Many residents of Glendale and Burbank believe so, and are going so far as to cage the existing meters on their homes!
In what they are claiming to be a push for a more environmentally and user friendly set up many Southern California utility companies are trying to make a switch to what they are calling “Smart Meters”. These smart meters would replace the existing utility meter currently on your home, and would keep more accurate statistics in regards to power consumption. This information would be transmitted to the homeowner as well as the utility company.
According to the LA Times there have been 76,000 smart meters installed in Glendale to date, and there are many more to come.
The major opposition to the smart meters comes from two different arguments:
1. The smart meters emit radiation in a byproduct of transmitting the data collected from the users house.
2. The smart meters are an invasion of privacy, as they give too much information regarding the homeowners’ personal activities.
The utility companies are claiming that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the meters is far less than most common household appliances, such as microwaves and cell phones; however the opposition has responded stating that these “common household devices” can be turned off and are not exposing homeowners to 24/7 emissions.
As for whether the smart meters can be considered a “big brother” measure, and an invasion of homeowners’ privacies, we can only comment that information on becomes material when it is put to use. Thus the data collected by the meters really are not an invasion of privacy, until/unless it is used to try an understand our activities; so do we trust these companies enough to give them access to this information?
Some of the most legitimate concerns that we have heard, come from the argument that the utility companies can use the information collected to arrange a pricing scheme that would attack consumers at their peak consumption hours; this we are not in favor of!!!!
So to all residents of Glendale, Burbank, and all of California really, consider what you are doing by allowing these meters to be installed.
The California Public Utilities Commission is currently investigating the situation and should be releasing its ruling shortly. Until then homeowners should consider their right to opt out of the switch until more information on this subject is released.
Let us know below, in the comments section, if you believe this is an invasion of privacy or not.