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2018 NW SolarFest Update Saturday July 28

Seattle Smart Meters Jacking Up Rates

and Not Working Right

SolarFest this Saturday the 28th, Overbilling Class Action Lawsuit, News about SCL
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Join us for the 2018 NW SolarFest at Shoreline Community College

Here is the link to the maps and directions on how to get there:

Sonia M. Hoglander will be hosting a talk at the Conversation Café at 4-4:30 PM. Sonia is a co-director of SUMA-NW, an Electrical Engineer, Building Biologist, has an MBE, and has been an environmental health activist since before 2005.

Talk Description:

Dr. Timothy Schoechle recently published a paper titled "Reinventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks." Sonia will discuss this significant and important trend in how we are connected, share information, and provide electricity to communities. What can the future look like? What are our options? De-centralized, distributed services are now the most cost effective and environmentally friendly technologies to consider.

The Seattle City Council Continues Covering for Seattle City Light

At the last special Seattle City Light (SCL) Strategic Plan committee meeting on June 28, the discussion on AMI project cost overruns took center stage. Specifically, SCL forgot to include sales tax in their calculations. Outrageous! Seattle City Council members (SCC) suggested that the rate payers shouldn’t shoulder that responsibility. Alas, a week later SCC approved a 4.5% rate hike to cover the overages with no discussions on mismanagement at SCL. Tragic! Thursday 12:00pm, July 26 is another special SCC meeting to discuss the privacy policy relative to the AMI meters. Ordinance CB 119319 will be under consideration. Section C-1 states:

”The Department and its third-party contractors, or other City departments, may use customer electrical consumption data only for purposes related to: providing utility service to that customer; implementing energy efficiency programs; managing the electrical grid, including but not limited to planning, designing, and operating the Department’s electrical systems; and/or managing equipment failures.”

According to one of our members who reviewed this statement: “The definition of how broadly or narrowly defined these terms are will determine whether this is a worthless law giving SCL and third party contractors wide latitude to keep customer data for just about forever or whether they would be very restricted in keeping it.”

We will not be offering testimony at the meeting. We are continuing to reach out to Teresa Mosqueda’s office for a face-to-face meeting to discuss AMI concerns.

Class Action Lawsuit Against Maine Utility for Overbilling

A new article at Activist Posts posted on July 20, 2018 by BN Frank,
5000 Utility Customers in Maine Join Class Action Lawsuit Claiming They Were Overbilled. 2017 Dutch Research Determined “Smart” Meters Inflate Bills 30% to 582%.”

“Three law firms will represent 5000 people in their complaints of overbilling by Central Maine Power Co.

CMP is one of many utility companies across North America that has installed “Smart” Meters. There have been complaints about inflated billing and more everywhere these types of meters have been installed. 2017 Dutch research confirmed that these meters can cause measurement errors from 30% to 582%.”

There have been muted complaints in the Seattle area as well. SUMA-NW recommends keeping a journal of billing issues as well has changes in health.

Full Article Here.

Seattle City Light Insider

Recently one of our members had a conversation with a SCL employee who has worked for SCL for over 35 years. This person shared that the AMI project is having problems. Though all the meters have been installed in the north end of SCL territory, they are not communicating effectively with the utility. There are systemic problems that SCL is struggling to investigate and fix.

This person also says that if the utility old timers, like themself, had been in charge, that the AMI system would not have occurred. The corrupt administration under Carasco pushed this system through because of ties to the wireless utility meter industry. This insider believes that no long time SCL employee would have seen this as a beneficial project. SUMA-NW does not have any proof of fraud in the Carasco administration; however the SCL cost benefit analysis does not include public benefit.

It has been this writer’s opinion for years that the corporate profit scheme is to convince utilities to modernize utility billing systems and sell the inferior digital meters as a bonus to automate meter reading. Once the metering company has their foot in the door with the billing system and management of that system, they can dictate more frequent proprietary upgrades of the meters and so assuring a profitable revenue stream for decades. Remember, analog meters are a perfected technology and have a life cycle of more than 40 years. AMI meters can break down within 5-9 years, and the 7 year mark is typical for major meter overhauls in other utility municipalities. SCL meters carry a guarantee for only 5.08 years.

So hope to see many of you at the Shoreline SolarFest on Saturday, July 28, 2018.