Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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NV Energy’s smart meters to be investigated

After hearing several complaints about possible health hazards and invasion of privacy, the state Public Utilities Commission has opened an investigation into smart meters installed in more than 500,000 homes in Las Vegas.

Commissioner Rebecca Wagner said there was misinformation or a lack of information when the commission approved NV Energy’s application to begin the project.

She said she wants to look into allowing customers to refuse the installation of the meters and the implications. And she says the investigation should address the health issues and the privacy and security fears.

This should be started now, she said, before “it unravels further.”

Although the vote was unanimous, Commissioner David Noble said many of the concerns were addressed in a prior hearing and he did not want to duplicate what had been covered. He said he did not “want to open up a free-for-all” on this case.

Angel De Fazio, founder of NV Energy Stop Smart Meters, said the units transmit electromagnetic radiation and are harmful to people with physical impairments.

De Fazio told the PUC it had a duty “to protect the disabled.” This is not a federal mandate, she said and homeowners should have the right to “opt out” in having a meter.

She also said the meters are a health hazard to dogs.

Mike Hazard told the commission a lot of people don’t like the smart meters. A federal grant of $138 million helped finance the installation of the meters and he suggested that money could have been used to build a new power plant in Southern Nevada.

NV Energy and its sister Sierra Pacific Power Company hope to have all the customers hooked up by December 2012. Installation should start in December in Northern Nevada.

The units will allow the customer to view next-day energy use information and the time of day the power is used. NV Energy maintains studies show the smart meters are safe.

The radio frequency exposure signal goes out 48 times a day and is within the guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission. “By comparison, cellphones transmit constantly and at very close range,” the utility said.

The only one at the Tuesday hearing who spoke in favor of the unit was a man named Todd who said, “I love it.” He said he has been able to lower his power use during the day hours. “My problem is with (NV Energy) bringing truckloads of armed guards to read the meter,” said the individual who did not sign in at the meeting in Las Vegas.

But several speakers opposed the meters and some said they would be willing to pay more if they could return to the prior system.

Anne Haley complained this should be a “freedom of choice” and NV Energy has been able to keep complaints from being publicized.

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  1. Don't want the eeeevvvviiiilll electromagnetic radiation to enter your skull and transmit your thoughts to NV Energy? Buy some tin foil. If you put it on your head, I hear that stops THEM from listening in.

  2. If they are worried about health hazards, start with eliminating processed meat.

    Cars are health hazards to dogs and cats, particularly when they cross paths. The cars emit carbon monoxide in various concentrations which makes some people sleepy in traffic, yet there are no complaints about cars.

    Radiation? The sun emits several kinds of electromagnetic and particle radiation. The ultra-violet spectrum can and will cause skin cancer, yet no one is talking about closing the pools along the Strip. Radios and computers emit electromagnetic radiation all the time.

    This is the biggest load of rubbish I have heard in a very long time.

  3. We already have the smart meter and love it. I can go on line each day and check my electric bill and know how to watch my costs. As others have posted, we have been able to lower our usage by knowing the hourly usage.

    We have more privacy and security then we had with the old meter. There is no meter reader entering my back yard each month reading the meter. No one looking over the fences to read meters.

    T.V.'s, microwaves, cordless and cell phones and wireless Internet all put out the same signals and no one has ever told me that is harmful to my DOG! (when you said that you lost any support I could even start to gather for you.)

    They also changed my water meter a few years back to they don't have to read it. Do you think my water meter is hurting my dog also?

    People jump on things when they don't have facts. Only BS collected off the Internet.

    I think NV Energy should be able to collect all costs of this nonsense if these people can not prove their claims are true. These costs are passed on to us RATE PAYERS.

    Put up or shut up. Lets see the proof of your claims. (wacko web sites are not proof)

  4. I think this is misinformation put out by the makers of the other electromechanical meters that have to be read manually. Think about it they are the only ones that stand to gain substantially with this claim. Does it not sound a lot like fear mongering. These companies that are doing this have fallen behind in technology. So they either stifle or stall it until they can catch up then it will be OK to use now.

  5. So out of how many total meters installed there are how many complaints that are based on, you know, reality?

  6. OMG,OMG,OMG...electromagnetic radiation. worried about? Then you better disconnect from the grid and live in cave. There's electromagnetic radiation emitting from the power cables all around us. Most of the people fighting this need their med dosage increased.

  7. From the article; She also said the meters are a health hazard to dogs.

    What about back in the day when dogs were a health hazard to meter readers ?

  8. The real objection to the smart meter is that it allows NV Energy to charge different rates at different times of the day. For a person such as myself who works from home that is horrible. They say they are not doing that yet, but you can bet it is in the works.

    My family does a lot to cut our energy use, including keeping the thermostat on our A/C no lower than 80 this summer, and our bill still went up compared to last year.

    NV Energy installed a smart meter around the start of this year. If the PUC would prohibit variable-rate billing I wouldn't have much complaints about the new meters.

  9. $138 million for meters? Good luck Las Vegas.

  10. I would be leery of these smart meters. In some
    states, utility companies have the ability to
    shut off air conditioning and power down the
    electricity (brownouts) passed to your home.

    NV Energy is a rate gouger. Anything they do
    should be subject to independent analysis and
    opinion.

  11. timbo123, you have a talent for understatement!

  12. It would be one thing IF the consumer was given a choice. But as it is, there is NO choice.

    Should a consumer want to utilize cogeneration with solar, wind, or geothermal, it appears that it is no longer possible with Smart Meters installed. That discourages green energy useage.

    Clark County is held hostage to NV Energy, and the PUC doesn't seem to care about the little guy in this equation. =(

  13. Why is no one addressing the fact that NVE or some employee will be able to shut off my power at any time, rightly so or not. This is not the same as having someone knock on your door first and allow you a chance to correct an error. I have no doubt NV Powerful will minimize this happening.
    Another issue is those who are home 24/7, seniors, etc. can not turn the AC way down during peak hours. So who pays more? Those that least can. But NV Energy's savings will insure their bonuses thus allowing them to run their AC.
    I have to agree with those comments regarding the indifference to the people by those who are supposed to be protecting us. It is hard not to go on and on.
    I guess this time next year I will have a "smart meter". Thank you Public Users Comm. (You thought PUC meant something else.)