Madison Water Utility will soon be installing smart meters in residents' basements citywide via Project H2O, which was approved by the Common Council in December 2011. Channel 3000 WISC-TV has aired a video/story.
MWU sells the idea (through their video) on the ability to catch leaks faster, and let customers monitor, say, how much water they give a "new plant" - so it's "only exactly as much as you need and not any more or less,” or count the gallons used to water lawns and decide "whether or not that's appropriate." As if people are too dumb to figure it out otherwise.
Additionally, rate changes can be made on a monthly basis, "providing better pricing signals and cash flow." A utility report says that adds $250,000 at current rates. One wonders how much of the new cash flow will be used to pay for the new smart meters - because right now it sounds like they are "free."
Other concerns here besides expense are infrastructure security risks, and potential health impacts. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a HALT to smart meter use due to serious concerns chronic exposures to low levels of pulsed microwave radiation in homes. Their letter to the California Public Service Commission states:
The board of the American Board of Environmental Medicine wishes to point out that existing FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installation of “smart meters” only look at thermal tissue damage and are obsolete, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from RF and ELF exposures below the level of intensity which heats tissues. The FCC guidelines are therefore inadequate for use in establishing public health standards. More modern literature shows medically and biologically significant effects of RF and ELF at lower energy densities.
Madison residents will have to make their own decision about whether the costs and risks are acceptable. But even if some people decide they want no part of the dubious smart metering, they then have to deal with the fact these devices have historically been FORCED upon Wisconsinites, and policy has not yet changed.
It is time to demand one's property rights back from the unelected Public Utilities Commission, which routinely disregards consumer requests to OPT OUT of smart meters. Time to deploy legislative action, such as in other states, including MI, MA, VT, MD, HI, GA. 56 municipalities have passed moratoriums in CA against smart meter deployments, as well.
Come on, Madison, wake up and join the Wisconsin legislative action towards penalty-free transmitting meter OPT OUTs for all residents. It's either that, or kiss your cash goodbye, and start your family health journal now - before and after smart meters - for future reference.