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Crowd urges no smart meters for city of PA

September 18th, 2013 - 6:22am

(Port Angeles) -- A packed house last night at the Port Angeles City Council meeting was full of people who do NOT want the new electrical "smart meters" installed in their homes.

The city has embarked on a multi-million dollar program to install the meters. City officials say they need to replace old, inaccurate meters in the city. The new ones use a radio-frequency, wireless connection to report usage. That would allow the city to take advantage of new power rates from the Bonneville Power Administration that are based on peak usage times.

But last night, manny were concerned with the amount of radiation that could come from the meters. Others think the meters may give "big Brother" a chance to invade their privacy.

Speakers said all this is happening with residents' tax dollars, giving the authorities a "double whammy" against the citizens' best interests.

They also argued an "opt-out" option is not a good enough solution for the project, they wanted the city to stop the process altogether.

City public works and utilities director Craig Fulton says he supports the meters. He said he and his staff would be happy to come out to anyone's house and test their meters. City staff have cited data that shows the meters are safe and say they don't intend to use the meters to intrude on individual's utility use.

As the smart meter issue was not an item on the agenda, the council took no action.

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