A lot of complaints and grumbling about, and verbal attacks on, the new smart meters in Burbank. Officials at Burbank Water and Power are raving about the new water and electric meters — but many of the residents aren’t buying the hype. Some of the public suspicion, disapproval, and down right hostility for the meters was heard during public comments at last Tuesday’s Burbank City Council meeting on August 30.
Most of the carping is about the electric smart meter and its environmental, health, and privacy issues. BWP honcho, Ron Davis, stepped to the podium at last Tuesday’s city council meeting and proclaimed the “.. meters are incredibly safe..” and “… do not pose a health concern…”
In terms of privacy, Davis says the meters “..do not broadcast inside the home”… instead “..broadcast out to a data reader.” Well, that may be the ultimate plan, but right now the newly installed electric meters are not communication with the outside data reader, according to my source at the BWP.
I’m told the new meters are working, but meter reader personnel have to go out to homes and businesses and collect the data — just like they did before the Smart Grid Program started. Installation of the smart meters began in June and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. However, the system will most likely not be fully operational until sometime in 2012.
Davis says that so far “…51 people …” have asked that their smart meter installation be “… put on hold.” He admits that part of the problem with convincing the public to get on board with the new system is a matter of trust. Well, it’s hard to trust Davis and his BWP top executives who have jacked up our utility rates, while pocketing salary raises and hefty bonuses. That sort of conduct does not build trust.