We know of at least several hundred people in California and other states who are holding the line and refusing to pay unjustified fees being charged by utilities with a smart meter “opt out” program. This must be just the tip of the iceberg- there must be thousands more of us out there. Read comments from fee refusers here.
Why should we have to pay for a smart meter program that is rife with problems- from overbilling to fires to health damage and privacy violations- through rate increases or taxes- and then pay an extra fee to avoid having the meter? Sounds like a double dipping scam to us. Pay for a service and then pay to avoid it? We Refuse.
The truth is that utilities have no legal mandate to install a smart meter on your property against your will. It’s also likely that they have no right to enroll you in a higher fee program without your expressed consent. What does that mean? You have a right to safe, reliable analog meter at no extra charge. Doesn’t mean you don’t have to fight for that right.
This leaves the utilities- many of whom have already signed contracts with the equipment manufacturers and received billions in misdirected federal stimulus funds- in a tough place. They can only install if we let them- if we believe their lies and their false claims of entitlement. No wonder they are resorting to bullying, threatening, and intimidating people to force their unpopular stupid meters.
If you are fortunate enough to still have your analog meter, or have replaced your smart meter with an analog and are refusing to pay any opt out fees, we want to hear from you.
We can stop these outrageous and illegal fees- if we stick together and organize! Please send us an e-mail at info[at]stopsmartmeters[dot]org telling us:
1) Do you have your old analog meter still, or a utility/ electrician installed one?
2) Are you being charged an “opt out” fee?
3) Are you refusing to pay these fees?
4) Who is your utility and where are you located?
5) Has your utility taken any action or made any threats against you?
6) Are you willing to risk “camping out in your house” i.e. getting your power shut off – if it helps eliminate the fees once and for all?
7) Would you be willing to be interviewed or participate in a public protest against opt out fees and smart meters in general?
8) Would you be willing to be a contact in your area, to help coordinate unified actions?
We have heard that PG&E and other CA utilities may soon start attempts to install smart meters or switch off the electricity to those refusing to pay fees. Make sure your analog meter is monitored and protected. Ask a retired or work at home neighbor to demand that any unauthorized utility personnel leave your property at once. Require (in writing) 48 hours notice prior to any utility maintenance visit.
Please get in touch immediately if your utility attempts any action against you. Disconnection, or other harassment against customers who pay the full cost of their usage is outrageous, unreasonable, and should not be tolerated by a civilized society.
When people in Santa Cruz, California got together and returned our unwanted smart meters to PG&E in December, they disconnected our electricity two weeks before Christmas, but were finally forced by public pressure to back down and switch the families back on so they could have a proper Christmas. The lesson here is that when communities organize, stick together, and stand up for each other, we can prevail.
“Opt out” is an industry sponsored idea that doesn’t address serious systemic problems with the smart grid. There is no “opting out” of widespread involuntary exposure to radiation, fire risk, or an unreliable and vulnerable grid. Nevertheless, keeping an analog and refusing to pay fees can be an effective protest against the smart meter debacle.
Thank you for taking collective action against utility extortion! Please Donate Today and help us ramp up the resistance. -SSM!