PG&E admits billing errors, offers scanty refund

40 dollarsPG&E admits billing errors alleging a defect in their Smart Meters and states they will offer full refunds, averaging $40 to approximately 1600 customers.

PG&E states, “We take this issue very seriously and will do the right thing for our customers. We are committed to accurate metering and billing and will contact our affected customers immediately and issue full refunds,” said Greg Kiraly, Vice President, SmartMeter™ Operations. ”

Anyone who has been overcharged might want to wait before they accept a $40 check from PG&E, as PG&E was ordered by the CPUC to refund  $1,400.00 in smart meter overcharges. CPUC smart meter refund

From the decision: “The metered usage reflected by complainants’ billing information for the period from November 18, 2009, through April 29, 2010, supports their contention that their billings tripled in amount after SM#1 was installed. The cause of the discrepancy has not been fully explained, but the weight of the evidence demonstrates that the increase was not caused by any actions of the complainants. Based upon the historical level of their billing, we will grant their request for a $1,400 adjustment.”

Updated on July 8, 2013

Network files CPUC protest and requests new judge

 

April 25,2011

Today the  EMF Safety Network filed a CPUC protest to PG&E’s Smart Meter opt-out proposal. In addition Network is requesting reassignment of the Administrative Law Judge , Timothy Sullivan.  Sullivan was the judge who parroted PG&E’s unsubstantiated safety claims and proposed dismissing our original CPUC application. 

From the Protest Conclusion:

“PG&E’s application is an inadequate solution to serious Smart Meter 

problems that the Commission and California utilities have failed to address.  It is 

wrong to require ratepayers to pay to escape from threats to their health and 

ensure safety in their own homes.  PG&E’s proposed charges will be an unfair 

burden and will harm ratepayers.  

The Commission should first order a Smart Meter moratorium, then modify 

PG&E’s requested relief to provide ratepayers safe and reliable utility service at 

reasonable rates.  The Commission should schedule evidentiary hearings on 

contested issues.  Network intends to participate in the hearings. The Commission 

should order PG&E to allow ratepayers to keep their analog meters or restore 

analog meters at no additional cost.  Ratepayers should not have to bear the 

financial burden for the failure of the Smart Meter program.

Glasser: PG&E crossing the line on SmartMeters

Glasser: PG&E crossing the line on SmartMeters
Written by Howard Glasser
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
I’d be interested to know where a public utility company or state regulatory agency could be found guilty of breaching public trust, committing fraud, violating consumer rights and inappropriate and unethical conduct that falls short of the business standards most agencies and businesses are otherwise held to when it has deliberately manipulated and misled the print and broadcast media resulting in a misinformed general public.

No matter how sheltered the California Public Utilities Commission may be, does this excuse it from abiding by the law where its actions would otherwise be judged as criminal?

Here of some examples of Pacific Gas & Electric’s inexcusable transgressions where they have violated the public’s sacred trust:

1. Pointing media to the PG&E Web site which had stated that 39,000 SmartMeters had been installed in Lake County when at that point in time, only 2,500 meters had actually been installed.

2. Declaring a “delay installation” list that customers can be placed on through the PG&E SmartMeter phone line and then ignoring the list and not enforcing it when it comes to SmartMeter installations.

3. Leading the public to believe that an opt-out position would be considered or provided down the line for those customers who choose to opt-out while concurrently beefing up installations of SmartMeters so that by the time this provision was there, it would be moot since the entire deployment would be considered “mission accomplished.” That’s a shell game.

Regardless of the code that the CPUC cites as its operating guidelines, it’s clear that the CPUC is using its mandate as a shield to defend the commission against allegations that could hold water in court.

In matters where it can be shown that the public trust, health and welfare are disregarded and a state regulatory agency yields to industry’s demands while ignoring the people that it is chartered with protecting, I would think that the law provides recourse against such abuses of power.

No matter what the circumstances, the CPUC cannot hold itself above the law and where ethical and legal lines have been crossed, they should be held accountable to the people of California.

Howard Glasser lives in Kelseyville, Calif.
First printed in the Lake County News: Wed April 13 http://lakeconews.com/content/view/19220/927/

FCC’s Inadequate Response to Smart Meter Complaint

On November 4, 2010, I filed a complaint with the FCC, and yesterday received the following response.

You are receiving this email in response to your inquiry to the FCC.

Dear Ms. Maurer,

Thank you for contacting the Federal Communications Commission.

This letter is in response to your complaint, 10-C00258888, filed with the FCC.

PG&E’s SmartMeter program is part of a statewide effort driven by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to upgrade California’s energy infrastructure with automated metering technology. This technology will enable new programs that help California energy customers use less energy and save money.

The SmartMeter system uses programmable solid-state meter technology that provides two-way communication between the meter at your home or business and the utility, using secure wireless network technology records hourly meter reads and periodically transmits the reads via a dedicated radio frequency (RF) network back to PG&E.

Please reference PG&E’s web site concerning questions about potential health effects related to radio frequency (RF) emissions from the meters,http://www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/rf/.

The California Council on Science and Technology released a preliminary study entitled “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”. You may view this study at: http://www.ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smartA.pdf.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits for radio transmitters of all types, including SmartMeters. The FCC standard provides a currently accepted factor of safety against known thermally induced health impacts of smart meters and other electronic devices in the same range of RF emissions. Exposure levels from smart meters are well below the thresholds for such effects.

There is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.

For questions concerning this study, you may wish to contact the California Council on Science and Technology, 1130 K Street, Suite 280, Sacramento, California 95814. Phone: (916) 492 0996. E-mail: ccst@ccst.us

Thank you for your inquiry.

Brenda Althoff

Consumer Advocate and Mediation Specialist

Federal Communications Commission

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

Representative Number : TSR22

Complaint Sent:

“PG&E is deploying radio frequency radiation (RF) smart

meters throughout its service territory in California. PG&E

claims there are no health impacts and states they are safe

because they comply with FCC Safety Standards. PG&E has

not provided realistic RF specifications like the peak RF power

at one foot. We need accurate RF emissions information for

their Smart Meters.

“People are reporting health impacts from RF smart meters,

including sleep problems, headaches, anxiety, tinnitus, ear pain

and more. There are people who are EHS and immune

compromised and this is a huge threat to their homes and

health. See stories here:

http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=2292

“Since the FCC is the jurisdictional body that regulates RF

emissions we call on you to impose an immediate moratorium

on PG&E Smart Meters.”