but I'd like to know how they will be secured and how much that security will cost.

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