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Smartmeter fees Vs Opting Out -- Who really pays?

Smartmeter fees Vs Opting Out -- Who really pays?

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Published by Angela Flynn
Kaua'i Island Utility Coop's (KIUC) application for rate tariff change (Application # 2013-03/filed 10/3/13) to the PUC for set up fees and monthly fees for members who opt out of smartmeters.
Kaua'i Island Utility Coop's (KIUC) application for rate tariff change (Application # 2013-03/filed 10/3/13) to the PUC for set up fees and monthly fees for members who opt out of smartmeters.

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Published by: Angela Flynn on Oct 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This document can be downloaded athttp://www.scribd.com/doc/178361443/Smartmeter-fees-Vs-Opting-Out-Who-really-pays Jeffrey T. Ono, Director Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs DCCADivision of Consumer AdvocacyPO Box 541Honolulu, HI 96809808-586-2800consumeradvocate@dcca.hawaii.gov www.cca.hawaii.gov Public Utilities Commission (PUC)465 South King St., Room 103Honolulu, HI 96813808-586-2020hawaii.puc@hawaii.govOctober 23, 2013Re: Kaua'i Island Utility Coop's (KIUC) application for rate tariff change (Application # 2013-03/filed10/3/13).Dear PUC, DCCA and KIUC,I write in reference to KIUCs rate tariff request to the PUC filed on 10/3/13. I object to the request of aset up fee and a monthly charge for KIUC members who do not have a wireless smartmeter. KIUC is aCoop and costs are shared by all members. All members paid for smartmeters whether they have/wantone and all members should pay for those who opt out.KIUC members are circulating a petition for a special membership meeting where this request will bevoted on. Any action by the PUC should be held until this meeting occurs.In addition, KIUC, in five years from August 2008 – 2013, went from 157 to 147 employees while the payroll went from $12,235,317 to $15,805,665. This is the time period where meter readers weresupposedly let go and there should be a payroll deduction. Where are the savings members were promised from firing meter readers?(See -http://website.kiuc.coop/content/financials)I am one of the majority of residents of Kaua'i who are excluded membership to the KIUC Coop asonly the people who have an account with KIUC are considered members. While I am not a member I do live in a home that is served by KIUCs electrical grid and am effected by their actions. I too must pay more for my electricity usage when they increase their rates. We are all effected by their poor management and decisions. Members were not consulted or polled as to whether they wantedsmartmeters and KIUC has not done a cost benefit analysis of the rollout. Why wasn't this required?
The world is in the process of updating our electrical grid. There are many benefits to us all whenutilities upgrade old infrastructure and increase efficiency, however the smartmeter rollout has not been shown to have a cost benefit. It is a fact that digital wireless smartmeters use more energy thanthe analog electromechanical meters they replace. It is a fact that smartmeters do not save any energyat all. It is a fact that electromechanical meters last over 20 years and that there is a great likelihoodthat smartmeters will have to be upgraded or replaced within 5 years. Smartmeters have been rolledout by governments as a way to stimulate the economy and they cost utility users more than they willever save.According to Frost & Sullivan energy analyst Neha Vikash, “Germany’s Economy Ministry...concluded that smart meters would be too expensive to deliver economic benefits...Germany has 48 million meters, with around 90 per cent being electromechanical which can have aworking life of anywhere from 20-40 years. ...replacing them over a period of five-to-seven yearswould generate an estimated €6bn ($8bn) revenues for smart meter and communicationsmanufacturers...This amount does not include the estimated €7.5bn that would be spent on supporting infrastructure, project management and installation.”(See -http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2013/09/billions-of-smart-grid-investment-threatened-by-germany-meter-opposition.html)“In March 2007, the Iowa Utilities Board decided not to adopt PURPA Standard 14 (“Time-BasedMetering and Communications”) as enacted in EPACT 2005. The Board determined that mandatingdeployment of smart meters was not cost-beneficial. Furthermore, the Board decided that it is difficultto regulate a single standard for advanced metering, writing: “One size apparently does not fit all.”(See -http://www.sgiclearinghouse.org/node/1707)My household is one of the 3,000+ households that have opted out of a smartmeter.There are valid and legally defensible reasons to opt out of a smartmeter. KIUC promises on their website that they will not sell usage data, but this is a policy that can change. Other utilities are alreadydoing this. In addition, smart meters can be hacked by the police and by criminals. These are invasionsof privacy.The Supreme Court has ruled that the use of thermal imaging of a home and that the attachment of GPSdevices to track people and cars is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Smartmeters which track usageof appliances is of a similar nature and may well find the courts reaching a similar verdict.See -http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9233265/Smart_meters_not_so_clever_about_privacy_researchers_find?pageNumber=1and http://coto2.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/hacking-expert-david-chalk-  joins-urgent-call-to-halt-smart-grid/)The misnamed Smart Grid is open to being hacked. Having a wireless system creates vulnerabilitiesthroughout the grid. Former head of the CIA, James Woolsey, has come right out and said it is a StupidGrid.

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