Wednesday, 7 On Your Side reported that two utilities in Texas using SmartMeters have admitted several thousand of its customers received inaccurate and at times inflated bills.
Both Centerpoint and Oncor blamed the problem on a communications program it uses. That program from IBM enables the utilities to remotely receive energy usage readings from the SmartMeters.
PG&E uses a different system for its SmartMeters -- a module made by Silver Springs Network in Redwood City. Despite the problems in Texas, Silver Springs says its system is 100 percent accurate. But some consumer groups aren't buying it.
"We take the data that's measured in the meter and we move it digitally through the network and move it to the other side," said Eric Dresselhuys, vice president of Silver Springs Network. "So we don't do anything to change that reading."
"More and more, PG&E is finding out that PG&E can't keep hiding these problems because they're real," said Mark Toney with The Utility Reform Network (TURN).
An independent third party investigation ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission is looking into both the accuracy of the SmartMeters and the communications system that helps run it.