MEMPHIS, TN – Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) claims to be one of the nation’s largest municipal utilities, serving nearly 421,000 customers.
On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the President of MLGW said there is no fee if you do not want a smart meter in your home. Smart meters will replace 170 MLGW meter readers in the coming years. There had been concern that an opt-out fee would be charged, but this was clarified on Tuesday when it was more widely announced that in August, the Memphis City Council approved purchase of the meters without an associated opt-out fee.
The following video is an excerpt from a report by WMC-TV 5 in Memphis:
[Above video clip contains material used pursuant to Fair Use Doctrine under 17 U.S.C.]
This is certainly a victory for the rights of citizens in Memphis. That said, there is a great deal of misleading and just plain weird information on the MLGW website about smart meters. Here is one quote on its website dealing with “Smart Grid Myths and Realities”:
“Myth: Thieves will use my smart meter signals to know when I’m not home.
Reality: Even if someone was able to hack into MLGW’s system to obtain your specific smart meter data, it doesn’t make your home any more vulnerable to crime than when a thief parks down the street to watch you pull out of your driveway, or when a stranger knocks at the door without anyone answering, or when you activate the GPS locator features in your smart phone, or when you post vacation plans on social media.”
Is the above statement really very comforting to the consumer? MLGW basically compares the smart meter to a thief parked down the street. I would tend to agree with that characterization. And personally, I try to reduce all risks associated with such types of people or devices.
MLGW compares a smart meter to activating the GPS locator feature on your smart phone or posting your vacation plans on social media. Well, I don’t do that and would never do that. And although I own a cell phone, because of the RF emissions, I only use it for extraordinary circumstances like getting help to fix a flat tire or to report a car accident.
I hate it when strawman arguments are made that make the assumption that all people do dumb things like post their vacation plans on social media.
But again, good news for the people of Memphis, Tennessee. Let us hope that the trend continues.
It is important to note that the opt-out provisions apply for any type of smart meter, whether it be for gas, electric, or water. Refer to the following link for a press release from MLGW that states that: “MLGW also agreed to waive the opt out fee.”
For the full news report that formed the basis for at least a portion of this website posting, visit the following link:
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