Vermont utilities are encountering some resistance as they
roll out new wireless smart meters. Officials say about 5 percent
of consumers have so far chosen not to have the devices installed. But
officials expect that "opt out" rate to drop as the technology is deployed
around the state.
Worries about health effects, privacy and cost are fueling growing opposition
to wireless, digital "smart meters" that utilities around the country
are installing on homes and businesses and touting as key energy conservation
and grid reliability tools. That’s
creating concern in the utility industry that if enough people opt out, it
could hurt the functioning of the overall system.
Manchester voters have gone on record against wireless electric
utilities say the wireless smart meters should improve customer service. But
some residents have raised health and privacy concerns.
Smart meter technology allows customers to save electricity, and gives utilities the ability to respond quickly to power outages. But the wireless meters have also raised health and privacy concerns, and now voters in several southern Vermont towns will get a chance to weigh in at next month’s town meetings.