Are Smart Meters Really Smart?

By Emily Steiver on October 26, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. District Bldg. Room 500

Councilwoman Muriel Bowser’s Public Services Committee is holding a hearing on Deployment of the Smart Grid in the District of Columbia. This means the “Smart Meters” being installed by Pepco as the first step. We already know that these meters are not capable of NET metering of our electricity production without being individually re-programmed!. Given the multiple problems we are already having with NET meter installations, and Pepco billing, this is possibly our last best chance to bring our concerns forcefully before city authorities, Pepco, and the Public Service Commission.

Ms. Bowser may not be solar energy’s best advocate on the Council, but her committee oversees utilities. We very seldom request that members of the solar cooperatives and solar installation owners join us in our efforts to see that our initiatives are protected and available for everyone in the city to take advantage of.

This is, however, an extremely important event. You need to join us in exposing the issues BEFORE the rollout of these meters gains too much momentum to change.

There are a number of key issues:
1. As renewable energy producers we are entitled to technology that provides data regarding production, not just consumption;
2. The public has no idea what this program is, and Pepco and the Public Service Commission need to honestly outreach for community involvement in the design of this program which will have long lasting effect on our lives;
3. The rollout of the meters should not proceed unless the equipment and the plan include renewable energy as a component.

Also, we need to educate CM Bowser on how broad and diverse the support for solar is in DC. We need her to join our vision of having solar affordable and accessible to all DC residents. We need CM Bowser to understand that solar and the green jobs that come with it are good for all the Wards in DC.

You can submit testimony to this hearing without having to sit and wait for your turn at the microphone to make your points. To submit statements without testifying you must submit copies to the Secretary to the Council, Cynthia Brock-Smith, she’s in Room 5 on the Ground Floor of the District Building.

If you do want to make a statement please contact Davida Crockett of the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs via email at or by phone at (202) 741-0898 by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 26.

If you do not have time to attend and make a statement, please make an effort stop by the hearing room and make as many people aware that you are a solar home owner and very concerned about your future as an enlightened member of the smart grid.