Meters neither safe nor smart

To the editor:

UPPCO has announced they will be installing smart meters unless you opt-out. Smart meters are meters which use wireless radiation to transmit data back to the utility.

Smart meters are called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), making them sound fabulous. Electricity smart meters use digits on the display instead of dials which resemble clocks on analog meters.

UPPCO is allowing their customers to opt-out by paying a one-time fee to opt-out as well a meter-reading charge monthly in order to acquire an analog or digital meter. These amounts have not yet been approved by the MPSC but are quoted on the pre-application on their website.

Smart meters carry a high voltage yet they have a plastic housing not glass like your analog meter. They are not UL certified as required by state electric code but are wired into your electric panel.

There have been explosions, fires and deaths all over the nation. Keeping your analog or digital meter could save your life. Popping, humming, flashing of house lights and/or your television are signs of arcing from a smart meter.

Rep. Gary Glen said in 2018: “Many electricity bills are skyrocketing this winter, reportedly doubling or tripling in some cases.”

It was never explained why these rate increases took place. You may not want to use your washer, dryer or dish washer or other appliances on your usual schedule because you will be paying time-of-use rates. These charges will be much more at certain times of the day.

The company will know when you use your appliances, and what you are doing.

They will be selling this information. We have been told it is very valuable.

This acquisition of privacy information is without your informed consent if you have a smart meter.

With a smart meter the company can control or shut off your heat, water electricity, and air conditioning at will without notification.

We are grateful UPPCO is giving us meter choice. You may want to sign up to opt-out once you understand the multiple risks involved in having a smart meter. Opting out will save you money, not invade your privacy, perhaps save you from a tragedy.

The opt-out fee could be offset not only by increased rates but by illness and health issues which will be covered next month.

Smart meters are neither safe or smart. Check out smartmetereducationnetwork.com or stopsmartmeters.org.

Carolyn Tormala

Chassell