Readers React

Each week, the Observer-Reporter asks Facebook friends to respond to a question about an issue in the news. This week we asked, “‘Smart’ electric meters are designed to save money, energy and reduce carbon emissions. What are your thoughts on the digital devices being installed throughout the state?”

Laura Mitter So long as the meters are accurate, customers are not charged for the installation nor a monthly fee, customers aren’t charged a variable rate in the future based on “peak use,” and there are no jobs lost to the automation of meter readers, then I have no opinion of the new meters. However, there are a lot of causes for concern that I have not seen addressed, and I’ve heard many stories of people being grossly overcharged by purportedly “smart” electric meters. Seems to me that a lot of the cost of these meters is being pushed off onto the customer and we’d much rather have our old “dumb” meters.

Amy Southern I love the concept of these, as a meter reading can be done remotely at any time. With this, why is every bill not an actual reading? Why are they still done in an every other month format? Also, I have read several articles on the health side effects of these, and quite frankly it’s scary. What are we exposing ourselves and families to? It also bothers me that we are not being given a choice in the matter, especially if the health concerns are real, and I believe them to be. As for the bills, I had a $1,200 bill in January, a huge jump, and they say it’s my problem and that I need to check my home for efficiency. I have another $1,150 bill now and they state this is because of the third-party provider and a contract. I digress ... good in theory, need to find out more on the health side, stay proactive on my own usage and being my own advocate when I feel it’s inaccurate!

Karen Rosko Baker They have cost a lot more than the old meters on all properties, and they need to be looked in to. I feel as though they are totally ripping people off.

David P. Semak It’s obvious that the utility companies have a tough crowd to educate. If anyone believes that the new meters are raising their consumption they should get the utility company back ASAP. Otherwise the boogeyman is a fairy tale, so are the tales that we’re being spied on. It’s 2018, in many places smart meters have been in place for 20-plus years, and they give us important ways to reduce consumption. I still feel bad that the ice man lost his job, but I’m not giving up my refrigerators and freezers!

Kevin Cyr I think it’s a bunch of hooey. We will pay for it and others will lose jobs “like our meter readers.”

Zack Martsolf Electric bill doubled; they still are doing estimates instead of actual readings, and have refused to let us call in our readings.

Stephen Smith New house. New meter ... readings seem OK, but I always have to overpay on the estimated months. Otherwise you get behind quick. As far as carbon goes ... fake science.

Faith Anne Crusan I haven’t noticed any real difference, but how are they supposed to cut down on carbon?

Tammy Dobbin My bill has gone up so high since this happened!

Ryan Miles Lost my job because of them. Thanks, PA.

Robert Phillips I’ve heard of a ton of people getting giant bills after the swap.

Hope Black My bill went from $141 to over $300.

Harry Beam My bill doubled.

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