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Friday, January 06, 2012

Is Idaho Power exaggerating savings on ‘smart meter’ plan?

A December 22, 2011 Mountain Express news update, reported the swift completion of Idaho Power’s smart meter installation, saying, “Idaho Power touted the cost savings and energy savings that have resulted from the initiative, including eliminating 80 vehicles from its fleet, saving on fuel and maintenance costs because employees are no longer driving 1.6 million miles per year to read meters, and eliminating access issues like locked gates and protective dogs.

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Yet, mere weeks later the power company is raising their monthly customer service charge from 4 dollars to 5 dollars – a 25% increase! What type of savings is that? This is not the first time in recent history that Idaho Power has slipped on a promise. You might recall the sleek glossy brochure they mailed when they first began implementing the smart meter switchover; which assured customers that they would be notified with a knock on the door. Comparing my own less-than-satisfactory experience with various neighbors on this, indicates that this simple courtesy often did not happen.

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Some folks across the Heartland are speculating that these new meters are emitting overly powerful amounts of microwave radiation. However, an Idaho Power rep. told the Express that our local brand of smart meter transmits personal information only over the power lines. I suppose that I can believe that for now, however; with the previous company overstatements in mind, I would be interested in learning more about how this really works.

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Meanwhile, the same neighbors I talked with earlier are now joking some that Idaho Power installed a Men-in-Black-like zapper into these innovative meters, in hopes of making consumers forget the grand savings which they promised us.

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Related link:

http://www.mtexpress.com/vu_breaking_story.php?bid=97878

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