June Update & Opt-Out Addendum

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  1. Read analog meter SUCCESS story below
  2. Opt-Out
  3. Demand an analog meter
  4. Share this information broadly

In promoting opting out, we need to continue demanding an analog meter option.  Signing and submitting your application to opt-out implies that you accept the Opt-Out Policy and consent to accept the Landis + Gyr FOCUS AXR. The opt-out meter is only slightly better than the AMI, RF transmitting meter as we have recently learned. See our newsletter sent June 26, 2017 laying out all the facts.

Opt-Out Numbers Increasing

One customer recently spoke to a Seattle City Light (SCL) meter installer when he came to install his opt-out meter “at the time he did it, a few weeks ago, he had just gotten about 40 new orders for opt-out in the north end alone, running about 5% – he speculated it may reach about 25% before all this is done.” (This shows opt-out numbers are growing as more people find out. We need to spread this message with URGENCY.)

Analog Meter Success Story

Another SCL customer has already succeeded, on June 28th, in having his analog meter returned after opting out and getting the Landis + Gyr FOCUS AXR in May.

He was very vocal since mid-May when he opted out and his analog meter was removed. He contacted several city council members including Lisa Herbold’s office (his council member) and her aide, Alex Clardy, members of the Energy and Environment committee (Kshama Sawant, Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez), and cc’d  Maura Brueger (Council Liaison for City Light), and Peter Holmes (the Seattle city attorney).

After regular channels all failed, he again emailed and called the same city council members.  He also turned up the heat on City Light (Maura Brueger) by communicating his intention to purchase an analog meter on-line, hire a local electrician, and invite local media to film the installation of the analog meter on his home, with ample commentary from himself.

Less than 24-hours later, City Light showed up and swapped-out the digital meter for a clean & shiny analog meter. 

This story shows a couple of things. 1) Seattle City Council does not understand that the Opt-Out Policy does NOT include an analog meter option. So when the man complained to SCC, they responded by cc’ing SCL asking why was his analog meter removed when he had been approved for the opt-out and “asking SCL to return the analog meter that Mr. [***] was already approved to keep.” 2) SCL can provide an electromechanical/analog meter.

Here is the canned response others are receiving from Seattle City Light.


Dear 

Thank you for your email.  Per the email below that you received, it stated that the service and administrative fee is applied to the customer’s bill after approval of their opt-out application. That fee is not associated with having an opt-out meter, it is part of the approval process to opt-out.  The approval letter that you received (see a copy attached) also informed you that an opt-out meter would be installed within two weeks.  

City Light has a new standard meter. It does not include electromechanical meters, and the utility is no longer supporting them.  Customers are not able to retain their electromechanical meters, nor can City Light replace your opt-out meter with an electromechanical meter.

www.seattle.gov/light/meters
 
If you have questions about the opt-out policy which was approved, you may contact Larry Weis or City Council.  The chair of the Energy and Environment Committee is Kshama Sawant.

Sincerely,

LIANA WOO | SR. CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE
SEATTLE CITY LIGHT
CUSTOMER CARE DIVISION | ADVANCED METERING PROGRAM


We encourage you to demand an analog meter anyway. Use the suggested letter template provided in the newsletter or your own words. Include Maura Brueger, Peter Holmes, and the Seattle City Council (SCC) aides Ted Verdone and Alex Clardy.

Maura Brueger (Council Liaison for City Light), 206-684-3015,  Maura.Brueger@seattle.gov
Peter Holmes (the Seattle city attorney), peter.holmes@seattle.gov
Ted Virdone (Sawant’s aide), ted.virdone@seattle.gov
Alex Clardy (Herbold’s aide), alex.clardy@seattle.gov

We also suggest to people to begin keeping a diary or dated notes regarding any unusual electrical activity (this could include surges that damage appliances) in your house or anything else that may be related to the install of the new meter, as well as communications with SCL or City Council regarding meters.

Join Us Tuesday July 11 at 2 PM

Join us and give testimony at the next SCC Energy and Environment Committee meeting on July 11th. Please check the website on the day before to make sure they have not canceled and to get the agenda. Please arrive early, by 1:45 PM, at Council chamber doors to sign up for comment, meeting starts at 2 PM.

Final thoughts:
Please consider how you may be more involved.  Advocate for your own neighborhood, condo, or apartments to opt out.  Network as you can and stay informed by reading links at this website and other informed sources such as www.smartgridawareness.orgwww.takebackyourpower.net, www.stopsmartmeters.org.  Together we can do more to create a livable sustainable future with energy systems that support life rather than harm it.

Take care and thank you,
Team at SUMA-NW

 

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