Monterey to consider a ban on PG&E SmartMeters.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The city of Monterey is considering a 45-day ban on SmartMeters, the controversial new wireless gas and electic meters being installed across California by utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric.
A PG&E area manager will give a presentation on the technology and answer questions at the Monterey City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2. A moratorium would require four of five council votes.
The staff report recommends against a ban, noting that the California Public Utilities Commission - not cities - has the authority to regulate public utilities. The city of Watsonville banned SmartMeters in August, but PG&E has snubbed the city's action by continuing the installations anyway. The issue is now headed to court.
"Such court action will be expensive and the chance of success against PG&E will be relatively low," the Monterey staff report states. "Monterey would be better served by letting the cities in which SmartMeters will be installed [earlier], fight the legal battle."
Almost 800 SmartMeters have already been installed in Monterey in response to service calls, but they're currently operating as regular meters, according to the city staff report. They'll be activated as SmartMeters when the rest of the city's meters are replaced around February, according to PG&E's schedule.