URGENT! ACTION REQUIRED
The Seattle City Light DRAFT “Smart” meter Opt-Out Policy has been released. You have until August 15, 2016 to respond. A sample letter is included below. Share this message with everyone; there must be hundreds of people to have any affect. Forward to all your friends and family in the Seattle area, post it on your Facebook. Seattle City Light (SCL) also services people in Burien, Lake Forest Park, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, Shoreline, and Tukwila.
First off, WHY “Smart” Meters (Advanced Metering Infrastructure – AMI) are a bad idea:
- The “Smart” meters are NOT the “Smart” grid
- Meters do NOT enable integration of renewable rooftop solar
- Meters are for billing automation ONLY; reducing costs of labor, and increasing revenue for the Utility
- The project is costly (~$100 million) for little or NO benefit to the consumer
- Your rates are going up to pay for it
- Your bills will be higher – bills have doubled and tripled in other cities
- New Time-of-Use rates will be enabled (more expensive when you use power the most)
- Digital meters need to be replaced every 5-9 years; analog meters last 40 or more
- “Smart” meters have known fire issues recognized by the industry
- SCL makes it clear that the base (what the meter is plugged into) is your responsibility, so if there is a fire at the meter, you will likely be liable
- Privacy invasion – Monitoring our personal actions while we’re at home
- The systems can be easily hacked
- Creating new cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the electric grid
- The data collected will be controlled by a private corporation
- Health risks from wireless radio frequency radiation are controversial, but there is real and growing evidence that electromagnetic radiation is NOT safe
- The industry is using the “Merchants of Doubt” tactic (using industry hacks to cloud public understanding of scientific facts to advance a political and economic agenda) to convince people there is no harm
- Industry can NOT prove “smart” meters are safe
- The so called “smart” meter benefits, as listed on Seattle City Light’s notice and website, are easily dismissed
- Visit the website for more detailed information and references to the above statements www.safemeters.org
SUMA-NW is opposed to “Smart” Meters and the placebo of Opt-Out. The only fair, just solution is an Opt-In if the deployment is not canceled.
The problem with Opt-Out:
- Only Home Owners of single family residences can participate
- Renters, users of the electricity, must get landlords to opt-out
- Over 50% of all SCL customers are renters
- Multi-unit complexes (apartments or condos) cannot opt-out for individual units
- Opting out does not protect you from the radio frequency radiation from your neighbors’ “smart” meters
- Customers opting out pay an additional $15.87 per billing cycle, on top of the increased rates to pay for the AMI project
Sample Letter to Seattle City Light (Please, personalize the letter as you see fit.)
To Seattle City Light:
I do not want “smart” meters in my neighborhood, let alone on my home. The Opt-Out Policy is wholly inadequate to address my concerns.
The Advanced Metering Infrastructure provides NO benefit to me; it instead negatively impacts me whether I opt-out or not:
- Increased cost of electricity
- Increasing use of electricity to manage unnecessary usage data
- Increasing electromagnetic radiation, which harms the environment and the health of every living creature
- Increasing security risks; creating a computer network of 430,000 new access points that can potentially be hacked to attack the already vulnerable distribution grid
- The divergence of funds to protect utility revenue rather than creating sustainable energy solutions for the future
Then there are the unaddressed concerns of:
- Privacy rights
- Fire hazards
Further, charging me an additional $15.87 per billing cycle, on top of already increased rates, to keep my service the way it’s been for decades, to avoid the above concerns, is unjustifiable.
As a customer of Seattle City Light, I demand a reconsideration of deploying the AMI “smart” meters, and if done at all, should be deployed as an OPT-IN only.
Your Name and Email
Copy and paste this letter into an email, make any word changes or edits you want, replace highlighted text with your name and email. Email to email@example.com
Here is the link to the Policy and instructions for feedback from Seattle City Light:
Visit the City Light Under Public Review page to download the draft Opt-Out Policy. Hard copies of the document are also available for inspection at the Downtown Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Avenue, Level 5: Charles Simonyi Mixing Chamber, Seattle, WA.
Comments on the draft Opt-Out Policy should be filed by mail to:
Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO
P.O. Box 34023,
Seattle, WA 98124-4023; or
send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The City Light Department will accept written comments through August 15, 2016. The General Manager and CEO will then consider the public comments, and decide whether to adopt, adopt with revisions, or set aside the proposed policy.