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updated: 11/24/2011 8:17 AM

Some Naperville residents refuse Smart Meter alternative

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  • Some residents in Naperville are refusing to let Naperville install smart meters in their homes.

      Some residents in Naperville are refusing to let Naperville install smart meters in their homes.
    Associated Press

 
 

"Not In My Back Yard" has taken on a literal meaning for several Smart Meter opponents in Naperville.

Some of the more than 200 residents who requested to be on the city's "alternative" Smart Meter list, upon receiving mail and email from the city about the impending installation, are demanding to keep their analog meters. In some cases, they've told city officials they are "not authorized to enter my property for the purposes of installing a smart meter."

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The two forms residents received included an application for the alternative non-wireless Smart Meter and a consent form that says they agree to pay the initial $68 fee and $24.75 monthly.

Jennifer Stahl, a core member of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group, has asked to keep her analog meter.

"The feeling in general among our supporters and core group is that the utility is responsible for delivering power to my home and I need to pay you for it," she said. "This (new) meter has many other functions that I did not sign up for."

City Manager Doug Krieger Wednesday acknowledged Naperville has received some letters in which homeowners have denied city employees access to the property when the fist round of installation begins on Jan. 4. But he respectfully disagrees with their position.

"I've reviewed them and we do not agree with their conclusion based on our existing municipal code," Krieger said. "We'll be drafting a response to them in which we clarify that we absolutely have the right to visit properties to maintain, repair or replace our equipment, of which the household meters are one component."

The city's plan to install 57,000 smart meters in residences and businesses has drawn consistent opposition from the group, which has questioned the health risks of a system emitting radio frequencies, the security of the system against hackers and the cost to those who want to "opt out" of having the Smart Meter.

The city offered the non-wireless meters, at a cost, in August to satisfy the concerns some residents had with the RF emissions of the wireless technology. But the anti-Smart Meter residents still balked

"These meters, even in a non-wireless form, emit dirty electricity, which has also been associated with health complaints," Stahl said. "And the data derived from what is extracted poses a security risk. They retain data that can be analyzed to determine what appliances are being used when you are home. This violates our Fourth Amendment rights and protections against undo search and seizure."

The group has also filed a 4,199-signature petition asking to place an advisory referendum on the March 20, 2012, primary ballot to "immediately and permanently stop the implementation of the city's $22 million Smart Grid project and dismantle all related equipment."

Stahl said the group expects to learn, on Dec. 27, whether the question will be included on the ballot.

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