More Information about Smart Meters
by Lynn Stuter
Recently, an e-mail made the rounds, requesting the names of attorneys with experience in the Smart Grid/Smart Meter fight. Follows is some information that may be helpful to others in this fight.
Many companies have received federal grants to help defray the costs of installing Smart Meters. If you have had a Smart Meter installed, did your electric company receive such a grant?
If so, were you given the option of opting out? Or were you told that the Smart Meter would be installed irrespective of your making it very clear that you did not want it?
16 USC 2621(d)(14)(A) states, with regard to the installation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology (Smart Meters) –
Not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, each electric utility shall offer each of its customer classes, and provide individual customers upon customer request, a time-based rate schedule under which the rate charged by the electric utility varies during different time periods and reflects the variance, if any, in the utility’s costs of generating and purchasing electricity at the wholesale level. The time-based rate schedule shall enable the electric consumer to manage energy use and cost through advanced metering and communications technology. (underlining for emphasis)
“Shall offer” means just that. It is up to the consumer to accept or reject the offer.
How do federal grants tie into this fight?
Companies receiving federal grants for the installation of these Smart Meters have, via establishing a de facto contract with the federal government, agreed to abide by federal law; that, ostensibly, includes 16 USC 2621(d)(14)(A) noted above.
Can these companies force the Smart Meter on you, against your will? Not legally. But they can (and will, as already demonstrated) if you don’t fight back.
Here is a link to the federal grant material governing the grants some public utilities have received in the installation of the Smart Meters: https://e-center.doe.gov/iips/faopor.nsf/UNID/39C0D96768F2083F8525759A0068F216?OpenDocument . Scroll down and you will find the following links to the grant application and attendant documents –
Individual file sizes will only be displayed for the first 10 attachments
These documents were not easily found. It took two of us, following leads for a couple days, to find them. I hope they are helpful to others in the Smart Meter fight.
Nor are the resulting grants easily found. If you want to know if your utility company received a Smart Grid Investment Grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to install the AMI (Smart Meter) technology, go to http://www.smartgrid.gov/recovery_act/project_information and go through the projects listed there. If your utility is not listed, make sure it is not part of a consortium that received a grant.
If a company, receiving federal money, is found in violation of federal law, it is usually given the option of correcting the violation or repaying the federal money.