Smart Meters Produce Debate in Austin
It was a packed house Tuesday at the Texas Public Utility Commission’s meeting in Austin to hear from opponents and supporters of electric smart meters.
Every household in Austin has one. They allow remote readings and can alert a utility to outages. But some residents say they’re getting bigger bills, and some people have privacy and health concerns.
Tracy Stevens told the PUC today that she had gathered over 100 signatures and was speaking on behalf of children who she says have been negatively affected by smart meters.
“As documented by physicians, nurses, therapists and family members, my own critically ill 6-year-old daughter, upon exposure to the pulsating RF from smart meters, experienced debilitating reactions up to and including seizures when in the vicinity of a smart meter,” Stevens said.
But supporters pointed to the efficiency and ease of the new technology.
“We can use our energy significantly smarter by determining and sending out signals to people to reduce their energy use at peak times, we could reduce as much as 8 to 11 percent of that peak power demand,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen Texas.
Smith says that energy will translate into more money for the power consumer.
The PUC says it will consider the testimony and decide whether it should allow people to opt out of the smart meter program.