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Opt-Out Stickers Ignored; SCE Smart Meter Installed
September 6, 2012 -
I thought you might be interested in my recent and on-going experience with Southern California Edison and their mass-installation of the new "smart meters".
My story, as it relates to the installation of the new smart meter and my choice to opt-out:
I was informed by Sherry Jason, neighbor on Bowers Drive, about the new smart meter, a device being installed by Southern California Edison to replace analogue meters. Her email included salient points and several articles about its potential negative effects, both macro (environmental) and micro (more personal, health-related concerns). Thus, I became educated and was able to make an informed decision about opting-out (i.e., not allowing Southern California Edison install a new smart meter on my property.)
In June, I contacted a supervisor at Southern California Edison and referred to the notice they mailed out, informing customers about the mass installation of smart meters. I told him that I was choosing to opt-out of the installation and explained to him why I was making my choice and my over-arching concerns about the mass installation. One of my concerns about the smart meter was due to a health condition, to be explained in the next bullet point. During the same conversation I told him that the $75 one-time opt-out fee, and the additional $10/month fee was being paid by me under duress, that I was not willingly paying the fees. During the same conversation my choice to opt out was recorded by the companys representative and I was given a time when a field operator would come to my property and tag my old analogue meter with an opt-out sticker (hence the reason for the $75 charge to put a sticker on my old meter).
A large reason behind my decision to opt out of the smart meter installation is due to the fact that in January of 2012 I was diagnosed with a serious health condition called Lymphemdema, an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, due to damaged lymph nodes and vessels. My doctor believes that I have an inherent condition which was exacerbated by a specific traumatic incident. More can be read at www.lymphnet.org/lymphedemaFAQs/overview.htm. My doctor at LifeSpan Medicine, as well as my therapist at the Womens Physical Therapy center in Santa Monica, both agree that exposure to additional and/or excessive radiation could worsen my symptoms and cause a relapse into full-blown lymphedema. In addition to opting out of the smart meter installation, I have reduced exposure to cell phones and returned a signal booster to ATT.
In June, a field operator came to my property to place the opt-out sticker on my old analogue meter.
My initial opt-out fee ($75) as well as the first monthly opt-out charge ($10), appeared on my Southern California Edison bill, dated 7/7/12.
On 8/19/12, I returned from a two-week vacation and was informed by my house sitter that a new smart meter was installed while we were away. She was not home at the time of the installation and told me that she came home and found the hang tag information placed on our door. Our gates are locked at all times and the only way an operator can enter the property is by climbing the fence. The operator took the old analogue meter that was marked with a large, orange opt-out sticker, and installed the new smart meter.
I contacted Southern California Edison on 8/20/12 and notified them what had happened. I was told by a representative that an operator would exchange the smart meter for an analogue meter. I expressed that the meter must be an actual analogue meter and was assured that it would be. Still waiting for meter exchange.
I contacted the Lost Hills Sheriff Dept. in order to file a police report for trespass, malicious mischief and vandalism and was told by an officer that they would not come out to take the information from me to file a claim because it was a civil issue between me and Southern California Edison. According to the Sheriff, all/any utility company has blanket permission to enter any citizen's property at any time, for any reason.
Let me know if you are interested and I will keep you appraised of any further developments in the meter exchange.