Patterson calls for suspension of Smart Meters

March 1, 2011

County supervisor Jim Patterson wants PG&E to temporarily suspend installation of wireless Smart Meters in San Luis Obispo County until specific issues are addressed. [Tribune]

Patterson, 5th District supervisor, will ask fellow board members next week to send a letter to both PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission expressing concerns about the meters and asking for a halt.

The proposed letter is on the board’s consent calendar for next Tuesday, which is where they place noncontroversial items that they do not intend to discuss. However, any supervisor can pull an item and talk about it. Patterson needs three votes to have the letter sent.

However, Supervisor Frank Mecham remains away from work, following back surgery.

And board chairman Adam Hill has said that he wants a letter sent expressing concerns about the Smart Meters, but not calling for a complete halt. Hill argued that the county has no legal authority over PG&E and, at best, the board can only express its concerns.

A ban on Smart Meters can only come from the Public Utilities Commission.

PG&E has begun to install the meters in Paso Robles, and expects to have them in an estimated 13,000 homes throughout the county by the end of 2012.







  1. knowthisatascadero says:

    It would serve us a lot better if Patterson would call for suspension of the Coastal Commission and the Regional Water Quality Control Board………..
    This is just a feel good move by Patterson……

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  2. RobertWilliams says:

    My Aunt was killed in a German death camp during WWII and my Uncle was jailed, but lived through the war and long afterwards.
    They were both in College but at different colleges about 90 miles (150 Km) apart. They were both German Christians active in causes for humanity and that was NOT appreciated by those in power.
    So my aunt was pulled out of a library while studying and put in jail and then placed in a death camp just minutes from her college and some months later she was executed. I am told that she was very pretty, always smiling and with a sincere natural caring for others from deep in her heart.
    My uncle was arrested and also put in jail. But the town where he was jailed had earlier resisted a death camp in the jurisdiction of that town, even though the town had NO LEGAL STANDING OR JURISDICTION within the existing law to resist. But resist the town did and they also kept (protected) my uncle in jail and did not release him nor transfer him to a death camp as was requested on numerous occasions (even though they did not have the legal authority to do so).
    The situation in San Luis Obispo is not as dire as it was in Germany in WWII, but there is an unjust and harmful program being forced onto the people by the Corporate Management of a powerful cutthroat monopoly, PG&E.
    An Ordinance may, to some extent, protect the people in San Luis Obispo, but with almost no jeopardy to the county or board chairman or supervisors, nothing close to the personal sacrifice or risk that the leaders of the town took where my uncle’s life was saved. Eight other cities and counties that passed Ordinances in the last year have NOT had problems, expenses or any negative consequences from doing so.
    Yet the Board Chairman of San Luis Obispo, Adam Hill, said, “The board has no legal authority over PG&E, at best it can only voice its concerns.” That is precisely what the local officials felt and said and acted in the town where my Aunt was jailed and where murdering scum, not much different than PG&E Corporate Management, but under different circumstances, came in and executed (murdered) my Aunt.
    In the U.S. it is easy to talk concepts, but I have always wondered what I would have done and if I would have had the courage to fight or challenge anything in such a place as Germany in WWII.
    Adam Hill – the bar is not set so high, you need not risk your life as others have done. You simply need to place a vote for and pass an Ordinance (as Santa Cruz County, Marin County, Mendocino County and five additional cities did), nothing compared to the courage that others have shown in the story I shared with you above.
    Legitimate scientists, not Public Relations “Scientists” from PG&E have shown us the damage, the harm that Wireless meters do to children.
    Legitimate Economists have shown us that energy use will NOT go down and utility bills WILL go up after installation of the PG&E Wireless meters.
    Government officials have confirmed that the PG&E Wireless meters were chosen by PG&E Corporate Management for PG&E’s financial benefit and that the WIRELESS meters are NOT required by the country’s Energy program.
    If we look closely, we find that almost everything PG&E has told us is false and that PG&E’s program not only isn’t a good one, but it prevents and blocks a proper and effective program from being implemented.
    Common sense indicates that ALL related to the Wireless meters is for PG&E and at the expense of and harm to the people.
    Adam Hill – stand up and show that you have a spine in your body.
    Break away from your self-imposed chains. Do not let PG&E continue to herd you into their corral.
    Do not let my Aunt die again.
    “It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

    (comment taken from another publication in appreciation to author and his aunt)

    (-12) 26 Total Votes - 7 up - 19 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Comparing this to Nazi death camps?? Are you f-ing kidding me? Even if PG&E is doing something some might consider heavy handed they are not killing people. And save the emfs are killing them. You show me the people that are dying from PG&E’s smart meters. Nazi death camps and PG&E, PLEASE!!

      (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  3. Jens says:

    Nice technical concept more aptly applied to industrial installations but honestly folks, Smart Meters are nothing more than a pathway to the continued erosion of our individual liberties. Nothing more, nothing less. Allowing any government or regulated entity such as a power utility the ability to transmit information concerning any aspect of your private life outside your immediate private property boundary without your specific permission is an affront to your liberty and privacy. This is the issue, not EMF or any other transmitted energy effects.

    On a daily basis we’re surrounded by radio and other electromagnetic waves. Many of these are significantly more intense those generated by Smart Meter data transmitters. Most likely you’re sitting next to a computer, wireless router, wireless phone, cell phone and you’re also inside an electrically wired and energized building. In the end, the EMF argument can easily be defeated by a skilled legal team. What is hopefully not defeatable is the principle of intrusion into your privacy. Just how many of your liberties are you willing to give up?

    We all expect to lose personal privacy when in a public place. But our private residences must generally remain completey inaccessible to any form of continuous electronic monitoring whatsoever except when law enforcement matters require court orders for access. Stop it now before other forms of intrusive monitoring including indoor air temperature, air quality, water consumption, etc. become commonplace and socially acceptable. Besides, meter readers need jobs too.

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
    • racket says:

      So transmitting your power usage smacks of Big Brotherism? By your logic, then, your meter reader is a bogeyman who is collecting your private and personal data. I’m not buying it.

      (5) 19 Total Votes - 12 up - 7 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      Naturally, since you’re currently not experiencing any ill effects of wireless devices, they are harmless, or any potential negative effects are offset due to the convenience of the wireless devices. Sounds very familiar!

      I’m old enough to recall those ads in Life magazine showing doctors touting the benefits of smoking; I remember promotions for “The Friendly Atom” (i.e. electricity too cheap to meter — meter, that’s what we’re talking about!); Dalkon Shield; Aspartame; etc.

      Now we have GMOs in our food supply, untested combinations of toxic chemicals & pharmaceuticals in our food and water supplies, people routinely getting massive radiation doses with MRIs & CT scans, antibiotics distributed like candy, and injected into our animals which we eat without thinking, hospitals rife with staph virus, and you want to tell me that wireless technology is “safe?”

      I think, if anything, that you’re in massive denial.

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • racket says:


      How is PGE’s data transmission any different or scarier that the phone company knowing when you make a long distance call, and charging your account accordingly?

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  4. babymommy says:

    I put signage on my meter at home for our PG&E service person that says we do not want one installed. I have also left several messages to PG&E and sent several emails as well asking them not to install a smart meter on my home.

    There is a great website that has resources and more information about the effects of EMF waves:

    Glad we are getting more buzz in the community. I think it should be an individual decision to include one on the home or not, and I think it’s unfair for PG&E to just install them without notifying homeowners or giving people the option to opt out.

    (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  5. bobfromsanluis says:

    Even though the PUC is the agency that can legally restrict or stop completely the installation of the new smart meters, a couple of counties in California have banned or suspended the installation of the meters. I for one would like to see more research done before the installations are allowed to continue, and more importantly, I really feel that any and all customers should have the option of having a “hard wired” smart meter installed since that will eliminate virtually all of the offending EMF waves that are such a concern for so many. I applaud Supervisor Patterson for his stand and hope that the majority of the board will agree with him on this issue.

    (3) 17 Total Votes - 10 up - 7 down
  6. sloslo says:

    I would like to offer a counterpoint to these smart meter inaccuracy comments.

    First, when I moved into an apartment a number of years ago, my power bill was $5 every month. Clearly my meter was completely broken and it took PG&E 1.5 years to figure it out. They eventually replaced my meter with another (dumb) meter and my power bill “skyrocketed” to $40 a month, which is probably what it should have been for a 1 bedroom apartment. I suppose if they replaced the meter with a smart meter instead back then, I could have cried foul and accused the smart meter of incorrectly measuring my usage. However, based on my experience and others I have heard, the old “dumb” meters frequently break and underreport usage and unfortunately, this is what most people are experiencing. You can buy a $20 device that will measure your usage at the plug and people who are concerned about being overcharged should get one and check out the usage of their appliances. I bet it would be an eye opener. Most computers for example burn the same amount of power as 1-2 100 watt light bulbs.

    The second issue for me is that twice in the past 3 years, a PG&E meter reader has misread my meter by 100Kwh. This caused a spike in my month usage that was corrected when the meter was read correctly the following month, but I was charged extra for over usage for that previous month. I would much rather have a meter that can be read accurately digitally than one that a human being who could be tired and prone to mistakes has to manually look at a bunch of dials to figure out the correct reading. I know many people don’t trust machines/computers, but in my experience they are far more accurate when it comes to number crunching than humans.

    To me, it is ridiculous in this digital age to continue to pay an army of people to drive all over the county to manually read a bunch of dials on a meter, when it can be done digitally much cheaper and with much less impact on the environment, and less meter readers getting bitten by dogs!

    (9) 25 Total Votes - 17 up - 8 down
    • hotdog says:

      Good points! But I wonder about your costs, and that of others. I am in a small house of three adults and a workshop with electric tools. Our electric use is refridge, washing machine, lights, computers, tv and stereos-and some heavy duty power tools and arc welder. Sometimes there is large scale pruning with an electric chain saw. So, at a house with those folks and good sized property with workshop-our bill is NEVER more than $25/mo. Yup, we practice careful conservation, but without any deprivation.
      You can do the math-most of you are using, and wasting, too much. Use less, save more, be responsible. If you want to save money, and more importantly, save the planet-use less. Way less.
      Contrary to what that crackpot Cheney told us in 2001 (that conservation does not amount to anything), it is critically important and the cheapest energy you can get. You know that. That is what insulation, dual pane windows, blankets and clothes and the like are for, conserving what you have.
      So, get with the program and save those kilowatts!

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Not doubting your bill but if it is 25 bucks, sounds like your meter might be broken. Years ago (before our kids) my wife and I would only use one light and the t.v. in the evening. We didn’t use much of anything else. The best we could do was $50.00 a month and this was in the early 90’s when power was cheaper. I wonder if you get the smart meter if your bill will jump?

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
        • hotdog says:

          Well, if you are right i hope I don’t get one of those new fangled thingies, I like my price as it is. I was hoping my scrooge like conservation measures were saving me, now I hear it could be a broken meter! Yikes.

          (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  7. Side_Show_Bob says:

    Close friend got his Smart Meter up in San Ramon a few months ago. His 2000 sq. ft. house is empty during the work day and it’s only he and his wife. He has all very new energy efficient appliances. His first months “Smart Bill” charged him over $450 dollars for one month!

    They do have a jacuzzi they use several times a week. It floats a lower temp when not being used so it doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of energy to heat it before use. They have been forced to drain the unit and let it sit now because it’s too expensive to operate.

    Grab your ankles. This is going to get reeeeaaaaal interesting when it takes hold.

    (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  8. Gsan says:

    Smart meters make sense to me.

    (-5) 29 Total Votes - 12 up - 17 down
    • Robert1 says:

      “Smart meters make sense to me”

      And they make dollars for PGE, my bill now averages $350-$400 a month because of the “accuracy”
      of the new meter.

      (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
      • hotdog says:

        Doesn’t make any sense. You have to compare past and present costs, you only gave one figure.

        (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  9. danika says:

    The Smart Meters were installed at both my home and office without my consent, on a Saturday. I do not own my office building so perhaps I have no standing there. I am not happy about the forced change. However, my energy bills have not increased since the installations. I will say that given the choice, I would not have had them installed. Might be more effecient but it appears they aren’t SMART meters for anyone other than PG&E.

    (-1) 23 Total Votes - 11 up - 12 down

Comments are closed.