PG&E ‘Smart’ Meter Comes to Twain Harte


Posted by Annie in Twain Harte News on July 31, 2009

As I sit here to write, I am still shaking and mad as a wet hornet. We were just accosted by PG&E. I feel violated and I’m angry, very angry about it.

Here I am lying in bed, fast asleep when I’m awakened by a huge boom noise coming from outside the room I’m sleeping in. I bolt upright in bed, throw on my shoes and run out the door, only to find a man standing near my electric meter and the old meter is laying on the ground.

Devvy fights Smart Meters – Devvy Kidd — My statement to the Texas Public Utility Commission

I had planned to call PG&E and protest their new so-called “Smart Meter.” They sure didn’t waste anytime, we only got notification they were changing our meter out two-days ago.

The problem is they didn’t call, they didn’t make an appointment or anything. The man I found outside my house said, “I knocked on the door and no one answered.”  Well duh, we were sleeping.

The hubby and I both work from home, we were up late last night working on some new projects and this is the worst part, my husband was doing a critical data migration on a clients system. We still don’t know if any data was lost. We initially thought we had lost our router during the abrupt power loss.

After giving their technician a piece of my mind and scolding him for things he has no control over, I came back in the house to call and complain to PG&E. I’ve been sitting on hold now for over 30-minutes and my patience is failing.

I haven’t had the pleasure (dripping with sarcasm) of calling PG&E in ages. I dial their 800 number, only to hear something in chinese, then mandarin, then English. It wasn’t a short something, it was a very long message. I feel like I’ve moved to hell or communist China.

PG&E isn’t helping matters by repeatedly thanking me for my call and making promises that someone will be with me shortly. Of course they give me no indication if shortly is measured in hours, days or weeks.

As I am sitting here I searched google for “PG&E Smart Meter Complaints,” I shouldn’t have been surprised but honestly I am.

My husband and I figured the new “Smart Meter” would not only allow them to read our meter, without having to send out meter readers, but we surmised that they didn’t get the kind of response they were looking for, when they offered people $25 to allow PG&E to monitor their usage and shut them down during times of increased power usage.

Now I’m reading that everyone is complaining of higher electric bills, after their “Smart Meter” is installed. I’ve been very happy with our electric bill for the past several years. We have worked hard to keep our bill down. We’ve taken steps to conserve energy, like turning off lights when they aren’t in use; we disabled our electric base board heaters — over four years ago. We’ve also replaced most of our appliances with Energy Star Compliant ones. This might all be for nothing.

In the past five years we’ve seen our water bill almost double but our electric bill has stayed pretty steady. Now, I’m terrified our bill is going to drastically increase.

I’ll update this if I ever manage to get a “customer service” representative on the phone. I won’t hold my breath.

 According to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), these new services include the ability to turn on and off electricity remotely, instantaneous notification of power outages, and deployment of variable billing rates based on supply and demand of power. [Read higher cost!]

Michael Peevey, head of the state regulatory commission, said, “Without these meters, we will limit the ability of people to truly change their consumption habits.  However, it doesn’t stop at the meters.  Once the customer is informed, we must ensure that there is sufficient incentive to get the customer to take action.”

In the meantime, check out the following links. 

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Comments (9)

  • Heidi Wolff says:

    Good luck with your “smart meter”. My bill went from $104 to $288 in one month. This month they say I am on track to have the same usage. We are not using the air, we have two adults living in an 1100 square foot home with a few visitors. I have lived in this house for 5 years and the bill has never been this high. PGE does not think the “smart meter” has anything to do with it. I am going to continue to fight this as I cannot afford this increase.

  • RoundMan says:

    Everyone has missed why your bills are higher, and yes they are going to be much higher!! The old meters only read usage over time at a flat rate, they couldn’t tell the meter reader what time the power was used. Now PG&E is charging a huge increase between 2pm and 7pm because these new meters can breakdown the actual times your using their services. 2pm through 7pm are peak times that people NEED to use their applinces. PG$E under the guise of conservation (and lack of rate hikes) are now forcing you to pay more for LIVING.. Here in Bakersfield the temp is 104 to 117 most of the summer from 2pm through 7pm and PG$E says to use fans instead of AC, what a crock! They aren’t concerned with conservation they just want money and the PUC has fallen for PG$E’s smoke and mirriors.. We need to rebel against this kind of lie… No big company monopoly does anything for your or the environments good.

  • Rob Miller says:

    My bill doubled the first month! Fuel for my genset is cheaper so I, as many, will be fireing up that bad boy if we need the extra power to run our air between 2-7 .
    I feel forced into it so now PG&E will be responsible for polluting the air with carbon monoxide from my generator, nice going guys I thought we were paying a percentage on our bill for the continued reserch by PG&E to find cleaner resources to generate power (another crock). You guys will never stop sucking us dry. Im going solar and they can come get this damn smart meter it will be in a box in pieces.
    Cant wait to UNPLUG from the dumb meter!

  • annie says:

    Well, so far our bill hasn’t changed much at all. I was expecting to see a huge bill after they installed our meter but so far that hasn’t happened.

    Our bill was $134.80 last month and that might be about $15.00 more than I normally pay this time of year. On the same token, it got cold earlier than normal this year, so we’ve been using our space heaters more.

    Our previous bills were:
    Oct = $136.73
    Sep = $129.24
    Aug = $136.65

    Our bill normally runs between $95.00 and $180.00 depending on what time of year it is. It doesn’t appear that the Smart Meter has cause our bill to increase too much, maybe $30 more per month. Especially considering everything else is going up. The water and sewer bill has almost doubled in the past four years. Now they are talking about raising our garbage rates.

    The thing that bothers me most about the Smart Meter is the fact that they can control our power remotely. They can just shut us down or disable individual appliances — now that’s messed up.

    Unfortunately, we are still renting, but when we buy, we will be installing solar panels too, it just makes good sense. A generator is a smart way to go too, the noise can get irritating though. 🙂

    I’ve starte doing my laundry after 8:00 p.m. and before 10:00 a.m., I’m hoping that will help keep our electric bill down, especially during the winter months, when our bill is normally higher.

  • Greg Howard says:

    Do yourself a favor I live in a home with a smart meter I had generation one for over a year and in that year my bills doubled and PG&E said that there was nothing wrong with my meter and refused to test it even though I requested it.

    After going to the town hall meeting Senator Florez put together here in Bakersfield and speaking to the panel from PG&E and CPUC with a little nudge from the senator PG&E came out and tested my meter and my meter was running faster then it was suppose too.

    They installed generation 2 that same day and I have been monitoring my meter and the online reporting sense it has been install on Oct. 21st. as of today my reading on my meter says that I have used 238 kilowatts it started at zero when I go to the online daily reporting it is say that I used 493 kilowatts up to two days ago it does not report up to date reporting as of this very moment. So the reading PG&E is receiving and reporting on my bill is more than double of what my on-site meter reads and it is two days behind.

    This is a faulty system and is not working correctly I plan on Monday to contact my Senator and tell him what is going on with the new meter install then I plan on talking to the local tv stations about what I am experiencing with the new meter. PG&E Customers beware of this new meter!!

  • brian says:

    wow, smart meters are awesome. My bill went from about $300 dollars a month to $600.00. why hasn’t anybody started a class action lawsuit yet. And if they have where do i join in. Brian

  • annie says:


    Do you have any idea why? Do you live here in Twain Harte? Has PG & E been able to provide any answers to you? I can’t image a bill that huge.

  • Lesley says:

    Your not alone I live in Missouri and my Smart Meter took my bill from $200.00 to $400.00 per month. Something stinks!!!!!!!

  • […] available online in pdf format. I must admit having our electrical meters switched over to “Smart Meters,” wasn’t a big hit with the locals and now they are dicussing switching our water […]

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