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Smart Meter
Smart Meter

AIR DATE: July 19, 2010

Ever heard of the Smart Meter? Well, guess what... you may be getting one in your home. It's a digital meter that's supposed to reduce energy consumption during peak hours. Some companies even claim you can use it to control your power usage from your cell phone or laptop. But how smart is the Smart Meter? Some Californians are lodging complaints that it's not reading right, and that utility bills shot up. There are even lawsuits against the meters in California, Texas, Maryland and Connecticut. But NV Energy claims it can do it right. And thanks to a $138 million federal grant, it's looking to have Smart Meters in Nevada homes very soon. How helpful will the Smart Meter be? Will it be worth the time and money? What do you think? Is there a better way to save energy? Call 258-3552 or join the discussion.

Michael Yackira, president and CEO, NV Energy
Robert Stewart, senior vice president of Customer Relationship, NV Energy
    comments powered by Disqus
    I would like to know if this is a voluntary program...can a homeowner decline to have the new meter installed?
    SusanJul 14, 2010 11:36:04 AM
    NV Energy are advantage takers. They charge a fee when a customer wants to pay a bill over the phone. NV Energy is the only utility that gouges in this manner. This fee affects the people who can least afford to pay it. It's time NV Energy treated their Nevada customers with more respect and caring and eliminated this cruel, insensitive, gouging, advantage-taking fee.
    William [via email]Jul 14, 2010 11:35:09 AM
    If Nevada Power Co is not reading our meter properly now, then why should we have to be routed through their new system? Consumers can buy their own device and have it installed for a couple hundred dollars (Such as TED- The Energy Detective) which directly reads electricity usage off the main power feeds in my box , and allows us to watch our usage in Real Time.

    Where is the benefit to the consumer? All it really means is that the consumer will use less electricity and be overcharged anyway. Why else would Nevada Power invest all this money in this new system unless they had a chance to make more money.


    Question: Is there any oversight from the state to make sure Nevada Power is metering properly. What can consumers do?

    MarkJul 14, 2010 11:34:27 AM
    Michael Yakira isn't giving you as in depth insight into this situation as you deserve.

    He said that the meter reading department has a high turnover rate because they have designed it as such. Not only is it considered an entry level position so you can transfer to other jobs in the company, but it also is managed by overzealous supervisors looking to reprimand anyone so they can build a paper trail to hold onto said employee in that department (when you are written up, you cant transfer for a year thus holding you back from advancement) and then find reasons to let them go. No matter if you go to another job or get fired they are counting both of those in their turnover ratio.

    Another thing, he said that meter readers will be transferred to meter installation...well, unfortunately meter installation will also be subject to layoffs as well. I mean, once the meters are placed, the field service team (people responsible for turning on/off meters and setting meters in) will be obsolete since nv energy will have automated control over the meters. What he also isnt saying, is that there are a number of non field related jobs (customer service) that work in these depts that will also be affected.

    The reason why nv energy has to rush into this procedure is if they dont have the new meters running by 2012, they will lose the federal funding. Speaking of the funding, I believe the numbers Yakira delivered earlier were backward. The govt will be paying for most of it while nv energy pays the lessor portion...which explains the need for haste.

    Right now most of the meters in the field have been failing. They are coming back melted because they cant deal with the desert heat.

    Keep in mind once the automated meters are installed, nv energy will be able to cut your power off at anytime whether its intended or accidental.

    A customer called in at the beginning of the show and accused nv energy for not reading his meter correctly. Just to be clear, a meter goes through at least 3 meter checks before a bill is processed. Not to mention the accuracy rating of the meter reading department is supposed to at least be 99.90 correct MINIMUM. But from what I understand, they have always maintained much higher standards.

    JimJul 14, 2010 11:33:24 AM Mothers arrested who try to stop smart meters from going into their homes

    explanation of smart meters

    For explanation of the science behind wireless smartmeters please see the following:

    Dozens of research papers on wireless cell base station and devices Military Archives of research on Non Thermal

    Kathryn SeranducFeb 1, 2011 18:31:05 PM
    It has been my experience that the actual feel and comfort of a room is not consistent with the number on the thermostat. Its a hard sell to trust technology to monitor itself when it hasn't proven itself to be trustworthy.
    Michael Jul 14, 2010 11:32:20 AM
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