January 26, 2011
FORMER PG&E CONTRACTOR ALLEGES SMART METER SAFETY LAPSES
Smart Meter Ignition Risk “Could Lead to Another San Bruno”
Director, Stop Smart Meters!
San Francisco- A former employee of Wellington Energy, a company under contract with PG&E to install 10 million wireless ‘smart’ meters throughout California, has decided to go public today with allegations that he believes the company is risking public safety by installing meters that pose a fire risk and failing to train meter technicians adequately. The former employee- who has opted to keep his identity secret- worked for Wellington Energy for four months in 2010. During that time, he observed practices that- in his opinion- could result in one of the new meters producing an “arc” and igniting a gas leak. At the time of the fatal explosion in September, the City of San Bruno was fully installed with the new meters. Questions to the CPUC and PG&E about what precautions were taken before installing the new wireless meters (that have the potential to produce sparks) in close proximity to natural gas equipment have so far gone unanswered.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Mendocino Supervisors responded to an outcry by citizens regarding the PG&E Smart Meter roll out. Supervisor Dan Hamburg(5th district) told concerned citizen in the Tuesday board meeting that PG&E had not responded adequately to the concerns heard at the Ft Bragg board meeting in October. At that meeting, two PG&E representatives presented the Smart Meter system designed to remotely meter power and gas, plus control of the meters via wireless communication. The meters utilize a second wireless transceiver to communicate and control upcoming Smart Appliances included Smart thermostats. Although the latter is currently voluntary, PG&E representative, Austen Sharp said that the California Public Utility Commission mandates that all houses and businesses will have smart meters and the remote control of personal home appliances.