By Steve Dunham
I chose to opt out of having a smart meter installed at my house for privacy and safety reasons, as well as I think it is a bad economic decision by Avista. My current old analog meter, I am told by Avista workers, is very reliable and will nearly last forever while the new ones have a life of about 20 years and an Avista worker told me they are already replacing them in Coeur d’Alene after only 10 years.
Avista told me when I opted out that they would charge me $5 a month and read the meter every three months. Now they want the Utilities Commission to grant them $10 a month. A meter reader told me that close to 10% of Avista customers are choosing to opt out and that number is growing. He said as far as he can tell there is no real long-term cost saving with smart meters, and meter readers provide a service by visually inspecting the meters on a regular basis. I know that Avista gives money to many organizations and gave $100,000 in a recent election to just one political candidate. Avista should be in the business of serving their customers as economically as possible and leave philanthropy and financing elections to individuals.
See very interesting year old article from Oregon resident: Smart Meters + Amateur Radio = Not So Smart