By Warren Woodward, Sedona Resident
(August 6, 2013)
In the ACC’s 2007 decision that enabled the start of the “smart” meter fiasco in Arizona, a cost/benefit analysis was called for but never done. Since then it has been pointed out repeatedly to the ACC that “smart” meters are a boondoggle. Included has been a detailed report by the Connecticut Attorney General. The report was based on a “smart” meter pilot project involving thousands of real people and meters. Now, after another study, Germany joins the list of places waking up to economic reality. Frankly, I find it amazing that anyone would need a study to figure out that when you wreck something that works, and replace it with something that costs well over 5 times more, you aren’t going to save money!
Below is my letter to the slow learners at the ACC informing them of the breaking news from Germany.
August 5, 2013
Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328
The “smart” meter boondoggle continues to be exposed, this time in Germany.
After commissioning a feasibility study by “Big Four” accounting firm Ernst & Young, Germany’s Economy Ministry has proclaimed the European Union’s proposal for 80% of homes to be “smart” metered by 2020 as “inadvisable” since installation costs would be greater than energy saved. [Bloomberg News, “Germany Rejects EU Smart-Meter Recommendations on Cost Concerns”, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-08-01/germany-rejects-eu-smart-meter-recommendations-on-cost-concerns]
This echoes the findings of three states’ Attorneys General which I have brought to your attention several times in the past but which you have chosen to ignore, to the detriment of the Arizona ratepayers you were elected to serve.
Connecticut A.G.: “…the costs associated with the full deployment of AMI [“smart”] meters are huge and cannot be justified by energy savings achieved.
Illinois A.G.: “The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit.”
Michigan A.G.: “A net economic benefit to electric utility ratepayers from … smart meter programs has yet to be established.”
German ratepayers are fortunate to have a Economic Ministry sensible enough to do the independent feasibility study that for ages I have been urging you to perform on behalf of Arizona ratepayers.
As a real-life example of what happens when regulators such as yourselves don’t do their homework, I’ll remind you that Central Maine Power (CMP) is now being audited by Maine’s Public Utility Commission (PUC). CMP promised $363 million in savings from “smart” meters but in just three years CMP came begging for an 8% rate increase because the $363 million turned into a $99 million cost – and all because Maine’s PUC did no independent feasibility study beforehand and believed utility lies instead.
Wake up, ACC! “Smart” meters are a toxic boondoggle that violate health, privacy and property.
Cc: Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne