Earth2Tech ran two stories recently on backlash by customers against utility companies for unusually high electricity bills after smart meters were installed.
In Bakersfield, California, a homeowner actually sued Pacific Gas and Electric on behalf of himself and a class of smart meter recipients:
The original plaintiff, Bakersfield resident Pete Flores, filed the suit after his electric bill tripled fro $200 to $600 a month — right after having a new smart meter installed in his home. Objecting that PG&E described the meter as a money-saving device, he decided to sue for fraudulent advertising, negligence and unjust enrichment
The complaint is available here.
The only evidence of the alleged fraudulent, negligent and unjust failure to accurtately measure Mr. Flores' electricity was an increase in his bills, with "no change in usage pattern on the part of Plantiff." Complaint at 5. Evidence of complaints of fellow class members comes from:
countless complaints on the internet, over 100 complaints to activist group TURN (The Utility Reform Network) and a special meeting led by State Assemblyman Dean Florez...
Complaint at 5.
After reading the Complaint, I have a few questions:
1. What evidence is there that Mr. Flores did not change his usage patterns other than his electricity meter reading?
2. Is it possible, that, as compared to the meter maid stopping by and checking your traditional meter, a smart meter is actually accurately measuring electricity usage, and Mr. Flores was actually being poorly measured, BEFORE, not after the installation of smart meters?
3. What is the misreading rate of meter maids? More than 100 complaints across the state of California for the same time period?
Smart grid technology, and smart meters are grassroots level green building technologies which are likely to effect millions of homeowners nationwide. It is likely that we will see more lawsuits like Mr. Flores'.