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Public Regulation Commission rejects a smart meter installation program by PNM

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From Staff ReportsPublished 10:37 a.m. MT April 18, 2018

Smart meter pilot program requested from PNM by the time of the next energy efficiency filing in 2020

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously rejected the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure , called smart meters, citing rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee and layoffs as deal breakers.

“After several hearings, I felt the program was clearly not in the best interest of the public,” Commission Chairman Sandy Jones, who represents District 5, said. “I held public meetings in Silver City and Deming and many of my constituents agreed.”

Following three separate hearings held over the course of almost two and a half years, the commissioners concurred that the proposed AMI program did not fairly balance the interests of investors and ratepayers or promote the public interest.

According to a release from the PRC, the commissioners determined the AMI program failed to take advantage of possible energy efficiency measures, identify sufficient operational benefits, or provide meaningful opt-out opportunities. Especially significant was a concern that the lifetime costs to ratepayers would exceed savings in contrast with the benefits shareholders would reap.

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New Mexico stops smart Meters!

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Arthur Firstenberg of the Cellular Phone Task Force in New Mexico:

Today we won a victory in the fight against radiation in New Mexico. The Public Regulation Commission has denied PNM’s application for Smart Meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission.
The Commission accepted the Hearing Examiner’s recommended decision without alteration. It ruled that:
• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will save money.
• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will produce energy efficiency.
• PNM did not show that customers want smart meters.
• PNM did not evaluate alternatives.
• PNM did not say how it would protect customer data privacy.
• Cybersecurity issues need to be addressed.
• 125 good, high-paying jobs would be lost.
• Proposed opt-out fees were unreasonable.
• There was insufficient public input.
• There was insufficient response by PNM to public objections.
EVIDENCE ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS was discussed at length. “Customers who have strong feelings about the
health effects of the meters should be allowed to protect their stated health concerns without a
prohibitively high cost.”

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Baraboo cuts off 81-year-old great-grandma’s water for resisting smart meter

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 Stop Smart Meters Wisconsin

July 10, 2013

NEWS FLASH: As I was writing this, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt announced a smart meter opt out bill for Wisconsin, LRB 0644/2— Relating to:  installation of smart meters at premises of public utility customers and allowing an opt-out. He will talk today on Vicki McKenna’s radio show at 5:06 p.m. about the proposed bill. Please TELL state lawmakers to support this law, which protects individual property and health choices.

Yesterday Audrey Parker’s city shut off her water because she refused to get their new smart water meter due to health and privacy concerns. The City of Baraboo heard her request last fall to opt out of the radiofrequency emitting meter, and has threatened her with various shut off dates since then.

A growing number of people nationwide (and worldwide) are rejecting smart meters. Besides the point nininithat no one should be forced to have a radiation-producing meter against their will in order to get utility service, WI Public Service Commission code actually prohibits shut-offs for sensitive populations. So, likely this “smart” city has made a rather dumb decision legally, not to mention a heartless one.

PSC 113.0304(4) (4) Conditions for disconnection. A utility may disconnect only those households whose gross quarterly incomes are above 250% of the federal income poverty guidelines and where health and safety would not be endangered because of the infirmities of age, developmental or mental disabilities or like infirmities incurred at any age or the frailties associated with being very young, if service were terminated or not restored.

Baraboo should follow the example of Madison Water Utility and the Town of Sheboygan in allowing smart meter opt outs for individuals. The 2005 federal Energy law stated that smart meters should be “offered” not forced upon residents. Just because utilities “can” choose their own equipment does not mean they should trash customer service in the process. The Public Service Commission should make a ruling to allow it in the name of fairness and good customer relations. Last fall, the PSC denied a Madison petition for statewide utility customer “bill of rights” for opt outs.

Non-transmitting analog meters should be a choice for every resident in the state. To deny customers this choice is an abuse of power by these utility monopolies. It is about time Wisconsin had a law to protect utility customers from this bull-headed, heartless abuse.

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