New PSC Docket Submitted by FPL Suggests Incompatibility Between “Smart” Meters and Their Enclosures? References “Heat Damage”!

CHASM COMMENT: Please read Florida resident Marilynne Martin’s important letter to Florida Public Service Commission, which demands a thorough and immediate answer from the PSC.

CHASM asks each of you to contact Mr. Kelly, Public Counsel (http://www.floridaopc.gov/about.cfm), and ask him to intervene on the public’s behalf in this recently filed petition from FP&L.

Please send to other smart meter resistors and ask them to do the same.

The Docket # 130160-EI referenced by Ms. Martin is available here:
http://microwavechasm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/FPL-meter-enclosures-03113-13.pdf

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Dear Mr. Kelly,

I respectively request you intervene on the attached Docket # 130160-EI whereby FP&L is asking for permission to “further validate and refine a predictive tool the Company is developing to identify probable future smart meter communications failures likely to be caused by conditions within the customer-owned enclosure. The meter enclosure-conditions referred to include but are not limited to corrosion, broken meter blocks and loose connections. FP&L believes that the referenced Orders authorizes the Company to inspect, repair or replace a small number of customer owned enclosures on a one-time basis at no cost to the individually affected customers, when those enclosures are inspected, repaired or replaced in conjunction with the further validation and refinement of the predictive tool described herein.”

It further states, “The opportunity to undertake this project arose in conjunction with FP&L’s smart meter deployment. The meters regularly transmit encrypted usage and equipment diagnostic data back to the Company, but during the deployment phase the Company determined that a number of installed meters stopped communicating. Upon inspection it was determined that several of these smart meters had experienced heat damage caused by problems within the customer=owned meter enclosure. The smart meter team ultimately identified a data pattern that was generally occurring in the pre-failure communications from the meter.”

Paragraph 22 states, “Successful development and validation of the tool may in many cases allow FP&L to notify its customers of a prospective failure within the customers equipment. The customer would then have the opportunity to make repairs before there is an actual failure of the meter enclosures resulting in the loss of power and/or damage to other components or property of the customer, or to the meter itself. Those customers will have sole responsibility to take appropriate action to repair and/or replace their enclosures as necessary.”

Mr. Kelly, I argued at the smart meter workshop that these “smart” meters were not meters but network communication and management equipment. The Commission and its staff failed to ever give me a response as to what authority they had to place network communication property on customer premises. If you research these smart meters, you will find that they have a problem with over-heating. Who is to say that this sensitive equipment which is constantly communicating is not causing sufficient vibrations within the meter box to loosen connections, as an example? Why is it appropriate for FP&L to request and be granted permission to repair meter enclosures during deployment at the expense of all ratepayers as was done in Order No. PSC-11-0194-DS-EI? Why is it appropriate for FP&L to receive permission to repair meter enclosures on these 400 customers they will be selecting under this Docket # 130160? How many of us will receive notices in the future to have to incur expenses to fix meter boxes for which damage may have been caused by these smart meters we never consented to be put on our homes? Why should we pay for repairs while others received them for free? Equal justice under the law?

In Arizona it was disclosed that customers currently pay $1.23 monthly for their meter reader. If this is comparable to Florida, consider this –- the cost of an electrician to just come to your house these days is about $100. Perhaps the cost of fixing a meter box, which worked fine with the old analog meter, could be $200 or more. That amount represents 16 years of savings on meter reads! Penny wise and pound foolish?

Your website FAQ indicates that the Public Counsel can argue against a rule. Since the order issued PSC-11-0194-DS-EI was supposed to fix the problem with meter enclosures, I think it is appropriate for you to intercede in this petition and ask some tough questions.

Please do not let this Commission rubber stamp this request. Please intervene to find out whether these smart meters are incompatible with our current meter enclosures.

I await your reply.

Best Regards,
Marilynne Martin
Florida

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