Posted by Robert Daniel on 1/20/2015 to "Smart" Meters
CPS Energy is already working to install “smart meters” in thousands of homes across the San Antonio area, but there was one big problem Friday when they started getting installed in Alamo Heights. CPS Energy installed smart meters outside about 20 homes in Alamo Heights, but the city has a written agreement to delay the installation because residents are concerned over reports linking smart meters to health problems, house fires, and other issues. "We've kind of all been working together to keep vigilant to make sure it (the installation) didn't happen, we hoped it wouldn't, but unfortunately it did,” said Debra Nason, vice-president of the Alamo Heights Neighborhood association. Neighbors said they weren't notified of the installation, so when one homeowner noticed workers outside her house, she called CPS Energy. A CPS Energy representative told the workers to re-install the old analog meters on the homes. “Once our contractors were made aware of this by a resident they were able to rectify this and re-install their meters in about 2 hours,” said CPS Energy Spokesperson John Moreno. Moreno said the mistake was a glitch in the system. “Alamo Heights remains on a list on installs because we are going to get to Alamo Heights in the spring,” he said. “So because that list is there, that was inadvertently placed on the deployment list, or install list, to go out to deployment today." Nason believes if it wasn't for one resident being home, no one would have known about the installation. “People have these things done and they don't even know what's being done to their home,” said Nason. Moreno says residents in Alamo Heights weren't notified because of the glitch, but in the future everyone will get a 30-day notice and a 7-day reminder phone call. He says it won't happen again, but Nason isn't convinced. “If it happened once, it can happen again,” she said. Residents were thankful CPS Energy corrected the mistake, but say their concerns about smart meters are real. Smart meters do emit low energy radiation, but CPS Energy says they are safe and points to information provided by the American Cancer Society that says the radiation isn't harmful, although opponents argue enough research hasn't been done. Just a reminder, homeowners can opt out of the smart meter policy.