Fairfax passes six-month ban on SmartMeter installation

August 5, 2010 10:09:58 PM PDT
The Fairfax Town Council approved an emergency ordinance Wednesday that establishes a six-month moratorium on installation of PG&E's controversial SmartMeters.

The California Public Utilities Commission has received petitions from the City and County of San Francisco and other municipalities that want to delay implementation of the meters in Central and Northern California.

The Fairfax ordinance, which takes effect immediately, echoes concerns about SmartMeter accuracy, safety of electromagnetic frequency radiation and over-billing for energy use.

The SmartMeter system collects electric and natural gas usage from homes and businesses and transmits the data remotely to a wireless communication network, eliminating the need for meter readers.

PG&E says the system lets its customers track their energy use throughout the month, helping control energy costs.

The Fairfax ordinance says collecting that information discloses the "private details of daily life," including when people wake up, come home, take a hot bath and go on vacation.

The Fairfax ordinance also states PG&E has already installed antennae for the SmartMeter system at four sites in town without permits as required by the Town Code.

PG&E also violated a general order of the California Public Utilities Commission that requires a utility to consult with the local jurisdiction on land use matters prior to locating its facilities, the ordinance states.

The Town Council said the six-month moratorium would allow the California Public Utilities Commission's petition process to be completed and provide additional information regarding potential problems with the SmartMeters.


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