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Correcting Misinformation about EWEB’s Smart Meter Approach

A small but vocal group of Eugene Water & Electric Board customers is refusing EWEB access to the meter on their property or taking actions aimed at obstructing EWEB’s ability to maintain utility equipment, both of which violate Customer Service Policy and Conditions of Service.

A group has taken out ads in the Eugene Weekly with misleading information urging customers to “keep your analog meter.” Some of these customers have refused access and even threatened violence if EWEB attempts to exercise our rights to maintain and replace the meter, which is utility-owned equipment. 

We understand that some customers feel very passionately against smart grid technology. EWEB staff and Commissioners have listened and honored the public process—the Manual Meter Reading option (opt-out) is responsive to the concerns of smart grid opponents. To accommodate the request of these customers, EWEB selected technology that enables some meters in the network to operate with the communicating radio turned off. This is not an option offered by all utilities. We continue to make it easy for customers to elect manual meter reading if they do not want the meter to transmit and receive information.

However, we take strong objection to false and sometimes dangerous information propagated by some smart grid opponents or actions aimed at impeding our operations which are authorized in accordance with the City of Eugene Charter, the Oregon Revised Statutes, and the EWEB Customer Service Policy.