This morning the CA delivered a double barrel shot at opponents of smart meters. Why today? Because the City Council will vote on whether to give MLGW $10 million for 60,000 more of them. They want to pave the way for Council approval by giving them talking points.
First we get an editorial called “Face the facts on smart meters.” It’s addressed to the public, not themselves, because the newspaper has studiously avoided any negative facts about the meters. What they say is laughable.
Of course, we get the assurance that smart meters will make energy costs more cost effective. For whom? MLGW? Consumers across the country have decried the raise in bills they experience once they are installed. They even use the argument that meters will “head off future property tax hikes.” Where did they get that? There is no correlation between meters and property tax and every taxpayer knows that they raise those taxes to cover anything.
Smart meters “have gained wide acceptance across the country.” True, if what you mean by acceptance is resignation to a system they don’t like, but can’t fight. They go on to say that consumers “gain more control over what they pay for electricity.” Not true in any real world. MLGW determines time of use rates. On things like refrigerators that must run constantly, there is no choice but higher costs. If you want your air conditioner to last, you won’t want to have it continually cut off and then turn on without burning up the works. People who must use washing machines, showers, stoves at certain times because they have to get to work have no choice either except higher costs. What else can they do? Eat breakfast at midnight and shower at 2 a.m.?
As for those Luddites who refuse the smart meters, the CA assures us that we can still use our old meters with an opt out fee. Only $9.13 a month they say. Yes, until MLGW decides to stop the opt out or decides the rate should be $20, $30 a month and up. They will eventually have to get rid of opt out to make the smart meter program work.
If that doesn’t persuade you, the CA uses the old good for the environment schtick. “Power plants …are tremendously expensive to build and operate and the health care effects of the pollution they pump into the atmosphere cannot be ignored.” Well, there are regulations in place now that seem to keep us breathing. What of the cost of burned up homes and health costs arising from smart meter dangers? They don’t want to touch that.
The second indoctrination we get is from MLGW chief Jerry Collins. His headline scolds “Time to get smart about utility monitors.” “We trust the City Council will continue its support for progress,” he says. Progress for him, that is. “Progress” that will hit the entire city by 2020.
You’ll like it, Collins says. You’ll like it better than no electricity at all is how I read it. He goes on to say how much of the country is moving towards smart meters, so you’d better get behind them. What he doesn’t say is how many loathe them and are working to get them removed. See California’s experience, for example, in the video below this story.
Collins waxes on about how much money the consumer will save and what a paradise it will be for all of us just as soon as we can get smart meters everywhere. Collins – in collusion with the editorial – adds that Joe Memphian will actually gain more control over his life and energy usage than he does now. “Unprecedented control” is the term he uses. “No estimated bills. Keep gates locked and pets outside. Greatly reduced utility theft. Lower fees. Faster service. Shorter outages. Safe and secure.” Why can we believe him? Because he says so and that ought to be good enough for you.
The CA has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on this issue and most others. If they were honest, they’d have run an opposing view. Reporters would have asked how the city can afford this, much less its citizens. They would have asked who benefits from this venture? Myron Lowery? Jerry Collins? Elster, the manufacturer? What’s going on behind the scenes that MLGW is so desperate to get this money? Why couldn’t it be used to repair the failing structures we have now? How is a smart meter going to keep a tree from knocking out power or a squirrel from severing wires or winds from knocking down polls? Why not put the money towards underground wires?
And why is this group of liberals so eager to oust union members? Whatever happened to their great love of the working man? Why don’t their opinions and future matter?
The two efforts today are made hoping you’ll swallow their propaganda and submit to their plan. The Council has a big chance today to stop it. We’ll find out this afternoon who is really for the citizens and who is not.