In the latest issue of Wheaton Weekly we read “ComEd soon will begin replacing analog electric meters in Wheaton with digital electric meters. Before your new meter arrives watch this…” If you are typical, you think “who cares,” “no big deal,” “it is new and improved…” But, what if I told you that they are expensive and will most likely result in your electric rates going up? What if I told you that they will let ComEd (and perhaps a hacker) turn your power on/off remotely and they will let ComEd (and perhaps a hacker) know how much power you use based on time of day – perhaps even which appliances are running.
These new digital meters are called “Smart Meters.” But, they are not a smart idea. Smart Meters are too costly, provide little if any benefits to the customer, and there are unresolved issues of safety and privacy. We found no studies proving them to be safe while plenty of data exists to raise credible doubt. In February of this year, a Smart Meter in Pennsylvania started an apartment complex on fire. There are numerous people who have had Smart Meters removed or at least the data transmission feature turned off due to health conditions that began or worsened after the Smart Meter was installed.
ComEd does offer an opt-out option. Neither they, nor the city of Wheaton are telling us about it. You need to be pro-active. To opt-out call ComEd 866-368-8326 and follow up with a letter. But, first, do your own homework.
Note: ComEd’s Smart Meter roll-out will affect customers in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Warrenville, Oak Brook and West Chicago in the coming months. Illinois is accelerating the deployment of Smart Meters while the largest Massachusetts electric utility declares Smart Meters as “Irrational.”