PG&E has started installing Smart meters in many locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. These industry standard gas and electric meters measure a customer’s energy use. Electric meters read power consumption hourly, while gas meters record information daily. Both types periodically transmit your energy use information over a secure wireless network back to PG&E or your local utility company. They are said to use 1/1000 of a cell phone’s RF power and transmit data for less than a minute each day.
A wireless smart meter controversy has arisen stating that the meters are not accurate and customers are being overcharged. Hackers may be able to hack into your meter and there are concerns about wireless RF radiation. PG&E counters by saying that a rate increase occurred during the smart meter rollout. Third-party labs need to test the meter to verify accuracy. At the end of May, 2010 PGE finally responded with a report. In early May 2011, PG&E finally admitted that some meters got to hot when internal temperatures past 100°, and misread electrical usage. Customers were overcharged due to this bug.
Smart Meters for Solar and Renewable Energy Customers
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