Protesters to hand ‘dumb meter’ to PG&E’s Darbee 

A symbolic “dumb meter” is planned to be handed Thursday to a Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. executive to protest the company’s deployment of controversial “smart meters.”

PG&E Chief Executive Peter Darbee is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon at the California Public Utilities Commission headquarters.

The company is deploying smart meters throughout its Northern California service range, which allow the utility to remotely monitor and sometimes manage customers’ electricity usage.

Widespread deployments are scheduled to begin in San Francisco later this year, according to company spokesman Paul Moreno. Some devices are already being installed in new and remodeled homes.

The wireless devices are controversial and the company has admitted to state lawmakers that some have misread electricity use.

Electromagnetic devices, such as smart meters, can cause health problems for people with physical sensitivities.

Protesters who plan to rally outside the CPUC building and attend Thursday’s speech, which begins at 1:30 p.m., say they will hand Darbee a ‘dumb meter.’

“It’s a symbolic box that will be built, drawn on and called a ‘dumb meter,’” protest organizer Sandi Maurer said. “This is symbolic of what PG&E is putting on every house.”

PG&E set up a 24-hour hotline to address smart meter-related questions. The phone number is 1 (866) 743 0263.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

 

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