Opportunity to make a difference - ahead of the Smart Meter Curve in NC but more help needed
North Carolinians are faced with a potentially very expensive smart meter opt-out tariff being considered through the regulatory process of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (UC). Andrew McAfee (http://www.raleighes.info/
Support/Regulatory_Update_ Actions.html) and I have been gathering information on this threat and encouraging our state's citizens to make their voices heard, as well as communicating with and receiving help from several leaders in the field, but we need more help via the submission of comments help by Friday, January 22, 2016.If you run an organization and wish to send information to your supporters, please visit Andrew's "Action Alert" page for information that will be helpful: http://www.raleighes. info/Support/Regulatory_ Update_Actions.htmlIf you are unable to submit comments by January 22, please submit after the deadline as your comments will help to send a message that people should not be forced to pay prohibitive fees of over $1,000 to opt out of smart meter installation. We will have additional public input opportunities in 2016 and your comments will certainly help then as well.
In short, here is what we are faced with:Duke’s tariff proposals are currently legally confidential in North Carolina, so we have to look at surrounding states for indications of what they might propose here. To give you an idea of what Duke is thinking, for Ohio customers they initially proposed a tariff of over $1,000 to opt-out of installation and $40 a month to have the smart meter read. These costs can be devastating for the average family. You can learn more from the comment letter that I drafted for Andrew, which includes additional hyperlinked documentation: http://www.
raleighes.info/Support/ Regulatory_Update_Actions_ files/PublicStaffLetter_1.pdf.
We are in a unique position to influence the smart meter tariff/opt-out process because:
- We are ahead of the power curve in that we have been generating public opposition to the smart meter opt-out tariffs to be proposed by Duke Energy, the world’s largest electricity provider.
- The smart meter opt-out issue has been quiet in North Carolina (until now) and neither our UC nor Duke Energy is prepared for the level of public input it is about to receive.
- We are reaching out to high-profile organizations, like the Alliance for Natural Health, Natural News and Natural Awakenings for help to increase public opposition to smart meter opt-out tariffs – these organizations have helped me significantly, raising world-wide attention when battling other corporate sponsored inequities, and they created unheard of political pressure almost overnight, resulting in successful outcomes.Because the path to fight smart meter tariffs has become clearer and we have a chance to send a message and hopefully set a precedent with the world’s largest electricity provider, we are asking for your help in the form of a letter from you. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy letter – just an email submitted by January 22, 2016. Here is some boilerplate to start from (include everything as stated, but please adjust the intro paragraph as needed):Edward S. Finley, Jr., ChairmanNorth Carolina Utilities Commission4325 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4300Subject: DOCKET NO. E100, SUB 141 - Oppose Smart Meter Opt-Out TariffsDear Chairman Finley and Public Staff:I am writing to urge you to oppose smart meter opt-out tariffs. People opt-out of smart meter installation for several reasons, with health being the primary reason. The utility industry uses inapplicable health safety standards, which I will explain below, and flawed reasoning to promote smart meter safety. As [insert your credentials], I strongly urge you to reject smart meter opt-out tariffs. Such tariffs penalize the people who can least afford it - those whose health suffers from electromagnetic exposures.Other important points to address include:
- your credentials (education, number of published articles, related appointments or other positions you held: NSF, Office of the President, for example),
- the adverse health effects generated by RF and smart meters,
- a reference to the many studies that show adverse effects,
- a statement that the FCC standards are not applicable to RF and smart meters
- and your support of a no-tariff opt-out option
Please email your letter to both of the above email address.You don’t have to provide a lot of documented information – just your credentials and your opinion on each of the above points. I know that you are very busy and do not want to ask a lot of you, and I also know from experience that a few words from you could change the game. Please email your comments to Attorney Tim Dodge, who is the Public Staff attorney at the UC and has been helpful so far (for what it is worth,“Public Staff represents the using and consuming public, is housed in the UC, but is not directly under UC control) and to the UC at the above email addresses.Why is your support so critical? Because you have the credentials and outreach ability that nobody else does. In other states, the average citizen has been ignored over and over and citizen response has been sporadic and disorganized. We plan to change that in North Carolina.If you want to dig into the details, here is the link to the UC Public Docket for the smart meter opt-out issue:http://starw1.ncuc.net/
NCUC/portal/ncuc/page/docket- docs/PSC/DocketDetails.aspx. If this link doesn't work, do this:2. Click on Docket Portal3. Click on Docket Search4. Type E-100 Sub 141Please let Andrew or me know if you have any questions.With sincere appreciation for your time and consideration,Laura CombsAndrew McAfee