Smart Grid Referendum Launched in Illinois

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group Gains Support, Members–

Goes Straight to Voters

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness directors submitting paperwork to "recall the smart grid"

From Naperville IL (30 miles west of Chicago)

November 14, 2011

NAPERVILLE, IL – Over 35 Naperville Smart Meter Awareness volunteers collected 4,199 signatures in a mere 25 days, petitioning the City to give residents a choice in whether they want the “smart” meter installation to continue or “immediately and permanently stop the implementation of the $22 million smart meter project and dismantle all related equipment.”  The petition requires the question to be placed on the City’s March 20, 2012, primary ballot.

The Naperville City Council has repeatedly stated that those opposed to the smart meters are a small minority of residents, but Naperville Smart Meter Awareness is proving otherwise.  “Over 4000 residents we have talked with are now getting very familiar with the issue. They are surprised and upset at the council’s lack of transparency. They are mad that residents were not given a choice to vote on this highly controversial issue.” states Jennifer Stahl, one of the founding members of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group. “Residents want to know why they have not been informed and why they are not being given a choice to participate in this program”.

The Naperville City Council has stated that no one has the option to opt out of the program. According to the Illinois Public Utilities Act, the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, and the Energy Act of 2005, utilities are only able to offer smart meters to ratepayers but are not able to mandate that each customer receive a wireless radiation emitting smart meter. Additionally, there is nothing that states that smart meters must be wireless. Residents that would like to choose a non-wireless smart meter will be assessed a fee of $24.75 per month with an upfront cost of $68.  Members of the NSMA group questioned the punitive nature of these fees and point out that the fees are intentionally high in order to discourage residents from choosing this option.

Across the country groups opposed to the installation of smart meters are forming, with 30% of states in the US now having active groups. In California, utility executives are removing smart meters and allowing customer to return to their analog meters due to public outcry. In Maine, privacy and safety advocates have appealed the PUC’s dismissal of their earlier complaint which raised concerns about safety, privacy, security and constitutional violations related to the meters. In Nevada, investigations have been launched into the health risks associted with wireless smart meters.

“There is a rapidly rising international tide of smart meter opposition. We have seen what is happening across the country, with utilities removing previously installed meters, opt out provisions being made, and investigations being launched into health complaints. Why the City’s utility managers and council feel that Naperville is immune to these challenges makes no sense. By the number of signatures we collected, residents are demanding to have a voice and a choice. We are hopeful that the council will come to its senses and listen to its constituents before any more money is wasted.“, states Tom Glass, lifelong Naperville resident and member of NSMA.

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness is a group of concerned citizens educating the public about the risks of wireless smart meters. They are comprised of lawyers, technology professionals, health advocates, accountants, business owners and parents in the community of Naperville, Illinois.  Local coverage here.

This entry was posted in Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Illinois, Smart Grid and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Smart Grid Referendum Launched in Illinois

  1. Jim says:

    Please get your comments in before friday 18th noon for the Nevada investigation into “Smart” Meters!

    It doesn’t say you have to live there to comment, and the facts about these meters are the same no matter where you live. You can send them online. See this link for info:

    NV Energy has got some ‘splaining to do! Here’s the questions the PUC has already put to them:

    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 BY 12:00 P.M. regarding issues raised in initial
    comments and provide the following information:

    1. Data for Smart Meter failure rate by month and the reasons for the failure (categorize by infinite mortality, electrical faults, weather related, vandalism, other).

    2. Information from customer billing complaints that necessitated recalibration of the
    Smart Meters.

    a. If the Smart Meters are recalibrated, are they checked on a test bench or at the
    shop? If they are checked locally, how is it done?

    b. What were the results of the recalibration?

    3. Statistics on customer complaints regarding Smart Meters, the type of complaints
    (health, billing, security, other), the response time and the resolution.

    4. Information regarding how security and privacy issues are being addressed.

    a. What is NV Energy doing with each customer’s statistical data?

    b. How can the customer be assured that this data will not be sold to a third party?

    c. How are employees that handle this data being screened and rules put in place to
    ensure that this data is not sold to a third party?

    d. How are Smart Meters being read remotely and billed to the consumer, how is the
    information from the Smart Meter being stored, and how long are the historical
    records on each Smart Meter kept?

    5. Information regarding demand response or time of use rates and whether
    participation is mandatory or optional for the customer;

    6. Documentation regarding the health risks and/or safety of Smart Meters.

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