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Austin Votes to Extend $60 Million Smart Meter Program

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Julie Wilson
August 8, 2013

A report by KVUE disclosed that Austin Energy is asking the Austin City Council for $60 million in a vote that will convene Thursday.

The utility company says they need the money to expand their smart meter program that originated in 2001 when Austin Energy began replacing analog electric meters with digital smart meters.

The $60 million would not replace or improve current smart meters, but would simply extend the city’s contract with the company until 2022.

KVUE announced Austin Energy owns the meters, however not the software that reads them. The utility company has a $35 million contract with Landis and Gyr to read the meters, with the contract expiring in 2017.

Cheryl Mele, Austin Energy’s Chief Operating Officer said, “The two biggest drivers really were simplicity and cost management over time,” and that the new contract includes the latest version of software, which could save the company money.

Exactly how much money Austin Energy could potentially save is unknown.

Austin city council member Kathie Tovo asked, “Are we really going to benefit enough from this contract to warrant entering into a long term contract of this sort?”

“The contract extension also has a provision to give all meters two way communicating capability, which could help track power outages,” KVUE reported.

When KEYE TV interviewed Austin resident Dr. Laura Pressley, she said, “They’re going to be able to query exactly how I’m using my energy by minute by minute basis. There are a lot of privacy concerns with this.”

Austin Energy says they are working on an opt out program, however it would cost customers.

A May Infowars report describes the dangers and health risks related to the new smart meters.

Experts say the smart meters are able to track each appliance in your home and emit levels of radiation that have been directly linked to cancer.

Sheila Hemphill, a Texas woman who challenged her own city council in protest of the new smart meter program, told the Alex Jones Show, “Your pineal gland that detects darkness can’t tell the difference between light frequency and the frequencies from these devices,” preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Despite living across the street and sharing a parking lot with her city’s mayor, Hemphill was rejected five times from getting the city council to hear her issue.

On the sixth try, Hemphill was able to get through and successfully implemented the Texas Local Government 9.004, bringing the program to a halt.

To learn how to prevent smart meters from arriving in your city, visit her website at HYWS.us for more information about Texas Local Government Code 9.004.

This article was posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

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