Though many individuals are all for making things "greener" and more efficient, a great deal of customers is not pleased with "smart" utility companies. Smart meters for example, are resulting in increased power bills, overcharging, and a lot of angry power customers who are not able to drop the smart meters without getting dinged for more money. Resource for this article:
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Power bill changes



Utility companies are doing anything they can to save some cash, which involves switching to “smart” power grid technology for some.



With the new meters in the brand new system, there is a change in the data gathering, according to the New York Times. In contrast to the old-style power meters, they are much better because they save the business from paying a reader to go get the information. That should save the customers a lot of money as well in the future since corporations are getting the information sent from the new meters.



Customers are not very pleased about the primary reason of them, according to Daily Finance. This purpose would be to charge more money for power during peak hours, which is the main function of it.


No choice



Hopefully, people will stop using as much electricity if the company is charging more for peak hours, according to the New York Times. That is the whole point. The earth will be much better off if we are not using resources for energy as much. People will not generate as much electricity if they are not running their air conditioners each day.



Utility corporations also can align costs with the price of available electricity on the open market, potentially leading to a savings. Unfortunately, some people who receive electricity through smart meters report being charged for more electricity usage than they have ever used.



However, according to Daily Finance, utility companies utilizing smart meters, such as Pacific Electric and Gasoline in California, are charging customers for installation of smart meters. Some, including PG&E, are charging customers for opting not to get the meters. PG&E charges $75 to customers to opt out of the meters, along with $10 per month to not have one.



Of the $29 billion stimulus for intelligent energy, $69 million went to Vermont utility businesses. Still, according to CBS, the businesses will not allow consumers to top out of the brand new meters.

Not pleasing every person



Some people aren't happy with the meters. A bill is going before the governor of Vermont to mandate utility corporations to allow opting out for free and a comparable proposal is being considered in Maine, according to CBS.



The real problem with the readers is that they are starting to overcharge consumers for electricity, including 1,600 PG&E smart meters found overcharging in 2011. There were 5,200 intelligent meters found charging seven kilowatt-hours a month over what people used in 2010. The residents of the city of Bakersfield pointed out the overcharging in 2009 and started a suit.


Sources


New York Times
Daily Finance
CBS
Reuters
KHOU