Oppose the smart meter roll out

Iowa Consumer Advocate, Mark Schuling is opposing Alliant Energy’s smart meter rollout at an Iowa Utility Board hearing finishing Dec. 5 in Des Moines.

Many attorneys general and state utility boards around the country have opposed smart meters due to many studies showing no cost benefit. Smart meters average millions of dollars more every year that would come from customer rate hikes.

Smart meters cost about six times more than analog meters ($120 instead of $20), with one third the lifetime (10 years rather than 30 years). There is also the mulimillion dollar initial cash expense to replace 481,000 working analog meters.

Studies show that the faster outage reporting that Alliant and other utility companies claim (maybe only a minute faster on a 1-3 hour repair) do not result in any faster service restoration.

Every time smart meters are replaced the utility company adds its profit and charges customers more through rate hikes to pay for its profit and additional meter cost above analogs.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has warned about serious dangers to America’s security from the smart grid and smart meters. So has former CIA Director and Under-Secretary of the Navy James Woolsey, calling the smart grids “stupid” on national TV (along with many other cyber security experts and institutions).

The American Civil Liberties Union and many other experts in personal liberties and rights oppose smart meters for another reason: household privacy. A $2.2 trillion /year data market is expected, with utility companies making even more profits from selling detailed customer personal lifestyle data. Alliant claims it will not sell data, but Alliant customer service reps have told me, “We may change any policy at any time without notice.”

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Although Alliant’s planned opt out meter has been shown to be acceptable for health, Alliant’s proposed opt out proposal is severe: a) They would make us read our own meter, b) pay $15/month (despite saving $ millions/year by laying off meter readers, c) with a 4-day monthly window to submit readings (so all travel would have to be scheduled around reading our utility meter or paying or arranging for someone else to), and d) after a temporary opt out period, no one would be allowed to opt out — in perpetuity.

Oppose the smart meter roll out and help Iowa Consumer Advocate Mark Schuling and other citizens by contacting the Iowa Utility Board at customer@iub.iowa.gov.

Einar Olsen, Fairfield

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