Smart Meters, Dumb Decisions

From MemphisShelbyInform.com comes this analysis of the smart meter situation. Take a look at what he says about the time of use rates: “They want 80% more (in rates) from noon to 8 p.m. during the summer.”

The question is not should we buy 60,000 smart meters. The real question is should we buy any smart meters.

There is one benefit of smart meters that the MLGW claims that is true and that is less meter readers. Regardless of what the MLGW says, The Federal government through TVA will be calling the shots and it is about control and your loss of freedoms. Nationally, smart meters have delivered unemployed meter readers and a deluge of meter data that utilities have no idea what to do with. They delivered little or nothing of value to the consumer. The smart meter also delivered a public increasingly soured on the smart grid, which came to be perceived as a “bait-and-switch” by industry and politicians.

It is a question of Trust. Do you trust the MLGW, the City Council, the Tennessee State Government, the TVA and finally the National Government? I trust my neighbors and fellow ratepayers. The savings promised by MLGW is pie in the sky. This is part of the green agenda and we know how well that has worked with Solyndra and other failures and insider deals. The real snake in the grass is Time of Use Rates. Take a look at the proposed time of use rates (compare with the current rates) which the MLGW is asking for tomorrow at the City Council committee meeting. (12:30 PM). They want 80% more from noon to 8 PM during the summer.

If smart meters could be used with no time of use rates allowed, then I say OK. But $215 million plus plus is a lot of investment with nothing but promises of a rainbow pot of gold in return.

Time of use rates should be only upon a local ratepayer referendum. I trust my neighbors and fellow ratepayers more than I trust politicians and their promises. Let us kill this proposal for now and see how smart meters go around the country and what happens there, study the savings, if any, and the results. Don’t give up your freedoms for false promises.

Some of the attendees at last Thursday’s MLGW board meeting had interesting comments to share.

Foremost is the opt out/opt issue. At the previous meeting, which I intended, the board showed itself amenable to letting customers opt in rather than opt out. It may seem an insignificant matter, but it is really about freedom of choice vs. an imposition of will. Now, the board is backtracking and saying there will be an opt out only. MLGW chief Jerry Collins proposed a Citizens Committee, but how much power would it really have? It would probably be toothless.

Attendees also told me that MLGW executives were curt, dismissive, smart alack and refused to let a union member see what was going on, going so far as to draw curtains to keep him from viewing or filming.

This behavior is far from reassuring from an entity that claims it is a public utility.

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