It all started in early July when PG&E told customers in Marin County that it expected to begin installing smart meters in their communities. Only this time the complaint was not the expected rate spike argument PG&E heard in Bakersfield. Resident’s worried out loud about the electromagnetic fields from wireless networks used for meter reading.
As the drumbeat continued the Fairfax Town council found itself embroiled in the controversy. Realtors and homeowners associations lobbied their council members to ‘do something’ about these smart meters. The problem for the Council, according to the PG&E representatives who came to the meetings to try to defuse the fuss is that the Council lacks authority to stop the smart meter installation. That authority resides with the California Public Utilities Commission.
That went over like waving a red flag in front of the proverbial bull. PG&E offered to delay installation to allow more time to educate customers on the issue, but that too did little to assuage the crowd. The Fairfax Town Council sensing the voters in attendance were not going to approve if they ‘wimped out’ approved the first reading of an ordinance to impose a moratorium on smart meter installation. It will take about a month for the legislative process to work its way to a final approval of the ordinance—so PG&E has its work cut out for it and the meter is running backward!